If you wander the grocery store wondering what foods are “superfoods” you’re not alone. Along with choosing superfoods it’s also a good idea to know why they are beneficial to your diet. Here’s a list of 14 nutritional foods to add to your diet.
This powerful fruit gets its nutritional value from its color. According to experts, the “Deep-blue hue is a by-product of flavonoids.” Flavonoids are natural compounds that help to enhance memory. Blueberries also contain antioxidants, natural anti-inflammation benefits and are high in water content to hydrate your skin cells.
Like many other cruciferous vegetables, Kale is a great green food to add to your diet. Kale is rich in vitamins A, B, and C, and calcium and iron.
This tasty vegetable, best found at its freshest at farmer’s markets, helps to naturally break up lung congestion and aid in stomach health. Kale also helps boost liver functions and keeps your immune system high.
This is one whole grain that is full of fiber and iron. Quinoa is also rich in zinc and selenium to help with weight loss, and vitamin E.
According to WebMD the selenium in Quinoa also helps lower your chance of heart disease and diabetes if eaten regularly in your diet. You can eat Quinoa as a cereal, cook to a rice form or add it to a blend of nuts and veggies for a healthy snack.
Explore the many types of cabbages out there, not just the green! Try red, Bok Choy, and Savory as this cruciferous vegetable helps battle hormonal imbalances in both men and women. This superfood also helps prevent breast, uterine and cervical cancer in women and prevents prostate cancer in men. It is also a great libido driver and natural aphrodisiac.
These healthy nuts are full of fiber, protein and unsaturated fats. They are also rich in phytosterols and soluble fiber, both of which help to lower LDL or bad cholesterol.
Pistachios are also great for any weight loss plan. Thirty nuts are only 100 calories so they are an awesome natural food to add to your weight loss plan.
Yes, dark chocolate in moderation is also a great superfood. Be sure to find dark chocolate that is high in cacao (cocoa)—70 percent or more is best.
Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and flavonoids which help to lower blood pressure. This yummy treat has also been shown to boost moods most likely for its awesome taste. Dark chocolate should be eaten in moderation because just once ounce equals 150 calories.
The old joke, “beans, beans, they’re good for your heart” is really true. They are rich in insoluble fiber to help lower cholesterol and high cholesterol can cause heart disease—even a heart attack.
Beans are also full of proteins and the magnesium and potassium our bodies need. Consider black beans, chick peas, white beans and kidney beans as all of these legumes, especially if you are a vegetarian, replace needed proteins. Beans also contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
If you only think about pumpkin recipes around Halloween or Thanksgiving, change that thinking and put more pumpkin in your diet. This superfood is full of nutrients to help your bones, eyes, heart, and skin.
The two most prominent nutrients in pumpkin are potassium and beta-carotene. Pumpkin is also a natural antioxidant. Both fresh and canned pumpkins are great in soups and purees or top a scoop on yogurt for a tasty treat.
Not only is this fish tasty, it can be used in so many dishes or eaten alone. Salmon contains omega-3 acids and is full of protein. Salmon also contains healthy antioxidants and it is low in calories.
What’s great about salmon is it can be grilled, broiled or baked and used in dips, in salads and all sorts of side dishes.
Spinach is a great alternative to lettuce in salads and other recipes. It also has high levels of vitamin C and K, and beta-carotene.
Eating this Popeye favorite vegetable will gain needed lutein and zeaxanthin and these two nutrients helps to protect your eyes from the sun. The vitamins in spinach also help bones stay strong and this green veggie is a great source of iron to keep hair and nails healthy and strong.
Red Bell Peppers
Did you know that one red pepper has double the vitamin C as one orange? Because vitamin C is a natural antioxidant it can clear your entire body of free radicals to keep your blood vessels strong.
Red bell peppers are also low in calories so they make for great snacks—anytime. They also contain beta-carotene and lycopene, just two more antioxidants to aid a healthy appearance from the inside out.
Part of the dark orange veggie category like pumpkin, carrots, and butternut squash, sweet potatoes are full of calcium, vitamin C, and potassium.
Sweet potatoes help to keep blood pressure low so instead of a white baked potato, try a baked sweet potato instead or mash them for a delicious side dish.
This fruit is one powerful fruit. Beyond the vitamin C you’ll gain, kiwis are also rich in fiber and potassium. Kiwis are also a good source for vitamins A and E—vitamins you won’t gain in most fruits.
Kiwis are great as a dessert, snack or to place in salads. Because kiwis are loaded with fiber, they are also a natural mild laxative.
Rolled oats, steel-cut oats and whole oats are a great source of fiber and they do fight cholesterol to help maintain a healthy heart. In fact, oats have powerful cholesterol-lowering qualities because of their soluble fiber.
The many types of oats also help to control blood sugar levels so they are great for diabetic diets and for those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes.
These 14 superfoods should be in your diet and the best part about them is the many ways they can be used in all sorts of dishes and they are tasty too! Share some of your superfood recipe ideas in the comments below.