What is a superfood?
It may sound like a new food category, but you may know more superfoods than you think. Superfoods are higher in beneficial nutrients than other foods. Nutrients like antioxidants, fiber, minerals and vitamins. This includes some common foods like baby spinach and black beans. Superfoods can also be more unique foods like goji berries and chia seeds. Here are eight everyday superfoods to add to your diet at any age.
Leafy greens are low in calories and high in nutrients. They include veggies like collard greens, kale, Swiss chard, spinach and arugula. Leafy greens have antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins A and C. These nutrients help support eye and heart health. Leafy greens are full of vitamin K, an important nutrient for bone health. Vitamin K can sometimes interfere with blood-thinning medications. Talk to your primary care provider about any concerns or questions.
Try them in a recipe: Black Bean Collard Burrito
When it comes to fruit, you can’t beat berries. They are a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants. These nutrients can help protect the skin against damage. Vitamin C also supports brain function and memory.1 Berries are full of fiber, which can help keep digestion more regular. Try out a variety of berries to find your favorites.
Try them in a recipe: Red, White and Blue Berry Parfait
Salmon and other oily fish like mackerel and herring are superfood proteins. Getting enough protein helps build and maintain muscle mass, especially as we age. Salmon is also full of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help support a healthy heart and brain. Omega-3s can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Try it in a recipe: Smoked Salmon on Rye
Eggs pack a lot of nutrition in a small, versatile package. They are full of protein for muscle repair and growth. Eggs are one of the best sources of choline.2 This vitamin is important for memory and brain function. Eggs are also rich in nutrients that support immune, eye and bone health.
Try them in a recipe: Black Bean and Spinach Breakfast Burritos
This creamy fruit is unlike any other. The healthy fats and vitamin A in avocados can help keep skin smooth and healthy. Avocados are full of fiber, which helps keep digestion regular. The vitamin E in avocados can help support healthy aging and protect against age-related eye damage.
Try it in a recipe: Avocado Tuna Bowl
Nuts and seeds
Eating more nuts and seeds comes with extra benefits. The vitamin E and healthy fats in nuts and seeds are good for the skin. They help keep skin hydrated and repair skin tissue. This keeps skin stronger and healthier and preserves its natural glow. Sprinkle some pumpkin seeds in your yogurt or oatmeal. Snack on some almonds for a midday pick-me-up. Look for new ways to add them to the meals and snacks you already enjoy.
Try them in a recipe: Persian Trail Mix
When it comes to yogurt, go Greek! Plain Greek-style yogurt offers some major health benefits. It has twice the amount of muscle-building protein than regular plain yogurt. Greek yogurt tends to be lower in carbohydrates and sugar. It is full of gut-healthy probiotics to support digestion. Greek yogurt is a good source of calcium for healthy bones, teeth and heart. Look for low-fat Greek yogurt without any added sugars. Sweeten on your own with fresh fruit or a drizzle of honey.
Try it in a recipe: Cherry Almond Yogurt Parfait
Does including a little chocolate in your life make you smile? There may be something to that. Chocolate can help boost mood and improve memory.3 Dark chocolate is higher in nutrients called polyphenols than milk chocolate. Polyphenols help protect the heart and can manage blood sugar levels. Reach for dark chocolate that is 70% or higher. These varieties have more polyphenols, iron and magnesium and less sugar.
Try it in a recipe: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cookies