Superfoods are simply another term given to certain foods that are rich in nutrients and have various positive health benefits. If you’re jumping into this new year with plans of having a healthier diet then adding some superfoods is a great way to do just that. However, it’s also important to remember that just because something is called a superfood doesn’t mean it’s the only healthy thing out there for you to eat. There’s no one or two “superfoods” that will make you super healthy and prevent this or that disease.
An important part of a healthy diet is balance and thus you want to incorporate superfoods into your diet as opposed to building a diet purely off of them. At the end of the day though, they are healthy foods that are great for you to eat daily for many reasons. Also, there are a lot more superfoods to eat than just this list so if none of these appeals to you keep looking to find some that you like and work for you! Here are some superfoods you need to boost your diet!
1. Dark Leafy Greens
This may seem like a given, but dark leafy greens make amazing superfoods to incorporate into your diet. Some examples of dark leafy greens are spinach, swiss chard, turnip greens, collard greens, and, of course, kale. These dark leafy greens are considered superfoods because they are packed full of nutrients such as zinc, iron, calcium, vitamin C, and also lots of fiber. They also contain carotenoids which are good antioxidants for your body to prevent disease, enhance your immune system, and more!
There are many ways to incorporate dark leafy greens into your daily diet it just depends on how you like the taste of them. If you love the taste then salads are an easy and tasty way to get your daily intake of these superfoods. However, if you don’t like the taste then another way can be to throw some of them (such as kale and spinach) into a blender with some fruit and yogurt. Make yourself a tasty smoothie where you won’t even taste those dark leafy greens but you’ll definitely still be getting all the great vitamins and nutrients!
Many teas can make excellent superfoods to incorporate into your diet because of having low calories and a good source of antioxidants. There are many different kinds of teas out there but the most popular superfood teas are green, black, white, and oolong. These teas all come from the Camellia Sinensis plant and differ due to the processing and cultivation of the plant.
These certain teas are considered superfoods because they are little to no calories, help improve hydration, have cardiovascular health benefits, and also antioxidants good for anti-inflammatory effects and more! Teas do usually contain caffeine which, depending on the person, isn’t always the best thing to drink a lot of so it’s important to pay attention to your body and use decaf tea if you have to. Incorporating tea into your diet can be easy finding any time throughout the day, or multiple times, to boil up a cup or two. However, as stated don’t forget about the caffeine and end up staying up all night because you had that nighttime tea!
3. Fish (Salmon)
Fish are a great food to introduce to your diet if you want a nice health boost. Fish has low fat and a lot of protein making it a great source for your daily protein intake! It’s also generally rich in calcium, phosphorus, and other great minerals like iron, zinc, and potassium. Another reason why fish is so great for a healthy diet is their high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important to eat because we don’t make them naturally in our body so we need to consume them from food.
They help us maintain a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure, helping prevent inflammation, and also aiding healthy brain function! Salmon is considered one of the best superfoods for its high protein as well as its high amount of omega-3s. Eating salmon can help lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes as well as help your weight overall! You do need to be careful about eating too much salmon/where you get it from because it’s possible to find and eat salmon with contamination with heavy metals or other environmental pollutants. Try to have salmon for lunch or dinner two or three times per week to really boost your diet and avoid possible pollutants!
Berries make great superfoods to include in your daily diet for a boost of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. The typical berries are raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries. In terms of superfoods, berries make a great addition to your diet for their high amount of antioxidants that help protect the cells in your body as well as reduce risks of disease. Berries can also help your blood sugar and potentially your body’s response to insulin in some cases.
They make a great source of fiber that helps your body feel full longer as well as help your digestive system. Berries also make great superfoods, similar to tea, for their low calories and also a high amount of vitamins and nutrients. In particular, berries (especially strawberries) have a great amount of vitamin C needed for your daily diet. They also contain vitamin K as well as nutrients like manganese, copper, and folate. Berries are really easy to include in your daily diet, as long as you don’t hate the taste, as you can eat them plain, in cereal, in a smoothie or however you want!
5. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds make great superfoods to incorporate into your diet for a great health boost! There’s a big variety for both nuts and seeds but typically you can find similar vitamins, nutrients, and health benefits that come from eating one or another or them. Typically, nuts and seeds are both rich in fiber, vegetarian protein, and “good” fats. They also usually have some good anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well. Some examples of nuts can be almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, cashews, and Brazil nuts.
For seeds, you could eat sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds. Each will have slightly differing calories and vitamins/nutrients but overall are usually (unless you’re allergic) good for your health. Nuts & seeds can be known to help with weight loss due to their high amount of fiber and heart-healthy fats that can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Make yourself a morning trail mix out of a variety of nuts, and throw some chia or flax seeds into your daily smoothie to take advantage of the many benefits these superfoods have to offer!
What are your favorite superfoods you eat to boost your healthy diet? Share them with us in the comments below!
Featured Image Source: Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash
I have a passion for helping others and see journalism as a great way to reach and impact many people. Born in Texas but raised in the San Francisco Bay Area! Then with a short detour in Boulder, Colorado to get my bachelor's in Journalism with a minor in political science. I'm a determined, motivated individual striving to make a difference in this world. I have hopes to play a role in the continued development of journalism and in maximizing efforts to inform and inspire the public. Check out my articles on Society19!