You’ve heard all about them and for good reason; superfoods can be an extremely valuable part of many people’s diets. They are often extremely dense in nutrients, containing a powerful dose of vitamins, antioxidants and/or fiber.
Different types of superfoods can have different positive effects.
We’ve rounded up the 7 most versatile superfoods to help you infuse your diet with more nutrients, shed unwanted calories, and feel better on a daily basis.
Beans, Lentils and Quinoa
Beans and lentils are some of the healthiest forms of protein out there. They can be easily incorporated into a variety of meals, mixed in with other veggies and salads, and are a great source of low-fat protein and low cholesterol. They also keep us feeling quite full after consumption. Quinoa is the new hot fad in this category as a great source of iron and grain, and can even be served with breakfast.
Kale, Spinach, Broccoli and most dark green veggies
The dark green vegetable family is packed with vitamins (namely K, C, and D) and is a great source of calcium and fiber. Spinach has been pretty “in” for the last few years, and Kale is an equally healthy alternative. Broccoli can be added to a ton of meals as a side dish (ex: steamed with garlic).
Blueberries and most other berries
Blueberries are the most popular of the antioxidant berry family, but the benefits of strawberries, blackberries and even Kiwifruit are arguable just as high. They can be added to shakes, yogurts and fruit salads for a healthy desert, or even consumed on their own by the handful. As an alternate, pomegranates and dragon fruit offer similar benefits.
Sweet Potato and Squash
These two foods carry a major advantage over their gold and red potato cousins; they don’t require sodium and sugar monsters like butter, ketchup, salt or mayonnaise to be delicious. Plus, their prep time is minimal.
Salmon and other fatty fish
Your body needs fat. This is still a tough fact for many to swallow, especially those on a serious weight loss diet, but it’s true. The key is to consume good fats (such as those containing Omega 3 fatty acids, which contain way less cholesterol), typically found in salmon, sardines and other fatty fishes. These also carry loads of protein.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts provide another great source of high protein and healthy fats. Delicious seeds (pumpkin, sesame, etc.) can be cooked and prepped on their own, or added to a delicious trail mix with nuts, resulting in a powerful choice waiting in your pocket. Keep in mind that the more untreated the nut, the healthier it will likely be for you.
Note: Superfoods are not meant to offset the effects of unhealthy diets (e.g. high in saturated fats, bad sugars). These foods should be part of a very healthy and balanced diet; only then will their benefits shine through.