As the world becomes more health-conscious, more people are looking for ways to improve their diets. Superfoods are a great way to do just that. These nutrient-dense foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help you feel better and live longer.
With numerous superfoods available, it can be challenging to decide where to begin. For this reason, we have compiled a list of the top seven superfoods that you should include in your diet. These foods are not only delicious but also incredibly good for you.
Blueberries are one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet. They are loaded with vitamins C and K, fiber, and manganese. Additionally, they have a low calorie count and have been demonstrated to enhance brain performance and protect against heart disease(1).
One of the best things about blueberries is that they are incredibly versatile. You can eat them on their own, add them to your smoothie, or sprinkle them on top of your oatmeal. They also make a great addition to salads or as a topping on your yogurt.
Spinach is one of the healthiest leafy greens you can eat. It's loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron, calcium, and fiber. It's also low in calories and has been shown to improve heart health and reduce the risk of cancer(2).
There are many ways to incorporate spinach into your diet. You can add it to your salad, sauté it with garlic and olive oil, or blend it into your smoothie. Spinach also makes a great addition to omelets and quiches.
Salmon is a fatty fish that is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids are important for brain function and heart health. Salmon is also high in protein and vitamin D(3).
There are many ways to prepare salmon. You can grill it, bake it, or broil it. It's also great in salads or as a topping on your favorite grain bowl. Just be sure to choose wild-caught salmon over farmed salmon to avoid harmful contaminants.
Were you aware that avocados are classified as a fruit? They are well-known for their high nutrient value and creamy texture, and there are several reasons to include more of them in your diet.
Avocados contain high levels of monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health. Consuming healthy fats like these also promotes skin health and aids in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from food.
Additionally, avocados are rich in magnesium, which helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar(4). Interestingly, they contain more potassium than bananas, an important mineral for maintaining fluid balance in the body and lowering blood pressure.
Thanks to their creamy texture, avocados can be used in a variety of dishes, including desserts! You may be surprised by how well they complement sweet dishes.
Nuts provide an excellent source of unsaturated fats and can serve as a healthy and satisfying snack when paired with fresh grapes. They are also rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, such as antioxidants, that are important for maintaining good health(5).
Additionally, enjoying a glass of red wine with your nuts can provide added health benefits, as it has been shown to protect against age-related memory loss, diabetes, and heart disease. Red wine contains resveratrol, which has been shown to activate genes that can slow down the aging of cells.
6. Olive Oil
While olive oil is undoubtedly good for you, it should be consumed in moderation due to its high caloric content. Packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, olive oil can help fight against both heart disease and cancer, as well as promote brain health(6).
However, it's important to be mindful of portion sizes - two tablespoons a day is typically sufficient to reap its health benefits.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, making them a great addition to any diet. They can also help protect against bone breakdown and contains B vitamins that have been demonstrated to decrease brain inflammation, potentially aiding in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease(7).
The egg yolk contains a high amount of nutrients that may aid in preventing macular degeneration, which is the primary cause of blindness. Incorporating eggs into your diet can be a simple and delicious way to improve your overall health and well-being.
- Wood E, Hein S, Heiss C, Williams C, Rodriguez-Mateos A. Blueberries and cardiovascular disease prevention. Food & function. 2019;10(12):7621-33.
- Maeda N, Matsubara K, Yoshida H, Mizushina Y. Anti-cancer effect of spinach glycoglycerolipids as angiogenesis inhibitors based on the selective inhibition of DNA polymerase activity. Mini reviews in medicinal chemistry. 2011 Jan 1;11(1):32-8.
- Tuomisto JT, Asikainen A, Meriläinen P, Haapasaari P. Health effects of nutrients and environmental pollutants in Baltic herring and salmon: a quantitative benefit-risk assessment. BMC Public Health. 2020 Dec;20:1-8.
- Ortiz-Avila O, Sámano-García CA, Calderón-Cortés E, Pérez-Hernández IH, Mejía-Zepeda R, Rodríguez-Orozco AR, Saavedra-Molina A, Cortés-Rojo C. Dietary avocado oil supplementation attenuates the alterations induced by type I diabetes and oxidative stress in electron transfer at the complex II-complex III segment of the electron transport chain in rat kidney mitochondria. Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes. 2013 Jun;45:271-87.
- Rusu ME, Mocan A, Ferreira IC, Popa DS. Health benefits of nut consumption in a middle-aged and elderly population. Antioxidants. 2019 Aug 12;8(8):302.
- Mazzocchi A, Leone L, Agostoni C, Pali-Schöll I. The secrets of the Mediterranean diet. Does [only] olive oil matter?. Nutrients. 2019 Dec 3;11(12):2941.
- Saez-Atienzar S, Masliah E. Cellular senescence and Alzheimer disease: the egg and the chicken scenario. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 2020 Aug 15;21(8):433-44.