7 Healthy Superfoods to Add to Your Daily Diet
We all know we should be eating as many superfoods as we possibly can. But it isn’t always easy to work nutrient-packed foods into our everyday meals. Some superfoods, such as goji berries, wheat grass, and acai, can be quite expensive and hard to find, making it difficult to incorporate them into our daily diets. Fortunately, not all superfoods are this exotic. There are plenty of healthy foods that are inexpensive and fairly common, ensuring you have nutritious go-to foods that are easy to find and prepare. Here are some healthy superfoods you can easily eat every day.
Beans are relatively cheap and simple to make, making them a great superfood to regularly eat. Active Beat explains that beans are a great source of soluble fiber, which soaks up cholesterol and allows your body to eliminate it before it can stick to your artery walls. WebMD adds that beans — red, black, pinto, and kidney — are high in disease-fighting antioxidants, meaning that eating them can help keep you healthy. Additionally, beans are a good source of iron, an essential mineral that transports oxygen from your lungs to the cells in your body.
Wondering how you’re supposed to work beans into your everyday eating? Active Beat suggests making chili with kidney beans, serving them as a dinner side, or incorporating them into your salads. There are also sneakier ways to add beans to your meals, such as tossing them into casseroles and pasta sauces. Active Beat notes that they’ll blend perfectly because beans typically mimic the flavor of the spices and seasonings they’re cooked in.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a fruit that’s healthier than blueberries. The Huffington Post writes that the bright berries contain more antioxidants than any other North American fruit. As a result, blueberries can help prevent cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes. Blueberries can also improve your cardiovascular health and are bursting with fiber and vitamins A and C. Furthermore, Care 2 explains that blueberries contain catechins, which can activate fat-burning genes in abdominal fat cells, thus aiding in weight loss.
They are also a great source of proanthocyanidins, which can decrease free radical levels linked to aging, wrinkles, and disease. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to work blueberries into your daily diet. The Huffington Post notes that blueberries maintain most of their nutrients in fresh, dried, frozen, or jam form. Best Health states that you can use blueberries in almost everything, including salsas, parfaits, baked goods, smoothies, salads, sauces, and whole grains.
If you’re looking for an easy way to incorporate plenty of vitamins and minerals into your diet, nuts are a noteworthy way to do so. One large study found those who snack on nuts tend to live longer. And walnuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and mono- and polyunsaturated-fat, which helps reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while maintaining healthy levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
If you’re going to zero in on just one nut, the The Huffington Post suggests opting for walnuts. They’re packed with omega-3s, filled with anti-inflammatory polyphenols, and contain plenty of protein. The best part? Working nuts into your regular eating routine is almost effortless. The Huffington Post notes that you can sprinkle them on salads, chop them and add into your pancake batter, or grind them and turn them into marinades for your fish or chicken. They can also be included in deserts, muffins, breads, and parfaits.
There’s a reason that spinach is Popeye’s go-to food: It’s extraordinarily healthy. Men’s Fitness explains that similar to Popeye, eating more spinach might even make your muscles work more efficiently during a workout. This vivacious vegetable contains lutein, a nutrient that promotes healthy eyesight, and just one cup of spinach provide almost 200% of the daily value of vitamin K. Furthermore, Men’s Fitness notes that spinach has twice the amount of iron compared to other leafy greens.
Luckily, it’s extremely easy to eat plenty of this vibrant veggie. Active Beat states you can toss it in salads or cook it up and serve it alongside the meat of your choice. You can also sauté spinach, use it in a stir-fry, and include it in a frittata or quiche. If you aren’t a fan of spinach’s flavor, feel free to throw some into your blender when you’re making a smoothie — you’ll be able to reap its benefits without tasting it!
Tomatoes make sensational salsas, taste terrific when sliced on sandwiches or salads, and create superb sauces that pair perfectly with pasta. WebMD notes tomatoes contain all four major carotenoids — alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene, which are antioxidants that can help feign off disease and cancer. The The Huffington Post explains that lycopene can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, in addition to reducing the risk of coronary artery disease.
Tomatoes are bursting with antioxidants, potassium, and vitamins E and C. WebMD adds tomatoes may also help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. If you’d like to start eating more tomatoes, there are plenty of easy ways to do so. Opt for tomato-based pasta sauces, sip on tomato juice, and use the fruit in your favorite salads.
Prevention applauds yogurt for its superstar status, explaining that just one cup of a low-fat version contains at least 25% of the daily value for riboflavin, which promotes antioxidant activity. Without riboflavin, an antioxidant known as glutathione isn’t able to destroy free radicals. If free radical aren’t destroyed, it can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions, Prevention explains. Fitness adds that yogurt also contains special strains of probiotics, bacteria that can help regulate your digestion and strengthen your immune system.
In addition, one serving of yogurt provides significant amounts of potassium, phosphorous, iodine, zinc, and vitamins B5 and B12. It’s also really easy to work yogurt into your daily eating routine. BuzzFeed writes you can use it in mac and cheese, cheesecake, smoothies, salads, dips, and dressings. You can also incorporate yogurt into your baked goods, or use it to make parfaits, marinades, and frozen yogurt.
Medical Daily explains oats are packed with soluble fiber, which decreases your risk of heart disease. They also contain slow-releasing carbohydrates, ensuring you stay energized throughout the day. Furthermore, one-half cup serving of oats delivers 10 grams of protein, and Eat More Oats notes that they contain hundreds of cancer-fighting phytochemicals.
Oats also contain essential fatty acids, are filled with amino acids, and have essential vitamins, such as thiamin, folic acid, biotin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin E. Ready to start regularly eating oats? The Kitchn states there are plenty of way to get your daily fix. You can enjoy them in oatmeal form, work them into breads and muffins, and even include them in cookies. Wise Bread adds that you can also blend oats into your smoothies or incorporate them into your crusts and breadings.