A superfood is any food that’s particularly healthful or beneficial. True, it’s also sometimes a term used to try to get you to buy an expensive smoothie, but there really are some foods out there that pack a doozy of a nutritional punch. Make a little more room for superfoods in your life.
Beans and Lentils
Beans are often touted as a good substitute for meat (from a nutritional standpoint) because they have a similar amount of protein and calories, but more fiber and antioxidants. Increase the amount you eat slowly if you want to avoid the infamous side effects.
There can be as many antioxidants in an ounce of walnuts as in a daily serving of fruits and vegetables. Daily! That doesn’t mean you should shovel half a pound of nuts into your mouth during your TV marathon, but don’t be afraid to include them in your diet if you like them and if you’re not allergic. Other nuts are pretty good for you too.
Probiotic means “for life” so it must be good, right? Don’t get grossed out or anything, but fermented food has already been partially digested for you. If you’re lactose intolerant, you may be able to tolerate yogurt, as the lactose is already partially broken down by yummy bacteria.
You already know that leafy greens like spinach, arugula, lettuce and kale are healthy choices. Is there any easier way to increase your vegetable intake than with a big bowlful of greens? Sprinkle more of these superfoods from this list on top of your salad and feel virtuous for the rest of the day. Greens are also a great addition to smoothies. Don’t shock your taste buds–start with just a few leaves and work your way up.
Chia seeds–they’re not just for ceramic pets anymore. They’re a trendy health food item, containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium. Unlike flax seeds, your body can actually break down whole chia seeds and absorb the nutrients without any further processing like grinding into meal. Chia pudding isn’t exactly a decadent dessert, but it’s worth trying.
All berries are pretty nutritious and delicious, but blueberries stand out for having a low glycemic index as well as being high in antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C.
Don’t be afraid of a little fat, especially when it’s plant-based and good on tacos. All those monounsaturated fats help you digest these antioxidants we’ve been talking about.
Chocolate and Wine
A glass of red wine and a square of dark chocolate have a few things in common. They’re both great to look forward to at the end of the day, and they both have an abundance of apparent health benefits. If you’re eating chocolate for those benefits, make sure the only fat is cocoa butter. If you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, watch your portion sizes.