Marketing pros may have coined the term “superfood,” but these produce and protein products have plenty of extraordinary value. The Cleveland Clinic describes a “superfood” as a category of organic consumables that is “super-healthy.” The nutritional profile (e.g. foods rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins) earns each the title. While no food contains the secret sauce to ward off all sickness, incorporating these into your day-to-day intake will give your body plenty of valuable defenses.
Here are five superfoods worth adding to your diet today!
Beans and Legumes
Whether craving a spicy bowl of chili or a chilled summer salad, beans and legumes make for a healthy, hearty, and filling meal. They’re also an affordable source of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin K, folate, and iron.
According to the American Heart Association, eating beans may help to improve your blood cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease. One 2019 review found that consuming beans and other legumes regularly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and hypertension.
Ready to jumpstart your health? Here are three heart-healthy meals that start with a can of beans:
Fish is another excellent source of protein. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish twice weekly. That said, not all fish are created equal. For example, mackerel and marlin are high in mercury, and people who plan to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are nursing should avoid them.
The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends eating anchovies, black sea bass, cod, flounder, haddock, herring, and pollock, among other seafood with low mercury content. If you’d like more information on which types of fish are safe to eat, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website for a list of “Best Choices.”
Interested in adding seafood to your diet? Here are three easy fish recipes you can whip up in 30 minutes or less:
Kale, collards, and spinach are examples of leafy greens containing many vitamins, minerals, and fiber. According to one 2018 study, adding more leafy greens to your diet offers several benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Additionally, leafy greens provide the body with folate. This B vitamin promotes heart health and prevents certain cancers, including cervical, breast, and lung cancer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers leafy greens one of the “best cancer-preventing foods” out there!
Plus, implementing leafy veggies into your diet is simple. Here are a few tasty recipes that incorporate leafy greens:
- Chicken-Vegetable Soup with Orzo and Spinach
- Kale and Red Quinoa Soup
- Spring Greens with Salmon and Apricot-Ginger Vinaigrette
Avocados rose in popularity around 2014, according to data from the Hass Avocado Board. In 2014, American avocado sales reached a record of 1.9 billion pounds — double the amount consumed in 2005. The best news? This creamy fruit isn’t just popular; it’s healthy. (Surprise: avocados are technically berries, not veggies!)
Avocados are jam-packed with vitamins C, E, K, and B6 and omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also beneficial for your gut health. According to one 2018 study, avocados play a role in keeping your cardiovascular system healthy.
Guacamole isn’t the only dish you can make out of an avocado. Here are three more delicious ways to eat avocado:
- Avocado Deviled Eggs
- Beef Sliders with Avocado, Roasted Poblano Pepper, and Cotija Cheese
- Jerk Chicken with Grilled Hasselback Zucchini and Avocado Dipping Sauce
Avocados aren’t the only superfood in the berry family. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries have a robust nutritional profile as well. Blueberries, for example, are a great source of vitamin K. What’s more? Studies show that blueberries can potentially lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Berries, and strawberries, in particular, are also high in vitamin C. According to the USDA, just one cup of strawberries provides 150 mg of vitamin C — approximately 150 percent of the average adult’s daily need for vitamin C.
Berries make for a tasty snack, but did you know they’re great for full-on meals too? Here are three berry-licious dinner ideas to try this month:
- Blackberry Ricotta Pizza
- Roasted Chicken with Orange and Blueberry Sauce
- Grilled Shrimp Salad with Blackberries
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