What are “Super foods”? They are nutrition packed foods with high levels of nutrients and health benefits with the fewest number of calories. Super foods are nutritional powerhouses that help build bones, prevent chronic diseases, improve eyesight, and even keep your mind sharp. Many of these super foods have significant health benefits and there are countless reasons to include these foods in your diet daily. Utilize the super food list below to determine what foods will benefit your current weight loss plans and how you can incorporate them into your daily life.
How to prepare
|Crucifers (Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts)||Vitamins A, C, K, fiber||Fight carcinogens and prevent cancer||Raw, steamed, stir-fried|
|Asparagus||Folic acid||Aids in blood cell formation, growth, as well as prevention of liver disease and spina bifida||Steamed, stir-fried; add to salads or rice dishes|
|Leafy green vegetables (dark leaf lettuces, spinach, chard, kale)||Niacin, zinc, folate, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, iron, fiber||Healthy circulation, blood cells, immune and digestive system function||Use in soups, quiches, salads, or ethnic dishes|
|Orange-fleshed carbohydrates (pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot)||Vitamins A, C; calcium; potassium||Healthy immune system, strong bones, healthy kidney function and muscle contraction||Buy canned or fresh, add to soups, pies, casseroles|
|Berries (blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.)||High in vitamin C, antioxidants, phytonutrients**, flavonoids, potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber||Cranberries benefit urinary health; all berries assist in a healthy immune system, strong connective tissue, healthy vision, and cancer prevention||Eat as a snack; add to cereal or yogurt, muffins, breads, smoothies, jellies, chutneys|
|Cold water fish (wild salmon, herring, sardines)||Omega-3 fatty acids, protein||Reduce inflammation and cholesterol, build muscle, heart health, mental health||Smoke, grill, bake, use instead of meat in tacos or over salad|
|Nuts and seeds (walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, etc.)||Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, fiber, protein||Regulate blood flow; improve cardiovascular kidney and neurological health||Snack on raw nuts and seeds; add to cereals, yogurt, trail mixes, salads and cooked dishes, such as stir-fries and soups|
|Eggs||Vitamins A, B12, D; riboflavin, carotenoids, iron||Better neurological function and reduced inflammation. Carotenoids helps protect against cancer, heart disease, and contribute to healthy eyes.||Prepared scrambled, hard boiled, in salads,|
|Yogurt (low-fat, greek, naturally sweetened or plain)||Calcium; vitamin D, B2, and B12; riboflavin, beneficial bacteria||Healthy digestion, strong bones, improved mood, nervous and immune system function, protein and red blood cell metabolism||Eat as a snack; use as a sauce for Indian or Greek dishes, or as a base for dips, salad dressings, fruit and yogurt parfaits|
|Legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts, soybeans)||Folate, iron, zinc, calcium, fiber, protein||Healthy blood cell formation and function, bone strength, digestion and cell regrowth throughout the body||Base for hummus and dips; mix with rice for complete protein; soups, stews, casseroles, in tacos, as side dish, salads|
|Whole grain (quinoa, barley, millet, oats, flax, etc.)||Manganese, magnesium, iron, protein, riboflavin, fiber, phosphorus, selenium||Reduce headaches; improve heart health, digestion, blood sugar regulation, cell development, and energy metabolism||Eat in place of rice or other grains during meals, include in soups; make a hearty breakfast; add to breads|
|Green Tea||Flavonoids* (ECGC)||Anticancer and antioxidant activity||Drink hot or iced; add to smoothies|
|Dark Chocolate||Antioxidant, potassium, copper, magnesium, iron||Prevent oxidative damage to cells, prevent stroke and cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, prevent type 2-diabetes||On fruit, graham crackers, sugar free pudding|
*Phytochemical: a plant chemical that helps to keep plants healthy. These same plant chemicals help protect humans from disease and boost the immune system.*Carotenoid: a type of phytochemical that has a strong antioxidant effect. A diet rich in carotenoids helps protect against cancer and heart disease and contribute to healthy eyes.*Flavonoid: a large family of polyphenolic compounds synthesized by plants. They function in the body as antioxidants, which can protect blood vessels, protect cells from oxidative damage, and prevent inflammation.
See a few super food recipes below!
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth. Serve immediately.
Tuna Salad with Greek yogurt
Whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, and lemon zest and juice; season with salt and pepper. Stir in tuna, celery, and apple. Serve with bread, onion, cucumber, and sprouts.