Superfoods are a hot topic these days — and rightfully so. Thanks to so many people wanting to take charge of their health through dietary choices, adding superfoods to a healthy diet is certainly on-trend.
If you are new to the superfood trend and want to learn a bit more about this popular term, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn the ins and outs of why people can’t get enough of these nutritional powerhouses.
What Are Superfoods?
While there is no official definition for the word “superfood”, typically, people lean on this term as a way to label foods that are nutrient-dense or loaded with other beneficial factors, like antioxidants.
So which foods earn the title “superfood”? Since fruits and veggies are oftentimes jam-packed with nutrients, many superfoods are varieties of produce. Seeds and nuts can be superfoods too, as are certain whole grains and other varieties of food.
The Benefits of Superfoods
If you know the benefits of eating fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, then you already know the benefits of superfoods. Anything that loads your body up with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds can help your body combat chronic disease, give your body a boost of energy, and offer loads of other important benefits.
Some beneficial effects you can expect to experience when you include superfoods in your overall healthy diet include:
- Immune support
- Anti-inflammatory benefits
- Heart-health support
- Cognitive support
- Energy support
- Skin health enhancement
- Digestive health support
5 Superfoods to Add to Your Diet
One walk through your grocery store or local farmer’s market will present you with a wide variety of superfoods that can be included in an overall healthy diet quite easily.
Among the sea of superfood choices out there, we’re narrowing down our top five picks. Keep reading to find out which superfoods should make an appearance in your dishes at least once a week!
We know that berries are a totally predictable superfood to start this list, but nothing quite comes close to the amazing benefits that berries offer. From raspberries to blueberries to the ever-popular strawberry, eating berries will fuel your body with fiber, antioxidants, and a wide variety of micronutrients.
Including berries in your diet is linked to improved brain health, heart health, and even gut health, thanks to the natural nutrients these little powerhouses provide.
You can enjoy berries as a topping on your oatmeal, as a sub for jelly in your PB and J sandwiches, or simply plain on their own.
#2 Dark Chocolate
Yes, your beloved chocolate is a superfood, as long as you are opting for the dark version and not milk or white varieties. Dark chocolate is chock-full of flavonoids, antioxidants, and minerals like magnesium, enhancing your health in a wide variety of ways. Opt for chocolate that is at least 60% cacao for maximum benefits!
Enjoy a few dark chocolate squares as a post-dinner treat, chop it up and use it as a topping for smoothie bowls or breakfast bowls, or toss a handful into your favorite baked goods.
Channeling your inner Popeye and enjoying spinach can be a superfood addition we can all benefit from. Jam-packed with antioxidants, fiber, and a slew of vitamins and minerals, this veggie can certainly elevate any dish.
Eating spinach can be especially important when trying to support eye health, thanks to the lutein and zeaxanthin this veggie contains. Additionally, vitamin K can help support heart and bone health, making it an ultimate superfood that is easy to enjoy.
A fresh spinach salad is always a welcomed addition to dinnertime. Spinach can also be added to smoothies, eggs, soups, and really any dish that could use a little more green.
#4 Chia Seeds
Don’t let the tiny size of the chia seeds fool you. These small but mighty seeds contain plant-based protein, fiber, calcium, iron, antioxidants, and healthy fats, making them an all-around great choice for your healthy diet.
Add chia seeds to your baked goods, sprinkle them on top of your smoothies, or whip up a classic chia pudding to include these teeny superfoods in your diet.
#5 Fermented Foods
Yogurt, kimchi, and miso have one very important thing in common — they are all fermented foods. Fermented foods have live cultures that help support many aspects of our health, including gut health.
To include fermented foods in your diet, top your eggs with some kimchi, enjoy a Greek yogurt parfait at breakfast time, or add some sauerkraut to your sandwich. Just be sure to include prebiotic fiber foods (like Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, or a slightly underripe banana) to your diet to essentially “feed” the live cultures.
RELATED: The Best Foods For a Healthier Gut According to an RD
Enjoy Superfoods For A Boost Of Nutrition
Along with following a healthy and balanced diet, including superfoods on your plate will only serve you well. From giving your gut important fiber to fueling your brain with key antioxidants, superfoods can help elevate your health in a natural (and delicious) way.
Since there isn’t an official definition for the term superfood, you can navigate what qualifies as one of these foods based on what is important to you. Does the food or drink offer a lot of nutrients or beneficial compounds? Does including this food offer any nutritional benefit? If you answered yes, then you are eating a superfood, my friend!
Now, go enjoy a superfood smoothie or a superfood salad, knowing that you are giving your body a boost of exactly what it needs.