Delicious Superfoods that Fit Into Any Diet
Add these healthy superfoods to your diet to feel your best and maximize your nutrition. At Meal Village, we make a healthy diet easy and delicious by delivering nutritionist-prepared meals to your door every day.
You've probably heard the term "superfood" before. But what are superfoods, really? And more importantly, which superfoods are the best to eat for health and longevity? We've compiled a list of superfoods and their health benefits to make your healthy eating choices a bit easier.
What Are Superfoods ?
What makes a superfood comes down to the specific compounds, vitamins and minerals present in a raw food. This includes the essential nutrients your body needs to function at its best.
Think macronutrients like protein, fat and carbohydrates. But also micronutrients like vitamin C, calcium, zinc and magnesium. The best superfoods are also full of additional naturally-occurring compounds like antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents and antimicrobials, which all play unique roles in your overall health.
8 Superfoods to Add to Your Diet
Here are 8 of the best superfoods to eat more of for your long-term health and well being.
Salmon is known as a "brain food" for a reason. This oily fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, with a 3.5-ounce serving offering 2.3 grams of these essential fats. The fat in salmon is shown to fight inflammation, reduce blood pressure and may even reduce your risk of cancer. In addition, the high levels of vitamin B in salmon support brain and nervous system functioning.
Our Lemon Roasted Salmon with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli is a meal jam-packed with nutrients and healthy fats.
Blueberries are full of antioxidants, which fight free radicals and may help reduce your risk of cancer. They're also naturally high in fiber and low in calories, which makes these berries a great superfood for weight loss. A one-cup serving of blueberries contains 84 calories and 4 grams of filling dietary fiber.
If you start your day with oatmeal, you're off to a great start nutritionally. Whole rolled oats are not only naturally gluten-free, but they also pack an impressive amount of essential vitamins. One cup of cooked oatmeal (from a half cup of dry oats) offers 77% of the daily recommended value of iron, 35% of the daily recommended value of vitamin B-6 and 4 grams of dietary fiber. It's especially important for vegetarians to eat iron-rich foods, as most of the iron we consume comes from animal products. Iron is essential for producing hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to your body through red blood cells.
4. Sweet Potatoes
As a general rule, the more colors you can get on your plate, the more vitamins and minerals you're eating. And orange is one of those colors that can be hard to pin down. Sweet potatoes, however, are a delicious choice and an excellent source of vitamin A. In fact, one 200-gram cooked sweet potato contains almost 800% of the daily value of vitamin A, which promotes eye health and supports the immune system. For maximum nutrition, keep the skin on your potato.
It probably comes as no surprise that leafy greens like kale, spinach, bok choy, and swiss chard are some of the healthiest superfoods you can eat. These fiber-rich veggies are low in calories but high in nutrients including vitamin C, calcium, iron and vitamin B-6. Vitamin C is important for a high-functioning immune system that protects against viruses, bacteria and other invaders. Aim to eat two to four cups of raw leafy green vegetables per day.
Nuts and seeds are the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. And walnuts, in particular, are prized for their nutritional value. Like salmon, walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. They also offer antioxidants. Note that walnuts are high in calories, so don't exceed one serving of these healthy nuts per day. One ounce of raw walnuts contains 185 calories, 18 grams of fat and 4.3 grams of protein.
The bold red color of beets indicates this root vegetable's high nutrient content. Beets are low in calories but high in dietary fiber and even contain protein. One cup contains just 59 calories, 4 grams of fiber and 2.2 grams of protein. They're also high in vitamin C, iron and magnesium, which is essential for bone health. Studies suggest that beets can help regular blood pressure, which can reduce the risk of fatal diseases like heart attack and stroke. Athletes appreciate the high nitrate content of beets, which helps increase oxygen flow through the body for faster muscle recovery after a hard workout.
Apples are not only easy to find in most places and affordable, but they're also full of antioxidants that may help prevent cancer. The high fiber content in the fruit (especially if you eat the skin) helps improve digestion and keep your gut microbiome healthy. Apples also make a portable and convenient snack for school, work and travel.
If you're looking for more ways to add superfoods to your diet, we take the guesswork and confusion out of healthy eating by delivering chef- and nutritionist-prepared meals to your home, school or office in the Chicago area. See our current menu and sign up today!
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