Dieting is hard, but eating is easy. Right? That means the easiest way to drop pounds and slim down is to do exactly what you’re already doing: eat! Just make sure you’re getting in the right foods. Below, we uncover which nutrient-rich foods deserve a place in your diet daily and how to sneak them into your meals.
The term “superfood” is a fairly new term referring to foods that offer maximum nutritional benefits for minimal calories. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
The term “superfoods” is one that is often overused and misunderstood. Although there is no scientific definition to qualify a superfood, in the nutrition world, it signifies a single food that’s jam-packed with good-for-you nutrients that help keep your body healthy. There are many, many foods that are super, but as the saying goes, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
A high consumption of fruits and vegetables has long been associated with a lower risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions and overall mortality. The nutrients they contain help promote a healthy complexion, nails, and hair, increase energy levels. They can also help maintain a healthy weight.
Some foods, however, although touted as superfoods, are overhyped (and overpriced!). There are other foods (or combinations of foods) that can provide you with similar nutrients that are just as healthy. Find out which not-so-superfoods you can cross off your grocery list—and what to add instead.
Superfoods You Need To Eat
- Apples.The saying really should be “an apple a day keeps the boredom away”, because there are so many delicious ways to eat this fruit.
- Brussels Sprouts.Roasting them or combining them with a savory sauce can make these fibrous, cruciferous vegetables much more palatable.
- Cauliflower.If you love your carbs just as they are, you can also make a great, wintry side dish with the vegetable simply by roasting it with some spices.
- Tangerines.They’re a bit smaller than an orange and just as flavorful. Bump up your vitamin C this flu season with this tangy fruit! These other 10 foods will also help you get through your fall allergies.
- ACORN SQUASH.With only 56 calories per cup, this winter squash is loaded with vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, which helps prevent blood sugar spikes, keeps you full, and can even contribute to lowering cholesterol.
- BLACK SAPOTE.Known as the “chocolate pudding fruit,” this exotic-looking food tastes similar to the dessert when super-ripe. It’s soft enough to scoop out with a spoon, is high in potassium and vitamins A and C
- BEET GREENS.While slightly more bitter than other dark leafy greens, beet greens are low in calories and rich in nutrients, especially magnesium — just one cup provides more than 25 percent of your daily requirement.
- CINNAMON.Research has shown that this spice can help control blood sugar, which can in turn suppress appetite so you don’t eat when you’re not actually hungry.
- NUTMEG.Nutmeg contains eugenol, a fat-soluble antioxidant that’s important for heart health. The spice itself is highly flavorful and aromatic, adding a sensory richness to foods so you can eat less and still feel satisfied.
- MUSHROOMS.If fall’s shorter days put you in an energy slump, try mixing mushrooms into your menu. They’re one of the few foods that are naturally high in vitamin D, which has been linked with weight loss and potential mood-boosting effects.
- FIGS.Sweet and easy to eat, this often-overlooked fall fruit has tons of filling fiber, along with other important nutrients such as vitamin B6 and potassium.
- PUMPKIN SEEDS.Once you’re done carving pumpkins, roast the seeds with a drizzle of heart-healthy olive oil and you’re looking at a delicious snack or crunchy salad topper.
- TURMERIC.Research shows that turmeric is packed with anti-inflammatory properties that are good for your overall health, but that’s not the only ace up its sleeve: another study also associated the spice with lower body fat and less weight gain. Add it to stir-fries, roast chicken, your morning smoothie, or this to-die-for soup.
- PERSIMMON.A smaller, crunchier version that you can slice up for texture in a dish. Both are great sources of vitamins A and C, fiber, and B-complex vitamins. See, change can be good.
- Carrots.Is there an easier vegetable in the world? We think not, and we think you need more. Use babies to scoop hummus, shred in salads, juice in smoothies, or roast for a tasty side.
- Concord Grapes.These are ripe for the picking at farmers markets right now and ideal for juice, wine, jams, and just snacking! Slice with goat cheese for a simple green salad.
- Spinach.Make your salads with spinach; add spinach to scrambled eggs; drape it over pizza; mix it with marinara sauce and then microwave for an instant dip.
- Salmon.The high omega-3 fatty acid content in salmon and other fatty fish like trout and herring can decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats, reduce cholesterol and slow the growth of arterial plaque.
- Yogurt.Yogurt topped with blueberries, walnuts, flaxseed, and honey is the ultimate breakfast—or dessert. Plain low-fat yogurt is also a perfect base for creamy salad dressings and dips.
- Beets.Don’t let the color scare you: These crimson root vegetables are sweet, rich and buttery. And the nutritional value beets pack is so great, you really should get to know them better.
- Tomatoes.Pile on the ketchup and Ragú; guzzle low-sodium V8 and gazpacho; double the amount of tomato paste called for in a recipe.
- Green Drinks.The color of a drink shouldn’t be the determining factor of its healthfulness.
- Chia Seeds.This edible, nutty-flavored seed comes from a desert .
- Blueberries.Blueberries maintain most of their power in dried, frozen, or jam form.
- Cranberries. A great low-sugar option is to cook with the fresh ones yourself.
- Grapefruit. Grapefruit has been shown to help lower blood pressure and even improve your heart health.
- Pears. If you’re bored of apples, it’s time to pick a pear, including potassium and vitamin C.
- Pomegranate. It’s the most seductive fruit of them all. It has antioxidants, fiber, and dozens of vitality-boosting nutrients.
- Sweet Potatoes.That help our eyesight, provide a hefty dose of complex carbs, and pack lots of fiber.
- Turnips.The vegetable can also add a much-needed boost of fiber to an otherwise hearty stew.
These foods can be incorporated into a healthy diet when available, but do not go breaking the bank or searching the globe trying to find them.The secret is that any leafy green vegetable or berry commonly found in your grocery store will provide many of the same benefits found in the premium priced superfoods.
Buy your produce in season and from local sources to ensure the highest nutrient content. Do not discount your ordinary apple or carrot either; all fruits and vegetables should be referred to as superfoods. Keep in mind that the more processed foods you can replace with whole foods such as fruits or vegetables, the healthier you will be.