Superfoods are a special category of foods found in nature. By definition they are calorie sparse and nutrient dense, which means they pack a lot of punch for their weight. There are dozens of superfoods that can help lower cholesterol, decrease your heart disease risk, fight cancer, and put you in a better mood! Best of all, many of these ‘real’ unprocessed foods are very tasty and easy to find at your local grocery store.
Diet can have a profound effect on your physical and mental health, and studies have estimated that 50-70% of overall health issues could be eliminated with a healthy diet and some exercise. Integrating superfoods into your diet can help you maintain your weight, fight disease, and live longer.
Here are some multitasking superfoods that have numerous health benefits:
Beans are full of insoluble and soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol and regulate your digestive system. They’re also low-fat and a great source of protein, magnesium and potassium.
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients and are also high in potassium and vitamin C. They are anti-inflammatory and can lower your risk of cancer and heart disease. The darker the fruit, the higher the antioxidant content, and frozen berries are just as good as fresh!
Black and Green Tea both have impressive antioxidant and cholesterol reducing power, but green tea has ECGC as well. ECGC is a particularly powerful antioxidant that has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K and is also high in fiber, which can help you maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Fiber also helps you feel fuller longer so it’s a great tool for weight management.
Eggs are a great way to get quality protein and contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for brain development and minerals.
Kiwis are one of the most nutritionally dense fruits high in antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and vitamins A and E. Vitamin E is a nutrient often missing from most people’s diets, and kiwi is one of the only fruits that provides it.
Nuts are high in protein, heart-healthy fats, fiber and antioxidant content. They have also been shown to lower cholesterol and promote weight loss.
Oats and Soy, and the protein and fiber they contain, have been shown to lower cholesterol as much as statins, the most widely prescribed cholesterol medicine.
Quinoa is an ancient grain, and one of the best whole grains for you. It is high in protein, fiber, and is a great source of iron. Quinoa also has high levels of zinc, vitamin E and selenium to help control weight and lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease. Check out our recipe for Quinoa and Black Beans.
Sweet Potatoes are far ahead other vegetables in vitamin A content, and also contain significant amounts of vitamin C, calcium and potassium.
Salmon, rich in omega 3s, is good for your heart, joints and brain. The omega 3s lower heart disease risk, help arthritis and could help with memory loss and Alzheimer’s.
Yogurt is high in calcium that you already know can help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis, but some studies also show that calcium intake can aid weight loss! Additionally, yogurt is high in probiotics that can help with digestive health as well as protein and potassium.
Mix some of these nutrient-dense superfoods into your diet this month and receive a variety of health benefits!
See our monthly recipe to find out how to put together a delicious and nutritious salad featuring several of these superfoods.