With a kajillion diets to choose from, picking the right foods can get tricky. But an easy way to get plenty of nutrients is to add superfoods to your diet.
But what are superfoods? Foods with superpowers, right? Kind of. Superfoods are foods packed with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re usually plant-based but can also include some meats and dairy.
Here are 25 superfoods to help spice up your health life. There’s something for everyone!
Greek yogurt — kefir’s thicker, creamier cousin — is chock-full of probiotics. These microorganisms are great for digestion and promote a healthy gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome. Plus, it’s a protein-packed snack and a 10/10 substitute for heavier choices like sour cream, cream cheese, and mayo.
This teeny-tiny, pseudograin packs some serious nutritional prowess. Quinoa is one of the only grain– or seed-like foods that provides all nine essential amino acids. It’s also a protein powerhouse — 8.14 grams per 1-cup serving to be exact! BTW, it boasts a delish nutty flavor that works well in soups, salads, or solo.
Blueberries are known for their sweet flavor. But it turns out, they’re as nutritious as they are delicious! This popular fruit is filled with fiber, vitamin C, and cancer-fighting compounds. Berrylicious bonus: A 2010 study suggests blueberries can even improve memory! But keep in mind, this was an animal study. So we still need more research on humans to show these results are for real.
This rough and tough green is a nutritional superstar. Kale is a killer source of calcium, vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. We also love that it’s super affordable and can work into a TON of dishes. You can boil, steam, roast, or stew it. But it’s also *chefs kiss* tasty as a salad base.
Ch-ch-ch-chia! Yep, this little seed is the same as those adorable little ceramic animal planters of the 90s! But don’t worry, the nutritious part is not the clay pot. A single serving of seeds is a great source of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. They also have high antioxidant content and may help fight free radicals.
Oatmeal is high in fiber, antioxidants, and tons of other nutrients. It may help lower cholesterol levels, aid in digestion, and even improve metabolism. Oh, and the fact that it’s downright delicious is def an added bonus. Pro tip: Try one of these oat-mazing overnight oat recipes!
Green tea has been used as a natural remedy for centuries. It’s been historically used to treat everything from cancer to heart disease. The secret to this delicious drink? Antioxidants! This includes Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a phytochemical that slows irregular cell growth.
Some studies suggest EGCG can even prevent certain types of cancers. But most research has been done in-vitro or on animals, so we def need more human studies to show this is legit.
This lean, mean, green machine is packed with vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting compounds, and fiber. Though all members of the cruciferous vegetable family are super-duper healthy, broccoli stands out for its high levels of vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. So get to chopping 🥦!
Just one cup of these red beauties satisfies the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) of vitamin C — 90 milligrams for peeps who have a penis and 75 milligrams for folks who have a vagina. This nutrient helps your immune system function on fleek and may stave off certain types of cancers. P.S. It has a lot of perks for your peepers too 👀.
This heart-healthy fish is packed with protein and a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies suggest salmon might reduce the risk of heart disease and breast cancer. There’s also a chance it can reduce pain and inflammation in people who have rheumatoid arthritis.
Low in sugar and high in vitamins A and C, this summer treat is the perfect fresh, low calorie snack. Studies suggest watermelon might help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. But wait, there’s more! The lycopene content in watermelon gives tomatoes a run for their money. Studies show lycopene might help protect the body from UV rays.
Antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and vitamins that bolster bone health are what make Popeye’s secret weapon so special. A 100-gram serving of raw spinach fulfills almost 10 percent of your RDA of calcium. It’s also a top-notch vitamin K source which means it may also reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
These nutritious nuts are a solid source of protein and fiber. They’re also one of the most vitamin B6-rich foods on the block. A 1-ounce serving (which is about 49 nuts) has about 0.482 milligrams of the stuff. They’re also rich in antioxidants and may reduce your risk of hypertension, diabetes, and other inflammatory conditions.
A relatively inexpensive protein source loaded with nutrients, eggs certainly earn their superfood status. One large egg has about 70 calories and offers 6 grams of protein. Eggs are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for normal body function and heart health. Oh, and they’re keto-friendly.
Almonds are basically the perfect on-the-go snack. They offer a high concentration of nutrients per calorie per ounce. A 1-ounce serving (about 23 nuts) provides 3.54 grams of fiber, 6.01 grams of protein, and 6.12 grams of carbs. You’ll also get a dope dose of potassium, calcium, vitamin E, magnesium, and iron.
Slightly spicy but oh-so-enjoyable, ginger has been used for years for its banging flavor and plentiful health perks. It’s a natural nemesis of nausea and works well as a morning sickness remedy. Ginger can also be used to lower blood sugar levels which is great news for folks who have diabetes. You can add ginger to lots of rad recipes. Psst: It makes a terrific tea.
Beets are the bomb. They contain vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help fight diseases and encourage a healthy immune system. Some animal studies suggest that betalains — the purple pigment that gives beets their signature purplish color — may help ward off cancer and other degenerative diseases.
High in protein and low in cholesterol, beans of any variety can add a healthy twist to any dish. They’re also loaded with fiber, folate, and magnesium. Studies have shown that legumes (like beans) can actually help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cancer. But TBH, we need more research to prove all the perks.
This fall favorite isn’t just for carving 🎃. Pumpkins are packed with healthful antioxidants and vitamins. The star nutrient here is beta-carotene, a provitamin that the body converts to vitamin A. Beta-carotene is known for its immune boosting powers. There’s also a chance it can reduce your risk of age-related eye disease.
Can an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Prob not. But apples are a great low calorie source of essential nutrients. Upping apple intake has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and asthma. More good news: Apples are affordable and super versatile.
It’s time to work this Thanksgiving staple into dishes all year long. Cranberries have a handful of health benefits and disease-fighting powers. Studies show they may reduce the risk of heart disease and improve oral health. There’s also some in-vitro research that suggests they can help slow cancer cell growth, but we need more proof.
Sorry Dracula. Garlic is where it’s at. Yes, it might leave your breath on the pungent side but garlic might help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. It also has some antifungal properties that might make it a decent yeast infection remedy. But please don’t insert garlic into your vajayjay 🧄.
Cauliflower is a great source of choline which can help with muscle movement, memory, and sleep. It also has vitamin K which can improve calcium absorption and help strengthen bones. P.S. Cauliflower contains indole-3-carbinol (I3C), an antioxidant that’s been linked to a reduced risk of reproductive cancers and breast cancer. Just keep in mind, we still don’t know if these positive perks are linked to cauliflower or to veggies in general.
Move over onions. Leeks — which are also part of the allium family — are full of pectic polysaccharides. Studies show this substance offers top-notch perks for your immune system. Some research also suggests leeks can help protect the digestive system from stomach and gastric cancers. But we need more research to prove these perks.
Lentils are cheap, easy to prepare, and high in nutrients like protein and iron. The iron may help reduce your risk of certain types of anemia. They’re also full of fiber and will keep you feeling satisfied. Bonus: They’re versatile AF. You can use lentils to make soup, salads, sides, and desserts!
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet doesn’t have to be boring. This list of 25 superfoods will keep your plate healthy and fresh. Just keep in mind, you should always chat with your doc before making any major changes to your diet or lifestyle.