The Best Superfoods
Keep this list of vitamin- and mineral-packed ingredients handy to be sure you’re filling up on foods that taste amazing and offer up tons of good-for-you nutrients.
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What Is a Superfood?
There is no one definition for a "superfood," but a classification might include a whole food that tastes amazing and has a ton of good-for-you nutrients to offer. As this list proves, you don’t need overly fancy or obscure ingredients to reap the super benefits.
This fatty fish is brimming with omega-3 fats, which have been shown to benefit skin, circulation, vision and healthy nerve function. Omega-3 intake may also reduce the risk of high blood pressure, sudden-death heart attacks, Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis.
Get the Recipe: Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Rosemary
This member of the cruciferous vegetable family (aka cabbage family) has been shown to help lower your risk of cancer. It's also packed with antioxidants like vitamins A and C. One favorite way to enjoy it is in this broccoli salad.
Get the Recipe: Lightened-Up Creamy Broccoli Salad
One cup of these blue gems has 84 calories, 21 grams of carbs and almost 4 grams of fiber. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, including vitamin C and anthocyanidins, which give these berries their gorgeous hue and may help protect against prostate cancer and glaucoma.
Get the Recipe: Blueberry Blast Smoothie
An ounce of dark chocolate a day can do the body good. All the goodness of chocolate comes from the cocoa bean. The darker the chocolate, the more nutrients you'll get. This includes the potent antioxidant theobromine, which has been shown to help reduce inflammation and help lower blood pressure.
Get the Recipe: Dana's Dark Chocolate Bark
This superstar tuber is one of the oldest around. One medium sweet potato contains more than 400 percent of your daily dose of beta-carotene (the antioxidant form of vitamin A) and the antioxidant lycopene. It's also a good source of vitamin C, fiber and heart-healthy potassium. Mash, puree or bake sweet potatoes in the skin, or slice and bake them into healthy fries.
Get the Recipe: Sweet Potato "Fries"
One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein, 15 percent of your daily dose of iron and many energy-producing B-vitamins. It’s also one of only a small number of plant-based foods that contain all the essential amino acids, plus it’s gluten-free.
Get the Recipe: Quinoa With Garlic, Pine Nuts and Raisins
Almonds are chock full of heart-healthy unsaturated fats, protein and the antioxidant vitamin E. They're a good source of fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus and copper. Choose raw or blanched almonds if you are watching your intake of sodium.
Get the Recipe: Spiced Almonds
With more than twice the hunger-fighting protein per ounce than traditional yogurt, this tart and creamy yogurt is a must-have. Use it to make smoothies, to lighten up sauces, as a condiment or just enjoy it topped with your favorite fruit.
Get the Recipe: Greek Yogurt
Beans are not only good for your heart — they’re also good for your wallet. This legume powerhouse is packed with protein, carbohydrates and fiber (the type that helps lower your risk for colon cancer and decreases cholesterol).
Eggs are a versatile and affordable protein-rich food that also contains coveted nutrients hard to come by in other foods, including omega-3s, choline and vitamin D. According to the latest research, healthy individuals can enjoy an egg per day as part of a heart-healthy routine.
These tiny black seeds have gained a ton of (well-deserved) attention in recent years, offering up plenty of plant-based fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Their ability to "gel" when soaked in liquid also makes them a welcomed addition to vegan puddings and baked goods as an egg replacement.
Higher in protein than any other nut, pistachios also provide fiber and those healthy unsaturated fats, making them one satisfying superfood. Add whole or chopped shelled pistachios to trail mix, salads or baked goods, or use them as a coating for chicken or fish.
Here’s a legume to love! A study published in 2014 linked a steady intake of pulses, including lentils, to lower "bad" cholesterol levels. Lentils make a delightfully earthy addition to soups, chili, salads, meatballs and burgers.
Sprinkle ground flax into smoothies, oats, muffins, granola and even meatballs. Each tablespoon of this super seed contains protein, iron, fiber, magnesium and omega-3 fats.
Refreshing, hydrating and naturally sweet — a superfood trifecta. Watermelon is a summertime favorite for good reason. The white rind is also one of the best sources of citrulline, an amino acid with a continuing body of research to support its beneficial effects.
Teeming with vitamin K, potassium, iron and calcium, kale benefits bone, blood and muscle health. From salads and soups to quiche and chips, kale is a superfood that never seems to go out of style.
There aren’t many people who don’t love the creamy goodness of peanut butter. In both sweet and savory recipes, peanut butter adds depth and flavor like no other ingredient. A comprehensive study published in 2016 supports that peanuts can help fight inflammation and play a role in weight management, heart health, diabetes and brain health.
There are endless super recipes for this superfood. Whether you choose a bowl of guac or spoonfuls of vegan ice cream, take advantage of the healthy monounsaturated fats and the antioxidant lutein to benefit your eyes and skin.
The nutritional benefits of this root veggie can’t be BEET! In addition to the countless inflammation-fighting antioxidants, beets contain naturally occurring nitrates to help lower blood pressure.
These bright-green soybeans pack in 10 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber in just a half-cup. Soy is one of the few plant-based proteins with the same amino acids as meat, making edamame an ideal choice for vegan and vegetarian meals and snacks.
Talk about superfood goodness from an affordable and versatile whole food! The soluble fiber in oats benefits digestion and is a superhero for heart health. Oats have also been linked to having an anticancer effect.