If you were to ask 10 health experts to rate the best super foods to include in your everyday diet, they will give you 10 different lists. Also, their food choices might overlap. Why? The reason is that each food offers something different: Few are protein rich while others are full of fibers but might be lacking in certain minerals and vitamins. Hence, the trick is to include most of them in your diet to make sure that you are acquiring the entire nutrition your body deserves. If you are confused with what to pick and what not to, here are 15 great foods to start with.
15 Best Super Foods To Include In Your Diet
Though there are no medical or legal definitions, super foods are reported to be “nutrient powerhouses”, which pack huge doses of vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and antioxidants. Hence, consuming them on a daily basis greatly helps in reducing the risk of deadly diseases. Research has proved that people, who eat these 15 foods are much thinner and healthier than people, who don’t.
- Rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and fibers
- Makes your skin glow
- Helps your body to fight against oxidative stress
- Reduces the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases
- Lowers bad cholesterol (because it is loaded with fiber)
- Improves memory
- Maintains a healthy and proper digestive system
We aren’t specifying just one berry here. When we say berries – it includes all: blueberries, strawberries, goji berries, raspberries, acai berries, blackberries, cranberries, cherries and bilberries. All of these are claimed “super foods” because they are great sources of fiber, a nutrient that many Americans lack in.
- Rich in vitamin C, folate, dietary fiber and antioxidants
- Fights infections
- Lowers high cholesterol
- Controls blood pressure and heart beat
- Protects from oral cavity and lung cancers
- Good for eye vision
- Boosts immunity
- Prevents hair loss, skin ageing and constipation
One of the most common and available citrus fruits is none other than “Orange”. They are not only known for their yummy juice and pulpy slices but also for their sweet yet tangy flavor. Otherwise called “The Golden Apple”, an orange has many benefits than you would have imagined. It not only covers health benefits but beauty aspects as well. It helps in the production of white blood cells, fights infections, protects body cells, generates skin-firming collagen and lots more. So, make sure you don’t miss this super food in your daily diet.
- Rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium and fibers
- Prevents few cancers
- Lowers high cholesterol
- Protects skin from UV rays
- Good for hair, skin, heart, kidneys and eyes
- Maintains strong bones
When you hear the word “tomato”, we think of its incredible versatility. An ingredient with which you can make hundreds of yummy dishes and at the same time, it can be consumed raw. But apart from its deliciousness, did you know that it packs lots and lots of health benefits too? Tomatoes have an antioxidant called “lycopene”, a rarely found nutrient in natural foods is reported to protect the skin from harmful ultra violet rays and prevents certain cancer types too. In fact, cooked tomatoes make more lycopene. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and cook a healthy tomato soup.
- Rich in vitamins (A, C, K), antioxidants, iron, magnesium, potassium and minerals
- Maintains healthy skin and
- Makes sure that you are bones are strong
- Improves eye health
- Prevents bone loss
- Incorporates anti-cancer properties
Believe it or not, cooking spinach can actually increase its overall health benefits. Just ½ cup of cooked spinach gives you 3 times more nutrition than 1 cup of raw spinach. This is because your body cannot break down all the nutrients completely from raw spinach. This super food is not only easy to cook but also a good source of folate, a vitamin that produces DNA and further forms fresh healthy cells. So, make sure to add spinach in your next shopping list but pick tender spinach leaves because bigger leaves are more mature and are likely to be stringy.
- Rich in proteins, complex carbs, fibers, copper, minerals, vitamins, zinc, iron, manganese…
- Fights cancer
- Lowers the risk of heart problems
- Lowers cholesterol
- Helps in weight loss
- Manages diabetes
We have all heard about the popular phrase – “shop the perimeter of a store”. However, if you hop the middle, you are missing a wealth of healthy and scrumptious food choices. Supermarket shelves are occupied with many hidden treasures, which you should not pass up and one among them is – beans, one of the most under-valued and neglected items. Beans offer countless health advantages and they fit into many food groups. Even though they have been there since centuries, they are still a contemporary super food. Why? Because they are more of nutritional powerhouses bundled with B vitamins, potassium, iron and fibers. The best part — they are extremely low in fat.
- Rich in proteins, minerals and proteins
- Has low glycemic index
- Enhances metabolism
- Lowers high glucose and cholesterol levels
- Relives constipation
- Prevents heart problems
- Helps in energy production
- Sustains healthy bones
- Helps in weight loss
4000 years ago, quinoa used be a prime ingredient in ancient Incan diets, as they believed that it increased their warriors’ stamina. Claimed as the “Super Grain of the Future”, it is an amazing, grain-like and tiny food. With a texture akin to couscous or rice and a slight, nutty flavor, quinoa is one among those natural seeds or grains that offers all the 9 important amino acids, which our body fails to produce by themselves.
- Rich in vitamins (A, C, K), fiber, calcium, iron and antioxidants
- Prevents heart disorders
- Lowers cholesterol
- Good for brain
- Has some anti-cancer properties
- Helps in natural weight loss
- Boosts your cardiovascular system
- Keeps your liver healthy
The “Queen of Greens” – Kale is one of the best super foods. This tough, rough green beats all the other fruits and vegetables in terms of antioxidants and other essential nutrients. It is a great source of iron, calcium and fiber. Whether you are steaming, stewing, roasting or boiling it, it is 100% healthy. Hence, this nutrient-dense super food is something you should be eating on a regular basis.
- Rich sources of vitamin E, Folic acid, B vitamins, potassium, proteins and fibers
- Makes you smart
- Improves your cardiovascular health
- Good for your skin, eyes and hair
- Reduces cholesterol and unwanted fat
- Prevents cancer
Did you know that the amount of potassium found in avocadoes is two times higher than what you get from a banana? This is the reason why we did not talk about “banana” in this list. When we say “super food”, an ingredient has to be up to the mark. Now, we are not asking you to stop eating banana or opposing that it is unhealthy. It is just that avocado qualifies to be a super food.
9. Sweet Potatoes
- Controls blood sugar
- Maintains energy
- Relieves stress
- Good got your skin and hair
- Increases your immunity
- Prevents cancer
- Improves digestion
Even though they are creamy and soft enough to stuff in pies and desserts, sweet potatoes come with a whole lot of nutrition. Otherwise labeled as “yams”, this tummy dark orange-fleshed vegetable is a powerhouse of nutrition. Their weight and health management advantages surpass the nutritional value seen in normal light yellow-fleshed potatoes. You will be surprised in reading that fact that sweet potatoes have two times more fiber than other potatoes. Hence, they make a brilliant starchy addition to a meal.
- Rich in vitamins (A, B6, C), antioxidants, minerals and potassium
- Relieves muscle soreness
- Lowers blood pressure
- Protects from UV rays
- Improves sexual health
- Nourishes your skin and eyes
- Keeps your body hydrated
- Burns body fat
Constituting about 92% water, watermelons are one of the delicious, colorful, refreshing and healthy super foods you will ever find on earth. The best time to consume watermelons is undoubtedly summertime. Many studies have also shown that consuming watermelons on a regular basis helps in lowering high blood pressure and reduces the chances of cardiovascular problems.
11. Green Tea
- Improves brain function and physical performance
- Burns your fat
- Lowers the risk of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular problems
- Packed with antioxidants
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages in the world and this is the reason why it qualifies to be on our top 15 super foods list. The taste might not be that good but yes, it packs a whole lot of health benefits you would have ever thought. Native to china, green tea has known to have amazing medicinal values too. Whether it is iced, hot or with honey, it is sure to improve your overall health.
- Rich in vitamins (A, C, K), antioxidants and phytonutrients
- Improve bone health and vitamin D deficiency
- Fights against cancer, heart strokes and other heart diseases
- Reduces cholesterol, allergy and inflammation
- Suppresses the growth of tumors
A member of the cabbage family, broccoli is claimed as one of the healthiest foods. Not all will like its taste but when it comes to health benefits, it is packed with a whole lot of minerals, vitamins, fibers and disease-fighting compounds. Although all the members of cruciferous veggie family are incredibly healthy, broccoli out beats them by possessing great levels of folate and vitamin C.
13. Greek Yogurt
- Rich in proteins, B12, probiotics, iodine, calcium and potassium
- Easy to digest
- Has a rich taste
- Controls elevated blood pressure
- Eases bloating, diarrhea and flatulence
- Improves bone health
Greek yogurt is prepared by separating the liquid whey, thereby, giving you a thicker texture and a healthier product with very few sugar and carbohydrates. In fact, it has two times more protein than regular yogurt. Once you consume it, the extra protein makes sure you are full and 100% satisfied.
- Rich in vitamins (B2, B6, B12), proteins, zinc, copper and iron
- Helps in raising good cholesterol
- Reduces the risk of heart diseases
- Improves eye health
So, which came first – the egg or the debate about its nutritional value? One day, health experts say that eating eggs is really healthy and the next day, they say that eggs are terrible. So, what to believe? Well, the controversy comes down to the cholesterol contained in eggs. Excess can be a real trouble. Hence, the American Heart Association suggests a healthy adult to never exceed 300 mg cholesterol a day. 1 big egg has 186 mg cholesterol while a smaller one has 141 mg. So, if you are having 1 egg with some other vegetable or fruit, that also has cholesterol in it, just make sure that you don’t exceed the recommended “300 mg”. Eat in a way so that you properly balance it.
- Rich in protein, monounsaturated fats, minerals, fibers and vitamins
- Lowers your bad cholesterol
- Improves your memory
- Cleanses your body
- Helps in weight control
- Lowers the risk of cancer
They say that “Nuts have it all” and it is certainly true. Just a handful of them a day keeps your body fit. Moreover, they make a great snack. So rather having those cookies, chocolate bars and other junks, just have a few of these.
- Hummus is prepared by adding chickpeas, lemon, oil and sesame paste. Good combination of these ingredients make this food a super energizing.
- Chickpeas present in the hummus are good in complex carbs & fiber. Our body uses these nutrients for steady energy.
- Also, the paste made from sesame and oil are rich in healthy fats. All of these ingredients will help you to slow down the metabolize of carbs. This actually helps to get rid of sugar spikes.
Hummus can be enjoyed as a dip for vegetables. It can also be used as dressing with sandwitches or other dishes
- Seeds such as chia seeds, flax seed and pumpkin seeds could also increase energy levels.
- These seeds are generally rich in vegetable omega-3 fatty acids. Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to increased inflammation and fatigue.
Fatty acids are also an important source of stored energy and help cells function properly.In addition, seeds are a good source of fiber and protein. Seed fiber contributes to the slow digestion of nutrients, resulting in a constant and prolonged release of energy.
- Beet has recently gained popularity due to its ability to improve energy and endurance.
- Studies have shown that beet can improve blood flow due to its content of antioxidants and natural nitrates.
- As with green leafy vegetables, nitrates are compounds that help to increase nitric oxide and improve blood flow throughout the body, allowing a greater supply of oxygen to the tissues. This has the ability to increase energy levels, especially for athletic performance.
- In addition, beets are filled with carbohydrates, fiber and sugar for a prolonged increase in energy.
One cup of beet (136 grams) can provide up to 3.8 grams of fiber and 9.2 grams of natural sugars.
Hope you enjoyed knowing the super foods. This list might not be complete. Hence, you can drop the other healthy foods in the comments box so that others learn about them.