Not all "Superfoods" need to be fluorescent exotic berries harvested from the depths of the Brazilian Rainforest, dried into dust and sold for a jillion dollars. A superfood is any nutrient-dense food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.
Quinoa is a gluten-free superfood rich in fiber, protein and fatty acids. It also contains a healthy dose of magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc, which are important minerals for maintaining normal bodily functions. Substitute quinoa for white rice and combine it with other healthy foods.
2. Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are a nutrient-dense superfood rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin A and several other nutrients. This superfood promotes bowel movement and increases feelings of fullness to help with weight loss. Bake sweet potatoes in the oven or cook them in boiling water for a nutritious and filling meal.
Avocados are excellent energy sources because they are rich in carbohydrates and healthy fats. They’re also loaded with fiber, beta carotene, potassium, magnesium and vitamins C, E and K. Make an avocado smoothie or consume the whole fruit to boost your energy levels.
Chickpeas are one of the most energizing foods in the legume family. This nutritious superfood is an excellent source of carbohydrates, protein and fiber, as well as iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamin K. Roast chickpeas for a healthy snack or add them to salads.
Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits and vegetables. This low-calorie, fiber-rich superfood is packed with a type of flavonoid called anthocyanins. Studies show that anthocyanins help boost heart health and aid in the prevention of certain cancers. Eat fresh blueberries as a snack or a topping to oatmeal, pancakes and waffles.
Almonds are heart-healthy nuts packed with protein, vitamin E, magnesium, copper and manganese. Research shows that vitamin E helps prevent plaque buildup in your arteries, which can otherwise restrict blood flow. Consume almonds as a snack or add them to salads.
7. Brown rice
Brown rice is a nutritious, gluten-free grain that contains impressive amounts of fiber, manganese and other nutrients. This grain helps ease constipation, control cholesterol levels and promote weight loss. Eat brown rice instead of white rice to boost your nutrient intake.
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, thiamine, folate and many other nutrients. This delicious fruit can boost your immune health and is beneficial for your skin and blood pressure. Be sure to eat the whole orange instead of drinking orange juice as the fruit contains more pulp while most commercial fruit juices are stuffed with added sugar and calories.
9. Kidney beans
Kidney beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates. This superfood promotes weight loss, improves digestion and supports healthy blood sugar levels. Add kidney beans to stews, burritos and other foods or use them as a substitute for meat.
Spinach is a low-calorie vegetable packed with iron, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids and many other nutrients. Spinach is better eaten fresh, though you can also steam it for a couple of minutes. Add this vegetable to salads or eat it as a snack.
Apples are excellent energy boosters and are loaded with fiber, vitamin C, potassium and other nutrients. This low-calorie superfood promotes the growth of good gut bacteria (it is considered a "prebiotic") and boosts immune health. Eat fresh and unpeeled apples to maximize their health benefits.
Beets are rich in fiber and nutrients like manganese and folate. A low-calorie yet energizing superfood, beets help you stay alert and improve your body’s oxygen use. Include fresh beets in salads and juices to boost your energy levels.