Incorporating Superfoods into Your Everyday Routine
With so many different guidelines on what the “right” diet is, and which foods are good or bad for you, simply deciding what to eat can be more than a little overwhelming at times.
There isn’t one perfect food that provides all the nutrition we need. However, research shows that consistently making healthy food choices has numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, and diabetes.
One way to create healthy eating habits is by incorporating superfoods into your diet regularly. While not perfect, superfoods are good for you.
What Are Superfoods?
Superfoods aren’t designated as their own food group, but they do have something in common: A particularly high concentration of beneficial nutrients. Their makeup includes a powerful combination of cancer-fighting antioxidants, heart-healthy “good” fats, and fiber, which aids in digestive health.
Here are five superfoods and suggestions on how to integrate more of them into your meals.
Berries are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants, fiber and flavonoids. Frozen berries are just as beneficial as fresh ones, so you can enjoy them anytime, not just when they’re in season. While blueberries are the best-known superfood berries, other berries such as strawberries, goji, acai and raspberries have powerful nutritional benefits as well.
Add berries to smoothies, yogurt, cereal or oatmeal, or eat them on their own.
Greens including spinach, kale and Swiss chard are excellent sources of calcium, fiber and vitamins A and C. Eating just one serving of greens each day can protect against certain types of cancer and birth defects. They’re also low in calories, and research indicates that leafy greens have mental health benefits.
Sauté greens in heart-healthy olive oil and garlic, use them to create a superfood salad, or add a handful of your favorite greens to soups or smoothies.
Packed with healthy fats and thiamine, nuts are excellent for reducing the risk of heart disease and regulating the nervous system. Almonds, cashews, pecans and walnuts are some of the best choices.
Nuts are great on their own as a snack, or they can be added to cereal, oatmeal or salads.
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, and Brussels sprouts are loaded with folate, vitamins, fiber and cell-protecting phytochemicals. Consuming these veggies helps reduce the risk of cancer, plus they have anti-inflammatory properties.
Steam veggies to preserve their nutritional content, add them to a stir-fry or soup, or blend them into a smoothie.
The probiotics, or “good” bacteria, in yogurt regulate the digestive system, are helpful for maintaining a healthy weight, and have immunity-boosting properties. Yogurt is also a great source of calcium.
Swap yogurt for mayo or sour cream, but stick with plain yogurt and avoid varieties that contain extra sugar or fruit.
Superfoods can be easily added to what we like to call the five S’s: smoothies, sauces, salads, soups and stir-fries. Consider adding berries or greens to Herbalife Nutrition protein shake mixes, or have one of the multivitamins alongside a salad. The trick to incorporating more superfoods into your diet every day is to eat them with foods you already love and make smart swaps where appropriate.