As you scroll through health blogs, you may come across the word “superfoods.”
According to Michigan State University Extension, superfoods contain disease-fighting nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that promote wellness and weight control. Other superfoods are thought to prevent cell damage to the brain and improve memory.
Sometimes called “brain foods,” superfoods are thought to reduce the risk of diseases. Superfoods are “real” foods, not processed items. You’ll notice that a lot of superfoods are deep green, blue, red, purple or orange in color.
This list, adapted from Michigan State University Extension and the American Diabetes Association, isn’t exhaustive. It contains some superfoods that may already be a part of your diet or can easily be incorporated into your everyday meals.
Related: Two superfoods to grow indoors during cool weather Oct. 24, 2014
Beans. Containing magnesium and potassium, beans are high in fiber and protein but low in fat.
Dark leafy vegetables. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, dark leafy vegetables like collards, kale and spinach are low in calories and carbohydrates
Citrus fruits. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit are known for being packed with vitamin C, but they also are a good source of fiber.
Sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are lower in Glycemic Index (GI) than regular white potatoes, meaning they are slowly digested, absorbed and gradually rise blood sugar and insulin levels. Sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin A and fiber.
Berries. Blueberries, blackberries and strawberries are great sources of antioxidants, fiber and vitamins. Other types of berries provide health benefits, too, like cranberries and raisins.
Tomatoes. Tomatoes contain vitamin C, vitamin E and iron.
Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats are known for reducing the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, high triglyceride levels and plaque buildup in arteries. Salmon is one source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Whole grains. Whole grains offer fiber, magnesium, chromium, and folate. Instead of processed grains, eat brown rice, oatmeal and pearled barley. For a complete list of whole grains, including amaranth, quinoa and sorghum, check out the Whole Grains Council A to Z list.
Nuts. Nuts contain healthy fats and protein as well as fiber and magnesium. Try almonds, walnuts and pistachios to benefit from these nutritional benefits.
Fat-free milk and yogurt. Fat-free milk products contain vitamin D and calcium.
Michigan State University Extension suggests baking, broiling or steaming fresh fruits and vegetables instead of eating breaded or fried foods.
Have suggestions for other superfoods? Share them in the comments below.
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