Broccoli, blueberries, quinoa, chia seeds, kale, salmon—you’ve heard countless times about the nutritional benefits of these everyday ingredients, commonly labelled “superfoods.” There’s no official scientific definition of a superfood, but it’s generally accepted that superfoods contain high levels of much-needed vitamins and minerals. They can also be a source of antioxidants, substances that shield our bodies from cell damage and help prevent disease. Let’s take a look at some of the most ‘super’ of the superfoods today.
- Greek Yogurt
Regular yogurt’s thicker, creamier cousin is chock-full of protein and probiotics. It fills the belly, improves digestion, and bolsters the immune system. Plus, it’s a great healthy recipe substitute for sour cream, cream cheese, and even mayonnaise!
This teeny-tiny, grain-like seed packs some serious nutritional prowess. With a mild, nutty flavour and a texture similar to rice or couscous, quinoa is one of the only grains or seeds that provides all nine essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce themselves . And it’s filled with protein— eight grammes per one-cup serving, to be exact!
Don’t worry; these berries won’t cause an oompa-loompa type, adverse reaction. In fact, they’re nutritional superstars, filled with fibre, vitamin C, and cancer-fighting compounds. And studies suggest blueberries may even improve memory!
This rough and tough green beats out all the rest in terms of nutrition, providing more antioxidants than most other fruits and veggies! It’s also a fantastic source of fibre, calcium, and iron. Prepare it virtually any way, from boiled or steamed to roasted (try it as a chip!) or stewed.
Ch-ch-ch-chia! Yep, this little seed is the same as those adorable little ceramic animal planters of the 90s! But don’t worry, the nutritious part is not the clay pot. Chia seeds are actually loaded with the most essential fatty acids of any known plant! Plus, one serving of the stuff is loaded with magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium.
High in fibre, antioxidants, and tons of other nutrients, this breakfast staple has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, aid in digestion, and even improve metabolism . And it’s downright delicious— especially when flavoured like pumpkin pie!
- Green Tea
This ages-old health secret has been used as a natural remedy for everything from cancer to heart disease! The secret to this delicious drink? Antioxidants! The main superhero here is Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, a phytochemical that slows irregular cell growth, which could potentially help prevent the growth of some cancers .
This lean, mean, green machine is packed with vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting compounds, and the fibre essential in any diet. Though all members of the cruciferous vegetable family are super-duper healthy, broccoli stands out for its exceptionally high levels of vitamin C and folate (which can reduce chances of heart disease, certain cancers, and stroke) .
Vitamin C is the superstar of this superfood. Just one cup of these red beauties satisfies the daily requirement for vitamin C (74 milligrams per day for women, 90 for men)! Studies suggest that the antioxidant helps build and repair the body’s tissues, boosts immunity, and fights excess free radical damage. And the vitamin C in strawberries could help promote healthy eye function .
This heart-healthy fish is packed with protein and a healthy dose of omega -3 fatty acids, which studies suggest may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. And bonus points for it as Salmon may also protect skin from the sun and the damaging effects of UV rays.