I think the fear around eating super healthy is that it will require a big lifestyle change, forcing you to learn all new recipes and figure out how to cook things you’ve never touched before. I know that I certainly don’t have time for that. Maybe just once a fiscal quarter I take the time to A) learn what some funny-looking vegetable is at the Farmer’s market and B) how to cook a new food. When I do, I eat it obsessively because it’s one of the few ultra healthy things I know how to make. I can’t imagine having to go through that learning process for several things, on a regular basis.
But often, making better choices is a lot easier than that. It’s quite possible that you already eat certain superfoods, every day, without realizing it. A super food, to be clear, is a non-medical term that describes foods with unusually high levels of certain nutrients that can promote things like better immunity, heart health, and have other positive effects on our physical or emotional health. Basically, a superfood can do several great things for your body, at once, and often after just consuming small quantities of the stuff.
If you’re very busy, superfoods really should be a part of your diet, since you need something that packs a punch, but comes in a small package. You don’t want to change your routine, though, so that’s why we’ve compiled a list of superfoods that are actually quite easy to eat with many of the things you already consume on a regular basis. You don’t need to learn all new recipes, or make sacrifices on flavor. These superfoods should blend in nicely with what’s already on the menu this week. In fact, they may already be in your kitchen.
One ounce of these seeds has 11 grams of fiber, 30 percent of your daily recommended intake of magnesium, and 27 percent of your daily recommended intake of phosphorus. Nearly flavorless and soft in texture when wet, they blend easily into smoothies, cereal, or yogurt.
You likely already know that eggs are loaded with protein, but you may not have known that they also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that promote eye health and can fight UV damage to your skin. You probably already know plenty of ways you like to eat eggs, like in one of these breakfast hacks, so this should be an easy one to add to your diet.
Olive oil is rich in Vitamin E, polyphenols, and monounsaturated fatty acids, and is quite good for your heart health. Ditch bottled salad dressing and start making your own with olive oil and lemon juice and a little Dijon mustard, or simple olive oil and vinaigrette. Drizzle it over your baked potato, instead of smothering it with butter. Sautee your veggies in it (on a low heat as it burns at high heats).
Berries are loaded with antioxidants and fiber, and they happen to be low-sugar fruit, so they shouldn’t cause your blood sugar to spike, making them a healthy dessert option. Add them to your breakfast cereal, mix them into your pancake batter, or have simple berries and whipped cream for dessert.
Teas are high in flavonoids, a group of phytonutrients often found in colorful veggies, but also found in this hot beverage. Flavonoids may also help fight cancer, so if you’ve been looking for a reason to switch from coffee to tea, that’s a pretty big one. If you aren’t sure what teas you like, the good news is that most teas are high in the compound, so you can sample several.
These crunchy little seeds with their earthy flavor are full of potassium, magnesium, and omega fatty acids. They add a great texture to fruit and yogurt bowls, can be mixed into your oatmeal raisin cookie recipe, and can be drizzled on a peanut butter and banana sandwich for a nutritious snack.
Kimchi, pickles, sour kraut, picked beets—really anything pickled will be loaded with probiotics. That’s good news for those who want more of the gut-healthy stuff but can’t tolerate the dairy in yogurt. So add pickles to your next sandwich, or pickled beets to your goat cheese salad.
These pretty little fungi are full of vitamin A, potassium, fiber, and several antioxidants. And with so many varieties to choose from boasting different flavor profiles, you can really experiment with the food group. Try parmesan-stuffed Portobello mushrooms or Shitake mushroom stir-fry.
This aromatic little item you find in so much Italian food is loaded with manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and selenium. A tablespoon of the stuff chopped up goes a long way in flavoring homemade pasta sauce, soup bases, and sautéed vegetables. Or, bake some cloves and mash them on toast.
If you’re already crazy about avocado, the good news is that it’s loaded with healthy fats and plenty of fiber. It’s also a good source of folate and vitamin C and B-6. So go ahead and keep enjoying avocado toast, and treat yourself to the $4 addition of guacamole at the burrito place.
Nuts—almost every variety—have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as heart healthy fats. So get creative and use them more. Use almond slivers to make an almond-crusted fish, add crumbled walnuts to your apple crisp, or keep a bag of nuts in your car to snack on in traffic.
Folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and fiber are just some of the nutrients found in this leafy green. Add it to your omelets, vegetable soup, veggie pasta dishes, and green juices. Kale boasts many of the same nutrients, too, if that’s your preferred leafy green.
The cacao bean, also known as cocoa, contains polyphenols and flavonoids, antioxidants that are great for blood pressure. If you’re into making breakfast smoothies, but some crushed cacao in your blender. You can also add it to your baked goods recipes for a healthy boost.
Celery, carrots, and broccoli all contain phytochemicals, which may help fight cancer. One easy way to eat tons of the stuff is making a giant pot of veggie soup that you eat a bowl of before your dinner, all week long. Saute celery, carrots, broccoli, onions, and garlic in a big bowl before adding veggie or chicken broth, noodles, and a protein of your choice.
This humble food is actually loaded with Vitamin C and lycopene, which may fight prostate cancer. It’s naturally an easy-to-use food, from putting it in salads to sandwiches to minestrone soups to sauces, so keep picking up a batch at your Farmer’s market. And remember to store it on the counter, not in the refrigerator