No single food offers all of the nutrition, energy and health benefits your body needs to stay healthy. Your body needs many different vitamins, minerals and nutrients to stay strong, which is why it’s so important to be mindful of what you’re consuming. Incorporating superfoods that are rich in antioxidants (chemicals that fight genetic mutations and cancer-causing tissue damage) can minimize cell damage. Add some of these superfoods to your daily diet, and you can rest assured that your body is getting what it needs to thrive.
Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries have the highest antioxidant activity. Naturally sweet and high in fiber, berries are a great way to get your daily dose of fiber. Fun fact: their rich colors mean they are high in antioxidants and disease-fighting nutrients.
How to include them in your diet: When your favorite berries aren’t in season, it’s just as healthy to buy them frozen. Mix them into your yogurt, oatmeal, cereal and smoothies for a tasty and nutritious snack.
A category that includes peas, soybeans and kidney, black, red and garbanzo beans, legumes are a great source of protein, fiber and folate (the naturally occurring form of vitamin B-9.) They are also loaded with vitamins and minerals that can help reduce inflammation, fend off chronic diseases, contribute to weight loss, improve gut health and promote satiety (the feeling of being full after eating).
How to include them in your diet: Add cooked beans to your salads, burgers or meatballs. You can also use pureed beans as a dip or spread for vegetables and crackers.
Dark Leafy Greens
It’s no secret that dark leafy greens are a nutritional powerhouse. Bitter greens like kale, spinach, broccoli and collard greens are packed with vitamins A, C and K, calcium, potassium and magnesium. They also help promote clear skin, eye health, a strong nervous system and healthy, normal blood clotting.
How to include them in your diet: Mix kale, spinach, broccoli and more into your salads or sauté them in olive oil with your favorite spices. You can also throw some spinach into your morning smoothie along with fruit (berries!) for sweetness.
Low in fat, high in fiber and loaded with minerals and vitamin C and K, phosphorus, folate and magnesium, artichokes rank among the most antioxidant-rich vegetables. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database reports that one medium artichoke can deliver 15 percent of a person’s recommended daily intake of vitamin C, based on a 2,000 calorie daily diet.
How to include them in your diet: Artichoke hearts can be consumed raw by pulling off the outer petals one at a time, but they’re also tasty on pizza, mixed into a salad or cooked up with some crispy Brussels sprouts.
Walnuts are often ranked the top nut for antioxidants called polyphenols, endowing them with a higher antioxidant potency than any other nut. With the ability to boost brainpower, reduce cardiovascular risk, protect against Alzheimer’s disease and protect arteries against short-term damage, walnuts are the perfect snack to grab next time you’re feeling peckish.
How to include them in your diet: One of the best ways to consume walnuts is by soaking them overnight in a cup of water and eating them the next day. If you don’t want to wait to enjoy these tasty nuts, use them as a salad topping or mix them into your yogurt for a salty and sweet breakfast.
Chocolate lovers have long said that dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and has superfood qualities and, well, it’s true! Loaded with nutrients that positively affect your health, dark chocolate is full of antioxidants that can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce stress levels and help control blood sugar.
How to include it in your diet: Dark chocolate pairs well with many foods, but our favorite way to eat it is by using melted dark chocolate as a dipping sauce for our favorite fruits (berries!) and nuts (walnuts!).
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