Here’s a great excuse to gorge on pumpkin pie, blueberry cobbler, apple streusel, and chocolate-covered strawberries! Well, kind of. Yep, they’re all Greatist superfoods— just hold the sugar to get the most benefits. Here are the reasons these fruits, veggies, grains, and dairy products have made our list of the world’s best superfoods.
1. 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!
2. Quinoa This teeny-tiny, grain-like seed packs some serious nutritional prowess. With a mild, nutty flavor 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 grams per one-cup serving, to be exact!
3. Blueberries Don’t worry; these berries won’t cause an oompa-loompa-like reaction. In fact, they’re nutritional superstars, filled with fiber, vitamin C, and cancer-fighting compounds. And studies suggest blueberries may even improve memory !
4. Kale 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 fiber, calcium, and iron. Prepare it virtually any way, from boiled or steamed to roasted (try it as a chip!) or stewed.
5. Chia 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.
6. Oatmeal High in fiber, 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 flavored like pumpkin pie!
7. 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 .
8. Broccoli This lean, mean, green machine is packed with vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting compounds, and the fiber 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 risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and stroke).
9. Strawberries 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 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.
10. Salmon 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: Salmon may also protect skin from the sun and the damaging effects of UV rays.
11. Watermelon Low in sugar and high in vitamins A and C, this summer treat is the prefect fresh, low-calorie snack. Studies suggest watermelon could also potentially lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease . And the lycopene in watermelon could help protect the body from UV rays and cancer.
12. Spinach Antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and vitamins that promote vision and bone health are what make this little ol’ green so super . And those bones will be thanking spinach, too! Just one cup of the stuff packs up to 12 percent of the recommended daily dose of calcium and enough vitamin K to help prevent bone loss.
13. Pistachios These lil’ nuts are hiding lots of protein and fiber behind their earthy flavor and nutty crunch. Plus, they’re naturally cholesterol-free. A one-ounce serving of these nuts has almost as much potassium as one small banana.
14. Eggs A relatively inexpensive protein source loaded with nutrients, eggs certainly earn their superfood status. A single large egg is just about 70 calories and offers six grams of protein. Eggs are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for normal body function and heart health.
15. Almonds Surprise! Almonds are the most nutritionally dense nut, meaning they offer the highest concentration of nutrients per calorie per ounce. For just 191 calories, a one-ounce serving provides 3.4 grams of fiber (that’s about 14 percent of the daily recomme