The new year triggers many to make healthier lifestyle habits. One common resolution is to change eating patterns, but a total diet overhaul may seem too daunting. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, try creating small daily changes and watch them add up to a big difference. When looking for types of foods to eat, you’ll find superfoods are loaded with a variety of nutrients that benefit your mental and physical health. We’ve put together a superfoods list and included how to add them into your diet so you can live healthier this year.
#1 All Kinds of Berries
They’re bright, colorful, full of flavor and high in antioxidants. The antioxidants in berries help rid our bodies of toxins and feed nutrients to our body helping fight diseases, such as cancer. They are also high in fiber, something most Americans don’t get enough of. Fiber keeps our digestive system running smoothly, and makes you feel fuller for longer.
How to Eat Berries:
Berries are still healthy to buy from the frozen section when they are no longer in season, just make sure there aren’t any added sweeteners. A versatile superfood to keep you full until lunch, toss them in your yogurt or cereal, blend a variety in a smoothie, or enjoy plain for a sweet snack.
Making the superfoods list, fish is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce blood pressure, lower triglycerides, and prevent heart disease. Newer research also says that these fatty acids have been shown to help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as well as reduce the symptoms of ADHD in some children.
How to Eat Fish:
Whether it’s fresh, frozen or canned, consuming eight ounces of fish at least once a week will let you reap its full health benefits. When choosing fish, keep in mind that salmon, tuna steaks, and herring have the highest omega-3 content.
#3 Nutrient-Dense Leafy Greens
Dark, leafy greens are packed with fiber, vitamins, calcium and antioxidants. Adding more greens to your diet can help you lose weight, reduce your risk of diabetes, and fight off cancer. There are so many varieties of leafy greens to make meal planning fun! Kale has been the most popular in recent years, but there are also spinach, swiss chard (try the rainbow variety for extra color!), bok choy, watercress, mustard greens and romaine to name a few.
How to Eat Leafy Greens:
If salads become monotonous, try sautéing them in olive oil and garlic, toss some greens in soups or stews, or add a handful of spinach to your scrambled eggs. Buying frozen greens are an excellent alternative when you’re running low on time. They are typically frozen at peak freshness so you won’t miss out on any nutritional value. Additionally, they tend to be less expensive and can be stored in the freezer for several months.
#4 Almonds, Peanuts, Cashews And Other Nuts
A perfect crunchy snack, nuts contain magnesium, antioxidants, fiber, protein and vitamin E. Their insoluble fiber feeds beneficial gut bacteria and curbs your hunger. They also contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which help absorb certain vitamins and keep overeating at bay.
How to Eat Nuts:
Because they are calorically dense and high in sodium, it’s best to limit your daily intake to a handful of unsalted nuts. Try tossing them on top of oatmeal, cooked veggies, or salads. Spread some nut butter on toast or add it to a smoothie – just don’t overdo it, keeping it to one or two tablespoons a day.
#5 Plain Greek Yogurt
This creamy treat is nutrient-rich, full of protein, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B12, and key fatty acids. Yogurt also contains live cultures, or probiotics that promote good bacteria, helping you maintain a healthy gut. When looking for live active cultures in yogurt, the label will list ingredients like Lactobacillus, L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, and S. Thermophilus. There are many options for flavored yogurts these days, but it’s healthier to stick with plain yogurt. Flavored yogurts tend to contain a large amount of sugar, essentially negating the health benefits.
How to Eat Yogurt:
If you’re finding plain yogurt too bland, try adding in some fresh berries or drizzle on a little bit of honey. Add it to a smoothie for a creamier texture. In addition, yogurt is a healthy alternative to use in place of mayonnaise or sour cream in dips or sauces.
One Small Step for Diet, One Giant Leap for Overall Health
This superfoods list is easy to incorporate into any diet, and if you’re creative, you may be able to combine a few of them together. In the short term, adding this superfoods list to your daily eating pattern will help you feel satiated, give you an energy boost, and keep your digestive tract running smoothly. The long-term benefit of these superfoods is a longer, healthier life. When life gets too busy to shop and prep the way that you’d like, you can always find solutions like Natural Recovery Greens to help your body get the nutrients it needs to perform at its best.