Right up there with the gluten-free craze, “Superfoods” are a top buzzword these days.
So what are they?
Superfoods are a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.
They’re packed with protein, prebiotics, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories that protect your body and allow you to feel your best for years to come.
Many of us can name a Superfood or two; blueberries and avocados are popular favorites. But most of us are guilty of not being able to pinpoint their benefits.
- Can you name more than 5 Superfoods?
- Do you know why they’re good for you?
- Do you eat them?
- Better yet, do you eat them daily?
Don’t worry, this isn’t a quiz! It’s an ultimate Superfoods list, complete with an answer bank of how to work these powerhouses of the food world into your daily diet.
Once you make a few simple swaps, you’ll wonder why you waited so long!
You can click to scroll ahead, we’re going to cover:
- First, a Few Definitions
- Next, The Ultimate Superfoods List
- The Benefits of Superfoods
- Let’s Start Swapping!
- Every Meal is an Opportunity to Do Better
First, a Few Definitions
Just so we’re all on the same page, we’ll go over a few terms you’ll see in this article.
You’ve probably seen them before but never bothered to find out what they mean. We’ve got you covered! Get ready for a trip down memory lane to Freshman Biology.
“Protein plays a crucial role in almost all biological processes and amino acids are the building blocks of it. A large proportion of our cells, muscles and tissue is made up of amino acids, meaning they carry out many important bodily functions, such as giving cells their structure.”
“Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, thereby leading to chain reactions that may damage the cells of organisms.”
“A complete protein or whole protein is a food source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of each of the nine essential amino acids necessary in the human diet.”
Essential Fatty Acids
“Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are fatty acids that humans and other animals must ingest because the body requires them for good health but cannot synthesize them. The term ‘essential fatty acid’ refers to fatty acids required for biological processes but does not include the fats that only act as fuel.”
“Prebiotics are compounds in food that induce the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi.”
“Prebiotics are a special form of dietary fiber that acts as a fertilizer for the good bacteria in your gut.”
So whether you ingest these from gummy vitamins or your food, it’s pretty important that you’re consuming them 24/7/365!
In a perfect world, your diet would provide all of the vitamins and nutrients you require.
Next, The Ultimate Superfoods List
Before we get into how to best consume Superfoods on the daily and their benefits, here’s the Ultimate Superfoods list:
- Goji Berry
- Sweet Potato
Nuts & Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Plain Greek Yogurt
- Sprouted Brown Rice Protein
- Green Tea
- Rooibos Tea
- Yerba Mate Tea
Oils & Vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Coconut Oil
- Flaxseed Oil
- Macadamia Nut Oil
And Don’t Forget…
- Aloe Vera
- Raw Honey
Consider saving this chart to your phone, and reference it the next time you’re in the grocery store.
The Benefits of Superfoods
We don’t need to tell you that Guacamole is the perfect Happy Hour appetizer! But when you’re scarfing it down with GMO corn chips and a couple of margaritas, chances are you’re doing more harm than good.
Throughout your day, you’re probably consuming foods that can be easily exchanged to provide your body with just as much flavor, but wayyy more benefits.
What kind of benefits, you ask?
- Try clearing up your skin and hydrating it to defy age.
- Protecting your body from cancers, heart disease, and diabetes.
- Increasing your gut health, maximizing your thyroid’s performance, and aiding in weight loss.
- Reducing stress, improving your memory, boosting your energy levels, and increasing your happiness and well-being.
Now those are some Superfoods!
Let’s not forget that instead of just filling your belly, these Superfoods are also providing your body with all of the essential vitamins and minerals that it needs to function at peak performance each day.
Say goodbye to sluggishness and cloudy thinking, and say hello to the best version of you!
Let’s Start Swapping!
We know that a lot of your choices are convenience-based. Our lifestyles are busy and full, and time is limited – especially in the morning when you’re tired and every minute spent at home adds 2 minutes to your commute.
So we promise not to add any time-consuming swaps to your routine!
Everything we suggest should take roughly the same amount of time as your current meal, unless it involves meal-prepping in advance.
Let’s start with breakfast. What do you normally eat?
The top answers are probably: cereal, eggs, bagel with cream cheese, toast, a muffin, Pop-Tarts, a smoothie, or even nothing.
Brunch is probably a crapshoot, as a few fancy salads may find their way to your plate, but other decadent delights like waffles, pancakes, french toast, and pastries likely take center stage.
If you’re thinking, “Who needs breakfast, coffee is my morning hero!”, think again.
Breakfast is the perfect time to jump-start your metabolism, and to provide energy for the rest of your day.
Breakfast Superfoods List Swap
Select your daily breakfast to see a healthy Superfood swap:
…And, we didn’t forget about your morning coffee.
Superfood Swap #1: Quinoa Bake
If you eat cereal, opt for a quinoa bake. Prep it for the week and cut a slice to heat up.
Benefits: Gluten-free complete protein, full of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc.
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✧ Vanilla Cashew Quinoa Bars ✧ There’s a new recipe that just dropped on the blog that requires no baking, only one bowl and just 5 ingredients. It’s a snack that will love you back ♡ made with whole food plant based ingredients, vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free & oil free! Recipe link in bio or head to ↠ https://veggiekinsblog.com/2019/01/26/puffed-quinoa-bars/ #veggiekins #vegan #wfpb #nobake #quinoarecipes
Superfood Swap #2: Veggie Omelette
If you eat eggs, ditch the cheese and instead add broccoli, shallots, and spinach.
Benefits: Antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids, plus promotes a healthy gut and fights cancer.
Superfood Swap #3: Gluten Free Waffle
If you eat a bagel with cream cheese, try a gluten-free waffle with a natural, no sugar added nut butter, and a drizzle of raw honey.
Benefits: Fiber, protein, magnesium, vitamin E, Antioxidants, Anti-inflammatory, promotes gut health, and increases memory function.
Superfood Swap #4: Chia Seed Pudding
If you eat toast or Pop-Tarts, instead try chia seed pudding. Make it for the week and have a helping each day.
Benefits: omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and antioxidants. Promotes digestive health, stimulates thyroid, metabolism, aids in weight loss.
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#ad Overnight chocolate chia seed pudding 😍💕 so I’m actually quite obsessed with this recipe because I added in a scoop of @ancientnutrition Keto COCOA powder for triple the chocolate🍫 I personally like this one because it’s full of ashwaghanda, reishi, and chaga for an extra boost (along with, ya know, the bone building omega 3’s in chia seeds!) 🤗 I also have a trick for getting the chia seed pudding texture JUST RIGHT (Goldilocks reference 😅) which is honestly so key with chia seed pudding 😋chowing down on this before getting to work! How was everyone’s weekend?! #ancientnutrition . . . Styling inspired by the beautiful @choosingchia 🥰Get the recipe linked in bio 🤗 https://thebananadiaries.com/paleo-vegan-chocolate-chia-seed-pudding/ . . . #healthyfood #chiapudding #chiaseedpudding #wellness #glutenfree #paleo #plantpower #ketorecipe #banana #food52grams #grainfree #cleaneats #foodie #foodblogger #eatclean #healthyinspo #thefeedfeed #chiaseeds #feedfeed #plantbaseddiet #foodphotography #healthybreakfast #beautifulcuisines
Superfood Swap #5: Nuts & Berries
If you’re grabbing a muffin, reach for some blueberries and raw almonds instead.
Benefits: antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, protein, magnesium, vitamin E. Age-defying, protect against cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
Superfood Swap #6: Superfood-Charged Smoothie
If you’re already making a smoothie, make sure it packs as much of a punch as possible. Opt for protein, antioxidant-rich berries, cinnamon, and chia seeds. Instead of a banana, throw in an avocado.
Benefits: antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids, protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, Potassium, B-vitamins, Folic acid, improve digestive health, improve energy, vitality and circulation while being a great stabilizer of blood sugar levels.
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Love my morning green smoothie bowls filled with wholesome nutritious foods🥰🌈🍀 Organic kale + spinach + moringa @moringahealthcare + frozen blueberries + turmeric + ginger powder + cacao powder + cinnamon + greentea + chiaseeds + unsweetened natural whey protein Top with raw pecan pieces, pine nuts and fresh strawberries ・ ・ #greensmoothie #morningritual #smoothiebowl #greensmoothiebowl #smoothieporn #ketolifestyle #superfoods #postworkoutsmoothie #realfood #superfoodsmoothie #morningsmoothie #lowcarbsmoothie #keto #plantbased #antioxidants #cleaneating #lowcarb #wholefoods #moringa #rawfood #detox #vitamix #yogaeveryday #スムージーボウル #スーパーフード #グリーンスムージー #ローフード #デトックス #モリンガ #朝ラン
Superfood Swap #7: Creamy Avocado
If you’ve been known to skip breakfast altogether and eat nothing, consider slicing open an avocado and eating it with salt & pepper to start your day.
Benefits: Potassium, B-vitamins, Folic acid.
Superfood Swap #8: Peppermint Tea
We know you love your coffee, but consider trying a natural Peppermint tea.
Benefits: Stress & anxiety relief, aids in weight loss, improves digestion, and helps boost the immune system.
When it comes to brunch, consider hosting your own brunch at home!
Try our Healthy Banana Muffins With A Peanut Butter Protein Punch, served alongside a Superfoods salad and roasted asparagus. Your friends will be delighted and impressed!
Are you a Lean Cuisine fan? Or do you find yourself in the Chipotle/Panera/Chick-fil-A line at lunch? Maybe you bring leftovers or a sandwich from home. If you’re really lucky, you go out to eat most days.
So let’s consider a few simple switches that can elevate your lunch hour!
Lunch Superfoods List Swap
Select your daily lunch style to see an easy superfood-filled swap:
Superfood Swap #1: 5-Minute Parfait
If you’re going the frozen meal route, some of your choices are probably decent, while others are a downright tragedy. Frozen meals are incredibly convenient, and the act of freezing preserves most nutrients.
If you insist on sticking to frozen meals based on price and portion control, choose options loaded with vegetables and a low sugar content.
If you can be persuaded to try a fresh option, put together a quick parfait before leaving home. We know that eating frozen meals for lunch probably means you’re low on time, so we promise this won’t take more than 5 minutes!
Plain greek yogurt, fresh blueberries, acai, goji berries, pomegranate, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, cacao, and a drizzle of raw honey will fill you up and fuel your body!
Benefits: calcium, protein, potassium, antioxidants, fiber,. Age-defying, protect against cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, essential fatty acids. Good for immune system, healthy skin, magnesium, iron, Blood sugar control, complete protein, iron, vitamin C, Protects against cancer, lowers blood pressure, healthy cholesterol, increased brain function.
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☀️ Cool off this summer with this guilt-free treat 🤗 • Repost @goodful • • • • • • • #fruitique #organic #mumbai #india #freshproduce #healthyfood #healthyeating #eatclean #cleaneating #detox #naturalfoods #igersmumbai #foodofmumbai #mumbaikar #foodie #foodpics #things2doinmumbai #mumbaifoodie #foodtalkindia #mumbai_igers #everydaymumbai #popsicle #fruitpopsicle #greekyogurt #greekyogurtparfait #healthyrecipes #recipeshare
Superfood Swap #2: Salmon with Quinoa & Kale
If you’re doing the quick service or takeout thing, at a minimum stick to a salad option! Get rid of muffins, bread, tortillas, and other empty carbs with no value. Add avocado to anything you can! Pick a dressing with low sugar like oil & vinegar, Italian, or Balsamic vinaigrette.
If you’re ready to meal prep in advance, grill some salmon, boil some quinoa, and add a kale salad on the side. Add some pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds to the salad. You can heat the seeds in a pan with some butter and cayenne for a tasty kick!
Benefits: protein, omega-3, complete protein because it contains all eight essential amino acids. Quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc, and lower in sodium compared with wheat, barley and corn. This gluten-free grain is also low in saturated fat. vitamins A, B, C, calcium, lutein, zeaxanthin, and iron, for stomach, digestion, immune system, omega-6 fatty acids along with being a good source of minerals, including phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and iron, Cholesterol lowering, increased brain function.
Superfood Swap #3: A Cleaner Sandwich
If you’re already bringing a sandwich from home, some of the swaps will be easy.
Trade mayonnaise or honey mustard for mashed avocado. Ditch the processed sandwich meats and choose nitrate-free options. Swap iceberg or romaine lettuce for spinach. Add tomato! Dump the bag of chips and make sweet potato fries at home.
Benefits: Potassium, B-vitamins, Folic acid, Antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.
Superfood Swap #4: Superfood Packed Dinner Leftovers
Leftovers are another easy one – as long as you’re making healthy dinners.
Stop cooking with vegetable oil or canola oil and switch to coconut oil. Load your plate up with spinach, kale, and broccoli. Add nuts and seeds for flavor and texture.
Benefits: healthy fat, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Stimulates thyroid, metabolism, aids in weight loss, Antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium, vitamin B, lutein, zeaxanthin, and iron, for stomach, digestion, immune system, isothiocyanates, folic acid, Protect against cancer, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, Cholesterol lowering.
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Salmon bowls are on repeatttt. Yesterday all the bf wanted for his birthday 🎈 dinner was “one of my salmon bowls” 😍. He’s definitely not into all my healthy eating adventures but this he loves. I normally only buy wild salmon but he really hates it so this bowl has farm raised, gotta honor a bday request 🤷🏼♀️. ~ Bowl details-> steamed kale base, edamame, teriyaki salmon (recipe a few posts back), roasted sweet potato 🍠 fries (recipe in meal highlights), roasted broccoli, sliced avocado 🥑, and crispy shiitake mushrooms.
Superfood Swap #5: Superfood Topped Salad
If you’re going out to eat most days, you have it pretty good! No meal prep, no dishes, and a fresh meal prepared just for you. The downside is unhealthy choices abound, portion sizes are thrown to the wayside, and you’re spending a pretty penny on those meals.
If you’re constantly entertaining clients, meals out may be a requirement of your job.
When You Eat Out: If that’s the case, look for the healthiest thing on the menu. Add any superfood options that you can! Instead of finishing the meal with coffee, opt for green tea.
If eating out is the highlight of your workday, but breaking the bank and the waistline of your pants, consider bringing a quick and easy lunch from home.
If You Can Meal Prep: A kale and spinach salad with fruit and nuts, or a sprouted whole grain sandwich with avocado and all-natural turkey are both great options.
Benefits: vitamins A, B, C, calcium, lutein, zeaxanthin, and iron, for stomach, digestion, immune system, Antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, vitamin B2, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, Age-defying, protect against cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids along with being a good source of minerals, including ron, Cholesterol lowering, vitamins, minerals, essential and non-essential amino acid.
The “average” American dinner depends on your lifestyle.
If you’re in takeout mode, pizza and Chinese food likely top your list. Fast food options are burgers & fries or fried chicken.
If you’re cooking at home, pastas, grilled chicken, or steak are all easy to make and reheat. Tacos are a hot ticket item right now, whether at-home or out with your friends.
If you’re going out, you may find yourself ordering Thai, Mexican, or Italian.
So, let’s see what you can do to clean up some of those choices.
Dinner Superfoods List Swap
Pick your typical dinner style in order to see a Superfood swap:
Superfood Swap #1: Have UberEats Deliver You Superfoods
If you’re sticking with takeout, pass on the pizza. Consider trying UberEats and order yourself a salad or salmon dish.
Remember, spinach and kale are much better than iceberg and romaine! Quinoa trumps rice or pasta. And hold the dessert!
If you’re still ordering Chinese, consider steamed chicken and broccoli.
Superfood Swap #2: “Superfood” Salad
Fast food is especially difficult, as extra calories abound and healthy choices are few and far between. You may be wondering how anyone makes it through the drive-thru without a side of fries.
But every fast food restaurant offers salads, and some even have “superfood” salads. Try one! Steer away from Ranch and other heavy dressings, and forego the soda. Unsweetened iced tea or water are much better for you.
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Superfood Swap #3: Homemade Grain-Free Tortilla Tacos
If you’re cooking at home, load up on superfoods at the grocery store and start experimenting with the ingredients!
Remember: Seasoning is your friend, but sauces are normally an enemy.
Seasoning = no calories
Sauces = typically high in sugar and fat.
Tacos these days range from simple to gourmet, and they’re hard to resist in any form!
At home, consider making your own grain-free tortillas. Trade lettuce for spinach, cook your meat in coconut oil, and choose black beans over refried. Add spicy pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds for crunch instead of bacon bits. Ditch the queso in favor of a flavorful salsa.
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Celebrating #TacoTuesday with these VEGAN RAINBOW TACOS! 🌈🌮 Because who doesn’t love tacos? They’re a fresh, plentiful and comforting fiesta food. 🎉 . This recipe takes a spin on the traditional for a little healthier flare; made with turmeric quinoa instead of white rice, and chickpeas. Then packed with all the veg from carrot to cherry tomatoes, purple cabbage, green onion, and avos. Taco-bout clean and lean.💪🌱 . You can find the recipe on the blog! Link in profile! Hope you’re having a fab Tuesday! 😘✌️ . . . . . #twospoons #tacos #healthytacos #mexicanfood #plantbased #vegan #rainbowfood #eattherainbow #tastetherainbow #eatmoreplants #veganvibes #plantpower #plantstrong #veganstrong #flatlayforever #wholefoods #makesmewhole #foodandwine #feedfeed #gloobyfood #eatclean #beautifulcuisines #thrivemags #healthycuisines #kaylaitsines #summerrecipes #veganfoodblogger #foodstylist
Superfood Swap #4: Lean Protein & Vegetables
Going out to dinner offers even more obstacles than lunch can, as appetizers, drinks, and desserts are much more acceptable, and time is at less of a premium. Challenge yourself to choose the healthiest item on the menu and redefine what you think of as “healthy.”
Look for items with low sugar, lots of vegetables, and lean protein. Healthy fats and easily digested carbohydrates are ok!
Even without the high calorie treats, going out to eat healthy exposes you to spices and flavors you may not experience at home. Avoid alcohol and dessert.
Even your sweet treats can go the extra mile for you, if you let them!
Our Superfoods list includes:
- Raw honey
- Sweet potatoes
- Fresh berries
All of these superfoods are delicious and naturally sweetened!
Looking to make your own dessert?
Dates are also full of beneficial nutrients, and make a great “glue” to pull these ingredients together into all-natural dessert bars.
Even avocados can become a dessert item by combining them with powdered cacao and a little raw honey!
Every Meal is an Opportunity to Do Better
Every food item that you choose throughout the day reflects on how you are choosing to treat your body. Will the item nourish and fulfill you, or will it cause damage to your health and well-being?
Mindless eating and constant indulgences often indicate stress or emotional challenges that can and should be handled in other ways.
Instead of looking forward to your next treat, carefully consider how each meal can be improved to pack the most nutritional punch. Some days will be harder than others. Don’t give up, and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Take the time to research recipes that use several Superfoods. Many of these are easy to follow and take minimal prep time. The first step is just switching to Superfood ingredients! Stock up and start combining them in new ways.
When in doubt or facing disappointing options, remember that green vegetables and fruit are always better than grains, fried foods, and sugary snacks!
Before long, you may even forget you ate any other way.
How many Superfoods are you eating on a daily basis? We’d love to hear how your current diet stacks up!