You’ve heard all about superfoods (even from us!), but are you aware of some of the unsuspecting ones? Here are a few of the top nutrient-packed foods we think really take the cake when it comes being a nutritious powerhouse – as well as a few creative ideas for getting your day’s worth.
Sweet potatoes: Yams are nothing like their cousins (the white potato) – they pack healthy carbs and a remarkable amount of vitamin A (769 percent of the recommended daily value, according to Self magazine’s Nutrition Data). If you can’t see yourself eating steamed sweet potatoes every week, try mashing them into a puree (and mix with parsnips and rutabagas for a well-rounded root vegetable cocktail).
Dark chocolate: Yes, there is a God. Dark chocolate has some serious antioxidant credentials, not to mention the ability to lower blood pressure, boost mood, prevent plaque buildup in the arteries and boost cognitive function. Look for chocolate that contains 60 percent or more cocoa, and snack on a delicious square or two on your way to work – just don’t go overboard.
Blueberries: We couldn’t think of a more delicious way to get our fix of antioxidants. According to WebMD, doctors recommend these tasty berries for their high antioxidant, phytoflavinoid, potassium and vitamin C content, making them great anti-aging defenders as well as protectors against heart disease and cancer. If you feel like mixing it up, adding them to plain Greek yogurt or to your cereal is a great alternative.
Flaxseed: This might be the easiest nutrient-packed ingredient to incorporate into your lifestyle, since you can just sprinkle a tablespoon of it onto your morning cereal or oatmeal for a whopping 1,600 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
Wild salmon: Experts believe that two to three servings a week of salmon can get you all the omega-3s you need to battle your risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and memory loss – as well as your everyday blues. Get this mood-boosting fish in the form of a grilled fillet, lox on your whole-wheat bagel or as a salmon burger you can eat on a toasted bun.
So…what’s for dinner?