There are lots of foods that are good for you. But these 10 superfoods go beyond a simple vitamin dose here or a nutrient-drenched nibble there. These are research-backed, expert-beloved disease fighters and energy boosters. Making them your go-to eats is easy-we’ve got a month’s worth of recipes and a menu planner, so you don’t even have to think about what’s for dinner tonight. Dig in!
- Just one lemon has more than 100 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C, which may help increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels and strengthen bones.
- Citrus flavonoids found in lemons may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and act as an anti-inflammatory.
- Quick Tip – Add a slice of lemon to your green tea. One study found that citrus increases your body’s ability to absorb the antioxidants in the tea by about 80 percent.
- One medium stalk of broccoli contains more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement and almost 100 percent of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C-two essential bone-building nutrients.
- The same serving also helps stave off numerous cancers.
- Quick Tip – Zap it! Preserve up to 90 percent of broccoli’s vitamin C by microwaving. (Steaming or boiling holds on to just 66 percent of the nutrient.)
- Just one-fourth of an ounce daily can reduce blood pressure in otherwise healthy individuals.
- Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants shown to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase “good” HDL levels.
- Quick Tip – A dark chocolate bar contains about 53.5 milligrams of flavonoids; a milk-chocolate bar has fewer than 14.
- One red potato contains 66 micrograms of cell-building folate-about the same amount found in one cup of spinach or broccoli.
- One sweet potato has almost eight times the amount of cancer-fighting and immune-boosting vitamin A you need daily.
- Quick Tip – Let your potato cool before eating. Research shows that doing so can help burn close to 25 percent more fat after a meal, thanks to a fat-resistant starch.
- A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a reduced risk of depression, heart disease and cancer.
- A three-ounce serving contains almost 50 percent of your daily dose of niacin, which may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.
- Quick Tip – Opt for wild over farm-raised, which contains 16 times as much toxic polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) as wild salmon.
- Contain the most omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce cholesterol, of all nuts.
- Omega-3s have been shown to improve mood and fight cancer; they may protect against sun damage, too (but don’t skip the SPF!).
- Quick Tip – Eat a few for dessert : The antioxidant melatonin, found in walnuts, helps to regulate sleep.
- Rich in healthy, satisfying fats proven in one study to lower cholesterol by about 22 percent.
- One has more than half the fiber and 40 percent of the folate you need daily, which may reduce your risk of heart disease.