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We often hear the term “superfood” and picture special powders, supplements or pills. When, in fact, superfoods are any foods that are nutrient-dense. The truth is many simple fruits and vegetables qualify as superfoods, making it easy to serve up a nutritious dinner each night of the week.

Let’s take a look at some plant foods that pack a nutrient-dense punch.

 

Broccoli

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane, which has been found to be cancer-fighting, brain-protective, and beneficial for eyesight. Whether you like broccoli steamed with butter, sauteed with olive oil & lemon pepper,  raw dipped in ranch dressing,  or chopped up as broccoli rice, aim to eat ½ cup per day.

Dark leafy greens  

You’ve heard that leafy greens are healthy, but did you know they offer the most nutrition per calorie than any other food? They have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke as well as decrease inflammation.  Switch up your salads using a variety of leafy greens such as kale, arugula, spinach, or collard greens.  If salad isn’t your thing, blend arugula into pesto, roast a batch of kale chips, or throw a handful of spinach into your morning smoothie.  Aim to eat 2 cups of raw greens or 1 cup cooked greens per day.

Berries

Berries are packed with antioxidants, which reduce inflammation in the body associated with many chronic diseases.  Aim to eat a ½ cup per day. Sprinkle dried cranberries on your goat cheese & walnut salad, serve up your morning oatmeal with a drizzle of peanut butter and a handful of frozen blueberries, or grab a handful of blackberries to eat on the go.

Turmeric

Spices can provide a lot of nutrition bang for your buck – just a sprinkle of dried turmeric per day has been shown to decrease DNA damage. Aim to consume ¼ tsp of dried turmeric per day. Don’t know how to use it? Sprinkle a little in your next soup or curry dish or even try baking your next pumpkin loaf with a dash. 

 

Image sourced via canva.

Kristen Carli, RD is the owner of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness, a private nutrition practice in Scottsdale, Arizona specializing in chronic disease prevention and management as well as vegan/ vegetarian nutrition. Kristen has a passion for helping others identify and knock down their individual barriers hindering them from living a healthy life.