Don’t make the mistake of making your diet all about your calorie intake. While calorie intake is important, so is the nutrient density of the foods you’re eating. There are many amazing superfoods that deserve a standing ovation, I won’t lie, it was really hard to just pick 5! These 5 made the cut because they not only have an amazing nutrition profile, but they also taste amazing and are readily available at every day grocery stores.
When it comes to superfoods, consider Kale as Superman. Whether you steam it, bake it, or serve it raw in a salad, this is one power packed, nutrient dense leafy green. Kale is very low in calories, yet the calories it does have are very dense with nutrients. It is a fantastic source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, copper, tryptophan, calcium, vitamin B6, potassium, iron, magnesium, as well as vitamin E and the B vitamins. New to kale? The secret is cutting it up into fine pieces and massaging it with a little sea salt, lemon, and olive oil. Eat it raw or bake it for a delicious crunchy treat.
Quinoa makes the list because it is one of the healthiest grains. With all the bad rap on grains these days this one deserves a bit of attention! It is an ancient grain, easy to make, interesting high in protein (8 grams in 1 cup cooked), fiber (5 grams per cup) and a naturally good source of iron. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) also has plenty of zinc, vitamin E, and selenium to help control your weight and lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes. Quinoa is as easy to prepare as rice and can be eaten alone or mixed with vegetables, nuts, or lean protein for a whole-grain medley. It’s even great for breakfast with a little cinnamon, maple syrup, and almond milk.
Sweet potatoes are a delicious member of the dark orange vegetable family, which lead the pack in vitamin A content. Substitute a baked sweet potato (also loaded with vitamin C, calcium, and potassium) for a baked white potato. And before you add butter or sugar, taste the sweetness that develops when a sweet potato is cooked -- and think of all the calories you can save over that loaded baked potato. "If we eat more foods like sweet potatoes that are rich sources of potassium, and fewer high-sodium foods, we can blunt the effect of sodium on blood pressure and reduce bone loss," says Zied. Other dark orange vegetable standouts include pumpkin, carrots, butternut squash, and orange bell peppers.
Have a sweet tooth that won’t quite? Raspberries are a great fruit to choose. Not only are they one of the lowest natural sugar-containing fruits you could be eating, but they are incredibly high in fiber. Packed with nutrients and will keep you full and satisfied, love it! Furthermore, raspberries are rich in vitamin C and will offer very good antioxidant support.
Constantly craving chocolate while on your fat loss diet plan? The great news is that you can now give in! That’s right, as long as you choose dark chocolate and keep your serving size under control, you can succumb to that craving without guilt. Dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants, so will help to fend off free radical damage in the body and will also instantly boost your mood. Treat yourself after a long day with a small square. Add these 5 super foods in your nutrition plan and you’ll be feeling like a super hero in no time at all!