The term superfoods might conjure up a vision of a caped cruisader in the form of a zucchini, but in reality, superfoods are nutritionally-dense foods that are super healthy. These include berries, leafy-green vegetables and some more unusual ones, like goji berries.
So how can you incorporate these superfoods into your diet?
Envision a rainbow. Those colors are also the colors of a variety of incredibly healthy and delicious foods that are good for you. And if you envision that rainbow when you make your plate, you can have a fabulous load of superfoods.
Each different color of vegetable offers something different in terms of nutrition, so draw on all the healthiness by making your lunch plate into a kaleidoscope. "Fruits and veggies are super foods in my book. Essentially foods that provide lots of vitamins and antioxidants could be considered a 'super food'. Adding more color to your diet can help," says Rosanne Rust, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant.
Start with some leafy greens and pile on the reds (tomatoes, red peppers, etc.), yellows (yellow peppers, summer squash, etc.), oranges (carrots, orange peppers, etc.) and other bright and diversely-colored veggies.
Fruits like blueberries, pomegranates and strawberries are all high in nutrition. Registered dietitian Ann Dunaway Teh says you should eat fruits raw, so that you don't negate their nutritional properties with sweet or fatty pastries.
Try making a fruit salad for breakfast. Rust says that she considers all fruits and veggies to be 'super,' so toss in the watermelon, cantaloupe and grapes, too.
Make leafy greens a dinnertime habit for your family. Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens, collard greens -- they are all great sources of nutritients. Dunaway Teh says that you should cook them lightly yourself, in a healthy way. "You have to watch how you cook things and how much fat you are using in the cooking process," she says.
Need inspiration? Take a look at these quick and tasty kale recipes >>
If there is one easy to find, identifiable superfood making big news, it's the sweet potato. "They have so much nutrition in them," says Dunaway Teh. This healthy potato is rich in nutrients like beta carotene, so instead of baking a white potato, go sweet!
Hungry for a snack? A simple grab-and-go option is hummus, but trade your normal dippers for something more nutrient-rich. "Instead of dipping crackers into hummus, try dipping carrot sticks into it instead," says Rust.
Check out these healthy ideas for snack on-the-go >>
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