You don’t have to be a nutrition expert to know that certain foods are healthier than others. Everyone knows that fruits and veggies are better for you than soda and ice cream, and the numerous health benefits of having a nutritious, balanced diet have been extensively documented.
But did you know that even among healthy, nutritious foods, a handful stands above the rest? Welcome to the world of superfoods, an elite group of healthy foods whose nutritional benefits are so high there’s a special category just for them.
This article will cover superfoods, what makes them unique, and five of the best superfoods to include in your diet.
Although not a nutritionally-recognized category, superfoods are known in the health and fitness world as exceptionally healthy foods because they’re incredibly nutrient-dense and low in calories.
Similar to many nutritious foods, superfoods improve heart health, help lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of cancer or chronic diseases. However, compared to other healthy options, superfoods are particularly high in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, making these foods the most effective in delivering essential nutrients to the body.
In this sense, superfoods are exactly what they sound like—not just healthy food, but super healthy foods. However, since they aren’t an official food category, it’s important to know the top superfoods so you can include them in your diet and reap the benefits of these nutrient powerhouses.
Superfoods can be an excellent source of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, each with different health benefits. But since no single food has all the nutritional content our bodies need, it’s essential to include a balance of different superfoods in your diet.
Let’s look at five types of superfoods you can start eating today.
Protein is an essential nutrient that promotes muscle growth and supports tissue repair and recovery. However, not every protein is the same. Lean and plant-based proteins are considered superfoods due to their high nutrient density and numerous health benefits.
Besides muscle growth, plant-based proteins support heart health, help with weight management, and reduce the risk of disease. For example, plant-based superfoods such as lentils and chickpeas are among the best protein foods for muscle growth since they have the added benefits of being low in calories compared to animal-based protein.
Here’s a list of other plant-based protein superfoods:
High protein meals, such as Muscle Mac’s Mac and Cheese, are also an excellent option. Packed with 20 grams of vegetable-based protein, each portion provides the perfect mix of nutrition and flavor for a delicious meal that delivers results.
Many leafy green vegetables are also superfoods. Greens such as kale or spinach have impressive nutrient profiles packed with vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, C, and K.
Leafy green superfoods support and promote several body functions, such as maintaining healthy skin, boosting the immune system, supporting bone health, and improving digestion. These superfoods are also rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants, helping reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Incorporating leafy greens into your diet is a powerful way to boost your overall health.
Here’s a list of other leafy green superfoods:
Fiber is an essential nutrient that helps regulate digestion, maintain a healthy weight, and lower the risk of diabetes. Additionally, eating fiber provides a satiated feeling of fullness, which helps prevent overeating.
Many foods are good sources of fiber, but specific fiber-rich options are considered superfoods due to their efficiency in providing the above benefits. Here’s a list of some fiber-rich superfoods you can easily include in your diet:
Another excellent source of protein, many fish, particularly fatty fish, are considered superfoods. A key component of these foods is omega-3 fatty acids, a vital nutrient for brain and heart health. Fatty fish superfoods are also high in vitamin D, something many people don’t get enough of. Also, these superfoods contain high concentrations of iodine, which aids in proper thyroid function. Additional benefits of consuming fatty fish include reduced inflammation and improved mental health.
Some common examples of fatty fish superfoods include:
The high nutrient density in many fruits also puts them into the superfood category. While fruits are generally considered healthy and good to include in a diet, certain fruits are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, elevating their health benefits to a different level.
For example, berries are rich in antioxidants and fiber, citrus fruits are high in vitamin C and fiber, and pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Eating regular superfood fruits also helps with digestion, boosts the immune system, and contributes to healthy skin.
Here’s a list of the fruits that are in the superfood category:
Not all healthy food is created equal, and knowing the differences can help you design and curate your meals to get optimal results. At Muscle Mac, we understand the power of superfoods, which is why we’ve incorporated them into our nutritious Macaroni and Cheese products to help you reach your fitness goals.
Whether you’re a seasoned athlete, exercise enthusiast, or simply want to maintain your fitness level, incorporating superfoods into your diet is the best way to get the most out of your food, ensuring your body always receives the maximum health benefits.
Our meals are made from GMO-free pasta, real cheese, and plant-based protein (a superfood!), providing the perfect blend of taste and nutrition. Choose one of our variety packs or go for the White Cheddar Mac and Cheese with probiotics to incorporate superfoods into your diet with Muscle Mac.