People like to toss around the term “superfood”. However, there are plenty of genuine superfoods.
Some superfoods are rich with nutrients, fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that can support health in various ways. They’re genuine superfoods backed by science to support health and wellness.
Other superfoods are overhyped. They’re not bad for you – but they don’t truly deserve to be called superfoods.
Here are some of our favorite science-backed superfoods available today – including superfoods available at any ordinary grocery store:
Food doesn’t need to be fancy and exotic to be a superfood. Eggs are a genuine superfood. They’re packed with:
- High-quality protein to support muscle development and skin
- Vitamin A, iron, phosphorous, selenium, B vitamins, and other vitamins and minerals
- Antioxidants like zeaxanthin and lutein linked to eye health and vision
- Choline to support cognition, memory formation, and overall brain health
Sure, eggs have high cholesterol content. However, studies show dietary cholesterol doesn’t impact your body’s cholesterol like previously thought. In this study, for example, researchers found people who ate 6 to 12 eggs per week did not have a higher risk of heart disease or diabetes.
In fact, one study found eggs increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol in some people.
For all of these reasons and more, eggs are a genuine, science-backed superfood.
Kale & Other Dark Green Leafy Vegetables (DGLVs)
Doctors often recommend getting more dark, leafy greens – and kale is one of the best dark, leafy greens you can take.
Kale, like other dark leafy greens, is rich with folate, zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and vitamin C.
Studies on dark green leafy vegetables (DGLVs) have linked their consumption to a reduced risk of illness and disease. In this study, for example, researchers found people with adequate intake of DGLVs like kale had lower levels of heart disease and diabetes.
Kale is also surprisingly rich with natural antioxidant chemicals – including carotenoids. Studies show diets rich with carotenoids may be associated with a reduced risk of cancer.
If you don’t like kale, then try other dark green leafy vegetables. Swiss chard, spinach, turnip greens, and collard greens all have similar benefits and nutrient content to kale.
Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Other Berries
You don’t need exotic berries like acai to get your daily superfood intake; instead, some of the best superfood berries include common options like raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries.
All of these berries are rich with:
- Natural antioxidants
Studies show people with high berry intake in their diet tend to have a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Other studies have found people who eat berries have less inflammation. Inflammation is linked with stress, aging, and an increased risk of disease.
Meanwhile, this 2018 study published in Nutrition Reviews found berries had beneficial effects on the digestive system, which led to significant benefits for the immune system. 70% of your immune system is found in your gut. Berries support microbiota in your gut, making it easier for your immune system to function optimally.
All berries have slightly different levels of nutritional value; however, any of the berries listed above are considered genuine superfoods.
Tea is the world’s most popular antioxidant beverage – and green tea is one of the best types of tea available.
Green tea is rich with antioxidants, polyphenols, and natural chemicals with potent antioxidant effects. Numerous studies have linked green tea to benefits like weight loss, disease mitigation, and stress and anxiety relief, among others.
One of the superstar ingredients in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This specific antioxidant compound is linked to a reduced risk of chronic disease, among other benefits – and it’s just one of several catechins in green tea.
In this 2018 study, researchers found EGCG lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Meanwhile, this 2010 study published in Physiology & Behavior found green tea had significant effects on fat burning, fat oxidation, and weight loss.
If you’re looking for an easy, tasty, and science-backed superfood to add to your diet today, then green tea is one of the best options available.
People have prized garlic for centuries for its benefits. Today, we know more about how garlic works – and it’s clear garlic should be considered a superfood.
In this 2014 study published in the Indian Journal of Cancer, for example, researchers found garlic had potent effects on the cardiovascular system and immune system. Researchers found garlic reduced cholesterol and blood pressure while supporting immune function, for example. Since cardiovascular disease is the number one killer worldwide, garlic could help mitigate this risk.
Today, we know garlic gets its benefits from active compounds like allicin. Allicin is the principle bioactive compound found in garlic.
One of the largest therapeutic reviews of allicin was published in 2014.Researchers found allicin and other compounds in garlic could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes while exhibiting anti-tumor and anti-microbial effects. However, researchers did not fully understand why allicin worked in these days.
Whether you like the taste or like the benefits, garlic is a science-backed superfood that could support blood pressure, heart health, immunity, and more.
Avocado is one of the world’s best-known superfoods. In fact, some people claim avocados are so nutritious you could live exclusively off avocados.
That may or may not be true, but studies show avocados are rich with monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) like oleic acid – similar to olive oil. In this study, researchers found oleic acid supported healthy inflammation throughout the body.
Other studies have linked avocados to potential benefits like:
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Reduced risk of diabetes
- Improvement of symptoms of metabolic syndrome
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Weight loss
In addition to being rich with oleic acid, avocados are rich with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, making them one of the best superfoods you can buy in any grocery store.
Some of the best superfoods are found in ordinary supermarkets – not in exotic online stores.
Adding berries, eggs, leafy green vegetables, green tea, and other science-backed superfoods to your diet can help in numerous ways.
Consider adding any of the superfoods above to your diet to support a range of science-backed benefits.