As our society become fascinated with health and well-being, we must remember the importance of a balanced diet. Many believe that fruits and vegetables are the healthiest options. However, there are many food items besides fresh produce that fall into the category of “superfood.” A superfood (though no legal definition exists) is a nutrient-rich item, beneficial to one’s well-being. Nutritionists now consider superfoods a vital aspect in maintaining a healthy diet. Here are a few examples of superfoods from each food group.

Berries: Blueberry and Strawberry

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Both of these fruits contain high amounts of Vitamin C and antioxidants. The benefits from these nutrients include vision and memory improvements. Additionally, blueberries contain fiber and cancer-fighting compounds, giving them the rightful superfood title.

Greens: Kale and Spinach

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It may be hard to get the kids to eat these ones but their benefits will help them grow strong. These leafy greens provide high levels of calcium, which help with bone strength and development. The antioxidant levels in kale reach higher than any other fruit or vegetable. Spinach also makes for a great anti-inflammatory if needed.

Fish & Shellfish: Salmon, Sardines, and Oysters

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These proteins provide a great deal of vitamins and minerals required in a healthy diet. A 3 oz. serving of salmon provides the full recommended amount of daily Omega 3s and the same goes for Vitamin D in sardines. Many shellfish items fall under the superfood category but oysters rank higher than most with their high levels of iron and zinc.

Grains: Quinoa and Oats

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This pair of grains contain the most protein out of the entire food group. They both contain over 10 grams of protein per serving and also have healthy levels of fiber. Oats also house magnesium and potassium which lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.

It’s easy to see why these foods earned “super” as a prefix to their name. Filled with high levels of the nutrients our bodies need on a daily basis, adding superfoods to every meal, is a healthy move. Achieving optimal health should definitely include the incorporation of these nutritious options.