Superfoods are foods that contain a substantial amount of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, while still low in calories. They are essential for a healthy diet, and luckily, there are many to choose from.

Beets

For thousands of years, beets have been a part of traditional Chinese medicine and is believed to be a natural blood purifier. A compound within beets, called betaine, helps your liver to process fats and improve overall liver function. They’re rich in vitamins A and C, as well as calcium. It’s easy to incorporate them in your diet. Roast them, add them to salads, or use them in brownies!

Basil

If you don’t have a basil plant on your window sill, you should go out and get one today. Basil contains two compounds (orientin and vicenin) that are though to protect chromosomes from environmental damage, thus they act like antioxidants! They also contain a compound called eugenol, which works in the same way as ibuprofen or aspirin would against pain!

Cauliflower

We’ve been taught for many years that colorful foods are the healthiest. So why then, is cauliflower on the list? It’s because cauliflower contains a potent antioxidant called sulforaphane, a compound thought to play a role in lowering the risk of cancer. Thanks to paleo diets, there are many ideas on how to incorporate cauliflower into your diet. Make cauliflower rice, use it as a pizza base, or simply roast it in the oven.

Miso

Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans.  Because it contains dipicolinic acid, it has a protective effect against chemicals and radiation. It’s heavy in sodium, but despite this, it’s still associated with a lower risk of heart disease. As if that is not enough, it’s also considered a probiotic, promoting digestive health and preventing bloating.

Butternut Squash

You may not think this everyday vegetable qualifies as a superfood, but it actually does! It’s packed with vitamin A! It’s got a high amount of beta-cryptoxanthin, which may play a role in lowering the risk of lung cancer. It’s also high in fiber, and we all know that high-fiber foods lower the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Kimchi

Kimchi is a well-known food in Korean cuisine. It’s a fermented condiment made from cabbage, daikon radish, garlic, onion, and fish sauce. It’s not only a great probiotic (which boosts your immunity), but it’s also good for your heart! It’s said to lower the bad “LDL” cholesterol and also has anti-cancer properties.

Another vegetable that might be so common, you don’t think of it as a superfood. But this green vegetable is packed with nutrients. One cup provides an impressive 4 grams of fiber, 100 milligrams of calcium, and more potassium than a banana. It’s also high in vitamin C and carotenoids (which protects eyesight). And the best of all? It’s low in calories, so you can add a lot to your meals!

Cacao Nibs

Think of cacao nibs as the lesser-known cousin of dark chocolate. But what exactly are they? Cacao nibs come from cacao beans that have been fermented, dried, and broken up into small pieces. They contain the same antioxidants as dark chocolate, which are known to lower the risk of stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. The flavanols in cacao nobs can lower blood pressure and are also anti-inflammatory!

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are high in vitamin C, and a compound called lycopene. Interestingly, the lycopene increases when tomatoes are heated or cooked, which makes tomato paste, pasta sauces, and canned tomatoes especially high in lycopene. What’s so great about lycopene? It’s a powerful antioxidant that protects the hearts and also lowers your risk of certain cancers.

Purple Potatoes

These brightly-colored potatoes are definitely a superfood. They are high in antioxidants which can protect you body from oxidative stresses, thus preventing premature ageing. One of these antioxidants are called polyphenols – the same compounds you would find in dark berries. They promote healthy cholesterol levels, improve eye health, and lowers your risk of cancer and heart disease.