Superfoods are foods high in nutrients and phytochemicals, with few negative properties such as artificial ingredients, saturated fats, and other chemical additives. Although the term “superfoods” has been contested to be a purely marketing gimmick, I can’t say that I prefer loading up on vitamins to these natural foods. All or most of the foods listed below, which we have highlighted to be particularly good for women in the 20s and 30s, are readily available at your local grocery stores, and perhaps in your fridge. I’ve also included delicious serving ideas to pair with each superfood. Start and end your day right for a happier and healthier body!
Apples are rich in fiber, a great food to help us feel satiated, giving our body the necessary dose of pectin, a soluble fiber believed to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and the risk of colon cancer, breast cancer, and diabetes.
Serving suggestions: eat with peanut butter, juice with other fruits (I like apples with carrots), or consume as is.
Loaded with the antioxidant lycopene (the same one found in carrots, red bell peppers, watermelons, and papayas), tomatoes are said to help in protecting the skin against damage that leads to skin cancer. In addition, they are rich in vitamin C and help to boost your immune system.
Serving suggestions: sprinkle with a little sugar when eating them raw, juice with other fruits (I like tomatoes with oranges), or toss in a salad.
While the research is still developing, kale may help to prevent breast and ovarian cancers. Researchers think that kale’s phytonutrients may cause the body to make enzymes that combat cancer-causing substances. It also contains vitamin C, potassium and calcium–essential for bone mass in women in their 20s and 30s to prevent osteoporosis.
Serving suggestions: toss in a salad or soup.
Blueberries are not only yummy, they may protect us against cancer and dementia, and can even neutralize free radicals that cause cell damage. The nutrition in blueberries can also help to protect the skin against premature aging.
Serving suggestions: eat as is, toss in a fruit salad, juice with other fruits (I like blueberries with strawberries or mangoes or peaches), include them in your baked goods such as muffins, scones, and cakes, throw them in your yogurt, sorbet and ice cream, and for a simple last-minute dessert: mascarpone cheese topped with blueberries.
The selenium in lean turkey breast meat helps boost our immune function. Turkey also contains niacin and vitamins essential for energy production.
Serving suggestions: replace anything chicken with turkey–throw it in a salad or soup, bake it, grill it, just don’t eat it raw.
Women in their 20s and 30s disproportionately suffer from low iron levels that can lead to anemia, which can cause fatigue and low energy. Eggs are not only a great source of protein to start your day off right, but they also combat anemia because they are rich in iron. An added bonus: eggs have biotin and vitamin B-12, which can help strengthen your hair.
Serving suggestions: include them in your soups, salads, sandwiches, and rice dishes (i.e. if you’re making curry or stoup, toss in some hardboiled eggs).
If Popeye hasn’t convinced you enough, we’ll back him up by telling you that this green is rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It also contains antioxidants (via flavonoids), is anti-inflammatory, aids digestion, and helps lower the effects of stress in the body (via magnesium).
Serving suggestions: toss in a salad or soup, include in your omelet, sandwich, quesadilla.
While salmon has omega-3 fatty acids, the key ingredient here is the DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Our body can use DHA to protect its cellular membranes, which can help combat depression, cardiovascular disease, strokes, hypertension, and Alzheimer’s. And omega-3 fatty acids are great for keeping mucous membranes in great shape, bye bye dryness!
Serving suggestions: delicious grilled, baked, panfried, simply with salt and pepper.
Pistachios pack a ton of antioxidants our bod needs to reduce cholesterol and even help reduce stress. In addition, they’re a great source of iron, calcium, and potassium. Pistachios give us more protein than any other nut (apart from almonds). At snack time, go for unsalted in shells. And those shells are actually a good thing, since the time it takes to crack and eat each pistachio will make us more conscious of portion size–ever heard of pistachios being referred to as “the skinny nut?”
Serving suggestions: toss in a salad, or eat as is as a snack.
Folate is important not only for expectant mothers, but for all women of childbearing age. In addition, edamame is also a great source of calcium–recommended for those with osteoporosis. Also known to alleviate menopause symptoms, edamame has been shown to ward off grey hair in some cases. Some even say edamame is an aphrodisiac.
Serving suggestions: get them in bulk in the frozen aisle of your grocery store, steam and sprinkle with a little salt, throw into a salad, panfry with corn and some butter.
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