6 Superfoods You Need in Your Kitchen | Rocky Mountain Health Plans Blog



Superfoods = A Super You


What you eat influences how good you feel each and every day, so you might as well dine on the good stuff. The next time you visit the grocery store or farmer’s market consider picking up a few of these superfoods and adding them to your favorite snacks and recipes.


What is a superfood?


While there’s no official definition of a “superfood,” it generally consists of a food that has more nutrients per serving than other foods, or a high quantity of a particular nutrient.


Superfoods don’t have to be exotic, either.


1. Garlic


Garlic lovers, rejoice! Your favorite flavor has a surprising amount of nutrients including vitamins C and B6, manganese, as well as free radical fighting antioxidants. Garlic extract is an effective treatment for yeast infections and may also protect against enlarged prostate.


There’s also limited evidence that Allium vegetables, like garlic and onions, reduce a person’s risk of developing gastric and endometrial cancers.


2. Lemons


Lemons are rich in vitamin C and one lemon contains 187 percent of the recommended daily value per serving. Lemons are also low in sugar and versatile in the kitchen. Considered a great source of thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, iron, magnesium, fiber, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, copper, folate, potassium, lemons are a wealth of healthy goodness.


3. Elderflower


The elderflower is considered a superfood due to its antiviral properties. It can help with swollen sinuses, sore throats, common colds, and even the flu. This edible flower is most often consumed as a tea, but you can also make delicious jams and jellies with the berries.


4. Lentils


They don’t have the same buzz as trendier superfoods like quinoa, açai, and kale, but lentils pack a nutritional punch.


Lentils are also full of fiber, folate, and magnesium. The fiber in particular helps you feel full and satisfied — try adding some lentils to your next salad for an extra dose of nutrition.


Australia-based dietician Lyndi Cohen has nothing but praise for lentils, explaining, “You get both protein and carbohydrates in one foul swoop. Aside from dairy, there aren't really any other foods we can say that about.”


5. Pumpkin


Pumpkins are one of the most nutritious fruits around. Canned pumpkin is the easiest way to eat more pumpkin, and one cup of the canned stuff has seven grams of fiber and three grams of protein, plus a host of other vitamins. Pumpkin is even full of beta-carotene, which is important for maintaining eye health. 


Let’s not forget about the seeds, either. A single ounce of pumpkin seeds has protein, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. They also have high levels of phytosterols, which some research suggests can reduce cholesterol and help prevent certain types of cancer.


With so many tasty ways to cook with pumpkin, this one superfood deserves a place in your pantry.   


6. Beets


Beets are known for their intense purple color, which comes from antioxidant-rich betalains. Studies suggest that belatins may help prevent cancer and other degenerative diseases, but this isn’t the only thing that makes beets a superfood. They’re also full of vitamins A, B, and C, plus potassium, fiber, and folate.


They're not just for juicing as beets can be roasted, boiled, steamed, and eaten raw. Add them to a salad with some lentils, prepare them as a side for the main meal, or cook them up with your favorite veggies.