5 Overlooked Superfoods

5 Overlooked Superfoods

Up your nutrient intake with these commonplace foods. They may not be as trendy as goji berries or chia seeds, but they’re just as super!

The word “superfood” tends to be associated with exotic-sounding berries and seeds—but what about the nutrient-dense, disease-fighting foods that we already know and love? Here are five everyday superfoods that deserve some space on our plates, too.

1. Oats

A hearty bowl of oatmeal topped with cinnamon, walnuts, and fruit has always been my breakfast (and sometimes lunch) of choice. Why do I love oats so much? Far from boring, they’re a fibre-filled whole grain that may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Plus, they possess unique antioxidants that are thought to have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. Beyond oatmeal, oats can add crunchy texture to cookies, smoothies, and even salads.

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2. Spinach

Kale is the latest, greatest green of choice, but that’s no reason to ditch spinach. True to its reputation as Popeye’s muscle-enhancing snack, spinach is rich in antioxidants that may help our muscles recover after exercise.

This leafy green is also packed with essential nutrients such as folate, iron, calcium, potassium, and manganese, as well as vitamins A, C, and K. If salads aren’t your thing, add a handful of spinach to your favourite fruit smoothie.

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3. Dates

Sugar? Pshaw. There’s no need for artificial sweeteners or added sugars when we use moist, sweet dates in our baked goods and smoothies. Despite their caramel-like taste, dates are actually a low-glycemic index food that won’t significantly raise blood sugar levels. When baking with dates, use the soft, sticky medjool variety for best results.

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4. Sardines

When it comes to the health benefits of fish, salmon seems to be the catch of the day. But sardines have a boatload of merits, too. These tiny fish are a sustainable source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, as well as calcium, protein, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Sardines are inexpensive and come in canned, smoked, or frozen varieties, so it’s easy to get hooked on this super seafood.

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5. Brown rice

With quinoa and ancient grains such as amaranth gaining popularity, boring brown rice has become the peasant of the grain family. This is a shame, because brown rice has a kingly nutritional profile—especially compared to white rice. One study showed that, while eating five or more servings of white rice per week may increase our risk of type 2 diabetes, two servings of brown rice can lower our diabetes risk by 16 percent.

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