Superfood lists are always fun, especially since they inevitably include some foods that are the very worst thing ever in the view of some foodies. (Canola oil, anyone?) Here’s a list by Karen Ansel that appeared in Woman’s Day. From the full list of 52 (I assume that the initial idea was a deck of superfood playing cards), the top 25:
1. Eggs Each egg has 6 grams of protein but just 72 calories. No wonder researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, found that eating eggs for breakfast (as part of a low-cal diet) helps you slim down.
2. Tomato sauce It’s loaded with lycopene, which makes your skin look younger and keeps your heart healthy. In fact, a Harvard study found that women with the most lycopene in their blood reduced their risk of a heart attack by 34%. [Watermelon has much more available lycopene. – LG]
3. Dried plums (prunes) They’re packed with polyphenols, plant chemicals that have been shown to boost bone density by stimulating your bone-building cells.
4. Walnuts Just 14 walnut halves provide more than twice your daily dose of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that’s been shown to improve memory and coordination.
5. Brussels sprouts They have more glucosinolates (compounds that combat cancer and detoxify our bodies) than any other vegetable. For a side dish that will make you wonder why you’ve been avoiding them, slice each one into quarters, then sauté in olive oil with chopped sweet Vidalia onions.
6. Acai juice A glass or two of this anthocyanin-rich berry juice can dramatically boost the amount of antioxidants in your blood, say Texas A&M University researchers.
7. Apples They contain quercetin, an antioxidant that may reduce your risk of lung cancer.
8. Bok choy This calcium-rich veggie can protect your bones and may even ward off PMS symptoms.
9. Steel-cut oats Because they’re less processed than traditional oats, they’re digested more slowly—keeping you full all morning long. [And so it follows that oat groats—whole-grain oats, not cut or processed—would be even better. And they are. – LG]
10. Salmon You’ll get all the heart-smart omega-3s you need in a day from just 3 oz.
11. Avocados Their healthy fat keeps you satisfied and helps you absorb other nutrients. For a new u twist, brush a halved avocado (pit removed) with olive oil and grill 1 minute. Serve with red onion, sliced grapefruit and balsamic vinegar.
12. Spinach A half-cup provides more than five times your daily dose of vitamin K, which helps blood clot and builds strong bones.
13. Canned pumpkin It’s filled with natural cancer fighters alpha- and beta-carotene.
14. Cauliflower White foods can be good for you! This one is packed with cancer-fighting glucosinolates.
15. Scallops A 3-oz serving has 14 grams of protein but just 75 calories.
16. Collard greens They’re exploding with nutrients like vitamin A, zeaxanthin and lutein, which keep your eyes healthy.
17. Olives They deliver the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat you get in olive oil, but for just 7 calories per jumbo olive!
18. Brown rice It’s a top source of magnesium, a mineral your body uses for more than 300 chemical reactions (such as building bones and converting food to energy).
19. Oysters These keep your immune system strong. A 3-oz serving (about 6 oysters) dishes up a quarter of your daily iron, plus nearly twice the zinc and all the selenium you need in a day.
20. Edamame One cup has a whopping 22 grams of plant protein, as well as lots of fiber, folate and cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.
21. Strawberries They’re loaded with ellagitannins, phytochemicals that may halt the growth of cervical and colon cancers.
22. Lentils A great source of meat-free protein, a half-cup of cooked lentils also gives you nearly half your daily folate, a B vitamin that protects a woman’s unborn baby from neural tube defects.
23. Bran flakes Their whole grains keep your heart in tip-top shape by reducing inflammation and melting away belly fat.
24. Kiwi Italian researchers found that it reduces asthma-related wheezing, thanks to its high vitamin C content (one kiwi has 110% of your daily requirement).
25. Black beans They’re loaded with protein, fiber, and flavonoids—antioxidants that help your arteries stay relaxed and pliable.