Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. Focusing on just 7 super nutritious foods can help boost your overall wellbeing. These foods pack the biggest nutritional punch for energy, disease prevention, immune function and more.
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, arugula and romaine lettuce should be the foundation of a healthy diet. Just one cup of raw leafy greens provides:
- High fiber to support digestion and heart health
- Vitamin K for healthy bones and blood clotting
- Lutein and zeaxanthin to protect eye health
- Vitamin C for immune function and collagen production
- Calcium, potassium and magnesium for muscle and nerve function
- Folate for DNA synthesis and red blood cell production
The fiber in leafy greens also feeds the good bacteria in your gut microbiome. This supports immunity, metabolism and brain health.
Aim for at least 2 cups of leafy greens per day. They make great additions to salads, sandwiches, pastas and more.
Closely related to kale and cabbage, broccoli is a disease-fighting superfood. Just one cup of broccoli delivers:
- Vitamin C and vitamin K
- Potent antioxidants like sulforaphane
- Fiber for digestion and heart health
- Anti-inflammatory benefits
- Immune-boosting phytonutrients
The sulforaphane in broccoli also shows promise for cancer prevention. Broccoli protects brain health and may reduce age-related mental decline.
Steaming broccoli lightly preserves the nutrients. Enjoy broccoli raw with dips, add to stir fries, omelets or roast for a flavor boost.
Avocados provide anti-inflammatory healthy fats along with key phytonutrients. One medium avocado offers:
- Fiber for digestion and managing blood sugar
- Monounsaturated fats to reduce heart disease risk factors
- Lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health
- Potassium to control blood pressure
- Vitamin E, zinc and folate
The healthy fats in avocados help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins from other foods too. Enjoy avocado in smoothies, salads, spreads and more.
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries brim with antioxidants and polyphenols that protect cells. Berries deliver:
- Vitamin C, manganese and copper
- Fiber, especially soluble pectin fiber
- Anthocyanins and flavonoids to reduce inflammation
- Ellagic acid shown to inhibit tumor growth
- Improved cognition, memory and motor function
The vibrant pigments in berries signal their high antioxidant content. Eat berries daily in smoothies, parfaits, oatmeal or yogurt. Frozen berries retain nutrients well when fresh are out of season.
5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A staple of the Mediterranean diet, extra virgin olive oil provides monounsaturated fats that promote heart health. It contains:
- Vitamin E to protect against cellular damage
- Powerful anti-inflammatory compounds
- Polyphenols linked to reducing risk of chronic diseases
- Oleocanthal shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease
- Antimicrobial and cancer-fighting properties
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over salads, grains, roasted vegetables and more. Look for certified extra virgin olive oil.
Walnuts are a stellar source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid along with minerals and polyphenols. Just one ounce of walnuts provides:
- 2.5g plant-based omega-3s for brain and heart health
- 4g protein for tissue repair and energy
- Vitamin B6, copper, manganese, biotin and folate
- Potent antioxidants that reduce inflammation
- Improved cognitive function and motor skills
Add walnuts to yogurt, oatmeal, salads or eat as a snack.
7. Fatty Fish
Cold-water fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and trout are exceptional sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3s. A 3-ounce serving of salmon offers:
- Over 2g omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA
- High-quality protein for muscle growth and maintenance
- B vitamins for converting food into energy
- Selenium, niacin, potassium and vitamin D
- Low mercury levels compared to other seafood
Aim to eat fatty fish at least twice per week. Grilled, baked or pan-seared are healthy preparations.
Start Eating the Healthiest Foods
A diet incorporating leafy greens, broccoli, avocados, berries, olive oil, walnuts and fatty fish sets you up for better health and longevity. These superfoods fight inflammation, protect cells, optimize brain function and reduce disease risk.
Eating the same healthy foods daily develops healthy lifelong eating habits. Prepare these foods simply with herbs, spices or dressings you enjoy. Your body will reap the compounding benefits.