Everyone has heard the saying, “You are what you eat,” which, to some extent, is true. How our bodies function depends heavily on our diet. However, this does not mean you have to reach for the rarest berries or funkiest seaweeds few have ever heard of. Sometimes, the best food boosters are a lot more common. Below, Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietician with a private practice in Harrison and Greenwich, rounds up five everyday super foods you may already have in your pantry.
Tomatoes: These fruits (not vegetables) “are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant,” says Schapiro. “Lycopene may prevent against certain cancers, heart disease, and even protect against UV rays. Tomatoes are also rich in potassium, vitamin C and fiber.” So whether you’re throwing together a salad or cooking a burger, considering adding a couple slices.
Blueberries: These little oval fruits are jam-packed with antioxidants that Schapiro says could “possibly prevent cancer, as well as age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.” While you could eat them alone, blueberries also taste great when sprinkled on top of your favorite yogurt…or cheesecake.
Salmon: This popular fish is “rich in Omega 3 fatty acids that are known to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and protect against cardiovascular disease,” notes Schapiro. “Omega-3’s may also reduce risk of cancer.” The fish is additionally “rich in B vitamins and selenium.” While salmon only stays fresh for a few days, the health benefits make it worth the purchase.
Broccoli: A cruciferous vegetable, broccoli “is rich in phytonutrients which help reduce the risk of cancer,” says Schapiro. They are “also rich in vitamin C and folic acid.” Luckily, it’s also easy to incorporate into a plethora of meals. They taste great in salads, added on top of pasta, or simply served as a side dish to your favorite cooked meat.
Oats: People always seem to run at the mere mention of carbohydrates, but as it turns out, Schapiro contends that oats “are rich in fiber that can lower cholesterol and prevent against heart disease. Oats are also rich in magnesium, potassium, and phytonutrients. Magnesium can help regulate blood-sugar levels, and consuming whole-grain oats may reduce the risk.”