Diet & Nutrition
Advertisement
Advertisement

6 Superfoods That Will Be Major in 2017

Out with the old... These are the newest nutrient powerhouses of the year.

1 / 7

By Taylor Lupo

 

It seems “superfood”—the buzzword circulating in health circles everywhere—is used to describe nutrient-dense foods. But what exactly does it take to earn the illustrious title? There is no single definition, but generally speaking, superfoods, most often fruits and veggies, are rich with nutrients.

 

Don’t forget: It’s important to eat a wide variety of healthy foods, but incorporating these fruits and veggies will give your diet a serious boost. Find out which of your favorites made Sharecare’s list of top superfoods for 2017.

Beetroot

2 / 7 Beetroot

In addition to adding color to salads and smoothies, beetroot packs a punch of nutrients, like vitamin C, important for immune function; potassium, which boosts heart and muscle function; and folate, necessary for proper cell division.

 

One review suggests beetroot, when consumed as a juice, may lower blood pressure. A related study suggests beetroot juice can relax blood vessels, potentially easing stress on the heart. Another review suggests beetroot juice can boost exercise performance of inactive or recreationally active people, and beet juice may enhance the performance of elite athletes, like runners, but more research is needed to determine the efficacy.

Goji Berries

3 / 7 Goji Berries

Are goji berries worth the hype? More research is needed to uncover the real benefits of this berry, but one small study did suggest an increase in digestion in participants who drank goji berry juice over a 14-day period.

 

Goji berries are easy to incorporate into your diet. Try adding a handful to your yogurt or whole grain oats. or blend them into a smoothie. One ounce of goji berries is loaded with vitamin A, which aids in promoting cell division and keeping white blood cells healthy. They also contain vitamin C, which helps your body’s ability to heal.

Blueberries

4 / 7 Blueberries

Toss some blueberries into your cereal or throw a few in your lunchtime salad for a boost of vitamins C and K, and manganese—24, 36 and 25 percent DV per cup. These nutrients promote bone and tooth health, are imperative for blood clotting and can help your body use fat and carbs.  

 

Studies suggest a berry-rich diet can improve heart health. One study suggests eating three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries each week was linked to lower risk of heart attack risk in women, when compared with those who ate berries once a month. Another study of post-menopausal women revealed a blueberry supplement, when consumed over an 8-week period, reduced participants’ blood pressure.

Papaya

5 / 7 Papaya

One cup of papaya contains 144 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, important for the growth and repair of the body’s tissue and 31 percent DV of vitamin A, which helps keep cells healthy. Bonus: It contains only 55 calories per cup.

 

Another resounding quality of papaya is its fiber content—one cup contains about 10 percent DV. Dietary fiber helps regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and promotes bowel health. 

Acai Berries

6 / 7 Acai Berries

Acai bowls—a recent health craze that layers blended acai berries with fruit and granola—made this berry a household name.

 

Acai berries contain dietary fiber, good for digestion, and vitamin A, which is important for vision and immune function. Acai contains more antioxidants, substances that are touted for their ability to protect cells against the damaging effects of free radicals, than other berries, like cranberries and even blueberries. Plus, unsweetened acai berries have a glycemic load of one, meaning they have basically no affect on blood sugar levels.

Turmeric

7 / 7 Turmeric

Turmeric is rich in iron, which helps your red blood cells carry oxygen to your organs; manganese, necessary for normal brain and nerve function; and vitamin B6, which helps your body transform food into fuel. Per tablespoon, this spice also adds a boost of protein and fiber. 
 

Turmeric, best known for its anti-inflammatory properties, can be blended into a smoothie, steeped as tea or incorporated into any of your favorite dishes. Turmeric can be used to reduce inflammation in many parts of the body, including stomach, skin, joints, liver, gallbladder and more. How? One study suggests that curcumin, an element of turmeric, may inhibit several molecules that cause inflammation.