11 Superfoods That Stand the Test of Time

When it comes to healthy eating, it can be hard to separate superfood from superfad, but these 11 miracle munchies have proven again and again to deliver serious bang for their nutrition buck.

Adapted by Alyssa Jung from Foods that Harm | Foods that Heal (Reader's Digest Association)
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    Blueberries boost brainpower!

    These natural sweet treats are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C, which help fight disease, as well as anthocyanins, which has been shown to increase brain functions. This blueberry breakfast smoothie packs an extra punch with a hint of flaxseeds, another proven superfood.

    Broccoli protects your bladder!

    Remember all those times your mother told you to eat your broccoli? Well, she might have been on to something. Cruciferous vegetables have been shown to protect against bladder cancer. This broccoli salad is a light and healthy side dish.

    Garlic guards your colon!

    This antioxidant-rich food is not only flavorful, but can reduce your risk of developing colon tumors. For a garlicky snack, check out these unique hummus recipes.

    Flaxseeds battle breast cancer!

    These small brown seeds are packed with fiber and loaded with lignans, which have been shown to slow tumor growth in women with breast cancer. They also contain magnesium to help control blood sugar, and omega-3 fatty acids to lower triglycerides and reduce inflammation. Make your own whole wheat flaxseed bread.

    Soy strengthens your bones!

    Tofu and other soy products aren't just for vegetarians. Consuming soy can reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer, lower cholesterol, and boost your bone strength. It can even help with hot flashes in menopausal women. These teriyaki noodles with tofu are a flavorful, healthy meal.

    Pomegranate reduces inflammation!

    Pomegranate juice can reduce cancer-causing inflammation in the body and stave off the progression of coronary heart disease. Drink it plain, or add some pomegranate juice to this energy-boosting fruit salad, which also fights wrinkles.

    Dark chocolate reduces stress!

    Not like you need an excuse to indulge in dark chocolate, but a few ounces a day of the concentrated, 75% cocoa stuff, can actually lower your bad cholesterol, prevent your arteries from clogging, and reduce stress. Nibble some squares, or try this dark chocolate fudge frosting from The Cake Boss; just make sure to get dark enough cocoa.

    Tomatoes fight cancer!

    These juicy red vegetables are packed with lycopene, a carotenoid known to lower your risk for developing many kinds of cancers, as well as heart disease. Studies found that cooking tomatoes actually makes the lycopene much more potent. Try these cherry tomatoes stuffed with pesto cheese or this healthy roasted tomato and black bean soup.

    Beans clean out your system!

    Whether you're meat-free or not, beans are a healthy protein alternative, containing a hearty amount of fiber to help keep your system moving. They're also full of B vitamins to protect your heart and relieve stress, and iron and calcium. Chicken and pinto bean tacos are a tasty high-fiber meal.

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    Green leafy veggies protect your eyes!

    Dark leafy greens like spinach, Swiss chard, and kale are true superfoods, packed with iron, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, folate, and calcium, all essential for a strong, healthy body. They also contain lutein, which can protect against macular degeneration and cataracts. Portuguese kale soup gives a health boost, times three, by incorporating three different superfoods. 

    Fish keep your heart healthy!

    Fish like salmon and mackerel are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, decrease inflammation in the body, and even improve brain function. Try this recipe for salmon with creamy tarragon sauce. If you can't eat fish, nuts like almonds and walnuts are a good alternative with the same powerful results. 

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