Nutrition Expert Recommends Superfoods for Healthy Resolutions

It’s a week into 2016, and your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier may already be going sour.

But it’s a sweet goal, and one easy way to make progress is to add a few “superfoods” into your diet, according to Lee Murphy, professor of nutrition at UT.

“We should all incorporate more of these nutrient-dense foods into our diets on a regular basis because they are so bountiful in nutrition,” said Murphy. “All are high in dietary fiber as well as key vitamins and minerals.”

Here are five superfoods Murphy suggests adding to your meal plan:

  • Spinach—Spinach is great because it is chock-full of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin K, and other good-for-you nutrients. It is also an excellent source of dietary fiber. Eating spinach raw or cooked lightly will boost its antioxidant content.
  • Broccoli—This well-known superfood is full of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, B vitamins (including folate), and many others. It’s packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants, which promote health and can prevent diseases.
  • Berries—All berries are rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber. Depending on the variety, they can also be good sources of other nutrients. The pigments that cause the bright colors in berries are also powerful phytochemicals and antioxidants which provide disease-preventing compounds.
  • Beans—Beans come in a number of varieties, all of which are excellent sources of dietary fiber, protein, and B vitamins (including folate). Consider eating beans as a meat alternative several times a week for better health—and a less expensive source of protein.
  • Quinoa—Quinoa is actually a seed and is related to spinach, but it is generally considered a grain. It’s a complete source of protein, which means it has all the essential proteins the body needs. Most vegetable sources of protein do not have this quality. Quinoa is also rich in magnesium, iron, and dietary fiber. All of this makes it a great option for vegans and vegetarians.

So, to revive your resolve, stop worrying about everything you shouldn’t eat, and focus on things you should eat.

“These foods help us reach our daily nutritional goals, help keep our bodies functioning properly, and also aid in preventing certain sicknesses and diseases,” said Murphy.

C O N T A C T :

Lee Murphy (865-974-5520, leemurph@utk.edu)

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460, tyra.haag@tennessee.edu)