The 10 Superfoods We're Already Seeing Everywhere in 2020
If you’re always on the lookout for simple ways to boost the nutritional content of your meals, you’ll be happy to know that you won’t have to totally restock your kitchen or revamp your weekly menu to make the trendiest foods of the year work for you. Among these expert picks for 2020 are seeds, berries, and veggies that you can easily add to your favorite meals to make them even healthier!
POPSUGAR spoke with a team of dietitians who have worked with countless clients to help improve their eating habits by making simple changes, like adding superfoods to every plate. If you can handle a few blackberries in your smoothie or a handful of arugula on your avocado toast, you can reap the benefits of the nutritional superstars our pros picked. Read on to see which superfoods need to be in your grocery cart.
We’re all about little ways we can bump the protein content of our meals, and Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, author of The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook, thinks hemp hearts deserve a top spot on that list. “Hemp hearts are a nice source of plant-based protein that can be added into many meals, like smoothies, yogurt, or over your favorite salad,” Maya told POPSUGAR. Protein-rich foods can make your meals more satisfying, and hemp hearts are unique because “they contain all nine essential amino acids and are filled with calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, E, as well as some B vitamins,” she said.
It’s no secret that berries are bursting with health benefits. If strawberries and blueberries are your standbys, it’s time to make room in your life for blackberries. “These tasty berries get their color from anthocyanins, which are antioxidant color pigments,” Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area, told POPSUGAR. The anthocyanins in blackberries may just give your brain a boost. There’s promising research that this phytonutrient may help delay age-related cognitive decline.
Amy loves to eat blackberries sprinkled with nutmeg. “They also taste delicious with Greek yogurt and a little bit of nut butter,” she said.
If you’ve yet to jump on the bone broth train, what are you waiting for? Natalie Senninger RDN, LD, of Nutrition 502, recommends bone broth to her clients because it contains “electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that regular broth might be lacking.”
The collagen in bone broth may support healthy hair, skin, and nails, and aid in digestion. Natalie explained that you can substitute bone broth in any recipe that calls for stock or broth. It’s fairly easy to make at home, and even easier to pick up on your next grocery run.
You may not be so quick to turn up your nose at sardines once you learn more about these nutritional powerhouses. “Sardines are a low-mercury, sustainable seafood that are an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids (which have shown promising benefits for heart health), vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus,” Maya explained. These tiny fish can be added to salad, served as part of an appetizer, or even eaten as a snack with crackers.
Welcome to the sweeter side of superfoods. “Goji berries (typically found dried) have very high levels of antioxidants, copper, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin A,” Natalie said. This long list of nutrients translates to cancer protection, anti-aging benefits, digestive support, and more. If you’re going to be snacking on trail mix, granola bars, oatmeal, and smoothies anyway, your body will thank you for throwing goji berries into the mix.
According to Ali Webster, PhD, RD, associate director of nutrition communications for the International Food Information Council, there’s big nutrition in these tiny seeds. “Sesame seeds are a source of fiber, zinc, and other important nutrients, and they impart a crunchy, roasted taste and texture to foods,” Ali said. If you want to give your immune system a boost, research shows that zinc may help to shorten the duration of the common cold.
Ali loves sesame seeds because they can be used to top everything from salads to loaves of bread. They can also be ground to make tahini, a popular condiment in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking that’s also delicious on toast or in a smoothie.
Dark leafy greens like arugula remain some of the healthiest foods you can eat. “They should be a staple part of your diet to ensure you are consuming adequate micronutrients that help with so many vital functions of your body,” Maya told POPSUGAR.
Just one 2-cup serving of arugula provides almost half of your daily vitamin A and will boost your vitamin C, iron, and calcium intake, too. Another bonus? Fiber. “Americans are not consuming enough fiber, and dark leafy greens are loaded with it,” Maya said. “Consuming dark leafy greens every day has been linked to improved blood glucose, better cardiovascular health, and even a lower risk of developing certain cancers.”
“Fermented foods have been around for centuries but are seeing a resurgence in popularity. Some fermented foods, like miso, contain probiotic bacteria, which may be beneficial for gut health,” Ali told POPSUGAR. Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans, salt, and a fungus called koji. Ali recommends it because of its versatility. “This paste can be used for everything from miso soup to sauces and as a part of main dishes,” she said. “There are several different types of miso (including red, white, yellow, and black), and each imparts a different flavor profile on the foods it’s cooked with.”
She noted that, while miso paste can deliver small amounts of vitamins and minerals, it may be too high in sodium for people who are watching their salt intake.