En español | Superfoods are so-called because they're packed with vitamins and nutrients and may reduce your risk of chronic disease, as well as give your brain a boost.
Sure, some superfoods have exotic-sounding names (goji berries?), but many are already in your refrigerator, and those that aren't are readily available in grocery stores and farmers markets. Here are my favorite superfoods — they're delicious, healthy and easy to prepare.
Beans are full of fiber, which fills you up and helps lower cholesterol. They're also a good, low-fat source of protein, carbohydrates, magnesium and potassium. Eat them on their own, blend them into a dip or add them to a pasta or veggie salad.
Salmon has lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which studies show can cut your risk of heart attack and stroke. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of salmon (or another fatty fish such as mackerel, sardines or albacore tuna) every week. Bake or grill lightly seasoned salmon for a delicious and heart-healthy main dish.
Berries are loaded with antioxidants and other nutrients that reduce inflammation and may protect our brains as we age. They also have a high water content and are rich in fiber, both of which help control blood sugar and keep you feeling full longer. Eat them by the handful or add them to oatmeal, salad or yogurt.
Yogurt is calcium-rich and a good source of vitamin B, protein and potassium. It can also be enhanced with other good-for-you edibles, such as fresh fruit. Look for plain yogurt fortified with vitamin D.
Kale is a terrific source of antioxidants, and its anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer and boost eye health. It's also full of vitamins A, C and K. Serve it chopped in a salad, sautéed — or for a crispy treat, bake these hearty leaves into chips.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is high in protein, calcium, B vitamins and iron. Packed with potassium, the grain also may help reduce blood pressure. Toast the seeds before cooking to enhance quinoa's nutty flavor. Add veggies to create a tasty salad or eat it plain.
These are just a few of the foods that may help you enjoy a longer, more energetic and healthy life. Experiment a little and find the superfoods that you love.
Remember to go to the AARP home page every day for tips on keeping healthy and sharp, and great deals.