Reasons why you shouldn’t leave the grocery store without them!

“Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive…LOOK!” On your grocery store shelves…SUPER FOODS!

There are many foods that have become popular for their “super” properties, such as preventing disease, reducing inflammation, or even decreasing hunger. Though these foods aren’t going to make you fly, they will provide you and your kids with some powerful properties. Take a look and see how you can incorporate these foods into your daily diet.

Almonds – Just 23 almonds provide a healthy dose of vitamin E, protein, potassium, selenium, and manganese. Not just rich in vitamins and minerals, almonds also are abundant in monounsaturated fats and fiber, which helps to stabilize blood sugar, and encourages satiety (the feeling of fullness), thus prevents overeating. According to the FDA, eating nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may also reduce the risk of heart disease.

Apples – One of the highest fiber-containing fruits, apples contain a rich source of antioxidants (anti-cancer scavengers that kick the badbugs out of the body). Eat the skin for a treat that not only helps with digestion, but also fights cavities. Apples contain fruit-cleansing properties that prevent tooth decay. This super food not only helps to keep the dentist away, but the doctor as well! According to a study published in the Nutrition Journal, children who consumed two apples a week reduced their asthma risk by one-third.

Avocado – Touted for its content of good fats (monounsaturated fat), avocados have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Just 1/5 of an avocado has 45 calories, and 4.5 grams of fat, and also is an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, and Vitamin K, C, E and B6. With tasty flavor and smooth texture, this super food makes for an ideal baby food as well as a healthy treat for older kids and adults. Quick snack idea: removing the pit of the avocado, fill the hole with low-fat cottage cheese. Yum!

Blueberries – In addition to antioxidants, one-half cup of blueberries is loaded with Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and fiber. This nutritionally dense snack promotes eye health, brain development, and improved digestion. Blueberries also serve as a natural mood booster, ideal for the crankiest of days! Add these little blue guys to yogurt, oatmeal, or even pancakes to start the day off right.

Cabbage – Don’t wrinkle your nose at this super food! One cup is loaded with fiber and Vitamins A, B, C, and D. Cabbage actually contains as much vitamin C an orange! Like blueberries, red cabbage contains antioxidants and has been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Cabbage also is rich in iodine, a mineral essential for growth in children. Add red and green chopped cabbage to bowtie noodles for a kid-friendly and healthy dinner!chia seeds

Chia seeds – The latest trendy super food, but one that has been around for years, chia provides Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein. Replace these for poppy seeds in muffins, breads, or mix them into oatmeal for a delicious treat. You will be surprised how versatile these little seeds are in recipes.

Dark chocolate – This sweet treat is high in potassium, copper, magnesium, and iron. Contrary to popular belief that sweets promote cavities, consuming an ounce of dark chocolate about twice a week can actually benefit a child’s oral health. Dark chocolate is rich in theobromine, a mild stimulant that has been shown to harden tooth enamel and lower cavity risk. Keep it bitter, look for real cacao (60 percent or more) to pack the most flavonols and antioxidants to fight disease.

Stay tuned for additional information about superfoods and learn about more choices to stock in your refrigerator and pantry.

Lara Field MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian and Specialist in Pediatrics with over a decade of clinical and client experience. When she’s not actively working to keep her clients healthy, she’s a busy mother of two active boys and loves testing new recipes in her kitchen. Follow her on Instagram to see her recipe ideas, product suggestions, and see how she manages a healthy lifestyle @larafield.