Meal Plan Created By: Amanda Kostro Miller
Those who eat a variety of healthy foods, especially those who try new foods sporadically, have a more healthy diet overall.1 To keep you eating healthy (and to keep your diet from getting boring), we’re bringing you 12 months of healthy eating with handy cheat sheets, meal plans, and tips to help you eat food that’s as flavorful and fun as it is good for you.
ICYMI: 12 Months of Healthy Eating: Plant-Based Meals
Our focus this month is all about superfoods. You know, the foods like kale and salmon and black beans that are so full of nutrients, it’s almost as though they have super powers—well, when it comes to pumping up your diet, anyway.2 Incorporating superfoods into a healthy diet can be a fun way to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to be heart healthy. This month, our meal plan (custom made by a registered dietician) contains all the superfoods you could want, in mouth-watering breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes. Heck, we even threw in a few superfood snacks for when you get the munchies. Try our 7-day superfoods meal plan today!
Download The Meal Plan
What is a Superfood?
You might be picturing an apple with a cape on it, or a masked banana, or maybe even an orange wielding a golden Viking hammer, but superfoods are so much more than just their fun name might suggest. Originally developed as a marketing term, the word “superfoods” (or sometimes, “power foods”) refers to a certain group of foods which have especially healthy properties.3 Although there’s technically no official category of foods that can be called “superfoods,” the foods that most of us consider to be superfoods have a few key things in common. The foods which we consider “superfoods” are often:
- Nutrient rich
- Believed to help reduce the risk of diseases
- Perceived to provide substantial health benefits beyond their simple nutritional value4
While superfoods aren’t going to give you spidey senses or anything like that, building them into your healthy diet can help build variety into your diet, which often makes it healthier overall.
Related: How Super Are Your Superfoods?
Top 10 Superfoods of 2022
Every year, Today’s Dietician and Pollock Communications send a huge survey on dietary trends to over 1,100 dieticians, and because superfoods are so trendy these days, the survey includes a section on superfoods.5 Top superfoods can vary depending on the source, so if you search for “top superfoods,” the list might vary from year to year or by the author. Because superfoods aren’t going anywhere any time soon (for instance, the fact that blueberries are especially good for you won’t change), most of these lists are based off of eating trends and which foods are more popular than others.
Here are the top 10 superfoods of 2022, in no particular order:
- Fermented foods, like kimchi: These briny foods provide a powerful probiotic which may help regulate gut health.
- Avocados: Not only do avocados contain antioxidants, they are one of the food-based sources of CoQ10. (You’d have to eat 60 a day, though, in order to get the recommended daily 100mg that Ubiquinol provides.)
- Seeds: Seeds, like chia seeds, are superfoods thanks to their high proportions of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain antioxidants.
- Blueberries: These little blue fruits are famous for their powerful antioxidant content.
- Leafy dark greens: Spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, and other dark leafy green vegetables are superfoods thanks to their high levels of protein, flavonoids, and vitamins A & C.
- Ancient grains: An excellent substitute for rice or other grains, ancient grains include foods like quinoa, teff, amaranth, or farro. Quinoa alone contains all nine essential amino acids!
- Green tea: This calming tea not only warms you up, it also contains anti-inflammatory properties.6
- Exotic fruit, like açai: The benefits of eating exotic fruit don’t just stop with taste, they also may help improve cholesterol levels.7
- Kale: A standout among the dark leafy greens group, Kale provides flavonoids, fiber, and vitamins A, K, and C.
- Nuts: Nuts of all kinds are a great source of protein, especially for those who are on a plant-based diet, but certain nuts have other helpful health effects. Pistachios, for instance, have noted positive effects on eye health.8
Our meal plan includes several delicious recipes with these amazing superfoods, but due to the nature of superfoods, you can add them to almost any healthy recipe for an added health boost!
Balance is Key for Adding Superfoods to Your Diet
While all of these superfoods sound pretty wonderful, it’s important to make sure that each of your meals is balanced. For instance, just because avocados are considered superfoods, that doesn’t mean you should go wild and eat only avocados for your dinner. It’s generally more important to try for a healthy plate overall, rather than focusing on only boosting your superfood intake.
This month’s meal plan includes breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks that include most of these trendy superfoods. Try a colorful, briny, and crunchtastic tofu kimchi rice bowl for lunch, or sip on a berry kefir smoothie for breakfast. Plus, you can’t go wrong with our recipe for superfood pizza, which is packed with olives, mushrooms, and kale. Can you say yum?
Looking for more heart-healthy recipes? Download our heart-healthy cookbook and try something new for dinner.