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Many nutritionists will tell you that “superfood” is a loaded term—and, sometimes, the health halo associated with so-called superfoods isn’t totally earned or deserved. But when asked to list the best superfoods right now, many nutritionists chose staples that aren’t exactly “new”, but rather a healthy part of any diet—fresh produce.
A new annual survey published by Today’s Dietitian and Pollock Communications asked 1,342 registered dietitians which foods they believe are the healthiest for 2019—or, the superfoods they believe consumers will go bananas over. In the past, Cooking Light has asked our lead nutritionist, Carolyn Williams, PHD, RD, to investigate ingredients like turmeric, matcha, and alkaline water that many on the internet had lauded as “superfoods,” but it seems that nutritionists are now considering more routine items to have a better reputation overall.
The one noticeable change in this year’s survey? Kale has fallen off the top ten list, while another non-dairy item makes its way onto it.
These are the top 10 superfoods to keep an eye on:
Fermented Foods. Yogurt is a prime example of this category, as gut health continues to be one of the most innovative aspects of nutrition today. Consumers are interested in ﬁnding foods—like these four gut-healthy ingredients—that can help them reduce inﬂammation and detox naturally. If you’re interested in resetting your microbiome with fermented foods, check out Cooking Light’s 3-day detox plan.
Avocados. While kale isn’t on nutritionists’ radar anymore, this creamy fruit still is—and for good reason. Avocados contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals including potassium, vitamin E, vitamin C, B vitamins, and folic acid, according to Jamie Vespa, MS, RD. Avocados are also chock full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and dietary ﬁber, with roughly 50 calories per 1-ounce serving.
Seeds. From chia seeds to ï¬‚axseed and even hemp seeds, these small-but-mighty snacks are nutritional powerhouses. They’re loaded with dietary fiver, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These are 5 seeds you should be adding to your diet immediately.
Ancient Grains. Quinoa isn’t the only wholesome grain you should be enjoying in 2019. Farro, a popular substitute for enriched pasta products, and teﬀ, which is similar to millet, can be used to top salads, bulk up grain bowls, or in baking.
Exotic Fruit. From acai to goji berries, these deliciously sweet options are solid sources of ﬁber, plus they’re rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy fatty acids. We love them in these healthy and delicious smoothie bowls.
Blueberries. Williams says this superfood contains high levels of phytochemicals—including ﬂavonoids, anthocyanins, and resveratrol—that help the body combat inﬂammation naturally. Other research has shown blueberries to cut risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as memory loss. Not bad for a little berry!
Beets. Beets have been shown to help offset the risk of many chronic diseases due to their high levels of vitamin B, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.
Nuts. Whether you choose almonds, pine nuts, pecans, or pistachios, nuts are one of the healthiest on-the-go snack options.
Coconut Products. We were a little surprised to see this item make the list. In fact, recent research has led to an all-time low demand for coconut oil, which was once one of the most high-proﬁle superfoods. Last year, the World Health Organization released new guidelines asking people to keep their saturated fat intake to less than 10g of day—so, keep that in mind when cooking with coconut oil or other coconut byproducts.
Non-dairy Milks. We’ve watched as oat milk has slowly but surely surged to popularity in America. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t sold on almond milk anymore, as it may be healthier than any other plant-based milk on the market. In fact, we’ve seen many non-dairy milks hit shelves this year, including pecan milk and macadamia milk. If you’re looking for the perfect milk for your dietary needs, consider our nutritionist’s guide.