Health

Top 10 superfoods to fill your plate

Updated 11:48 AM ET, Tue January 29, 2013
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Eating an all-fruit diet isn't the best way to keep your body healthy and strong. Incorporate these 10 "superfoods" into your meals to ensure you're getting the nutrients you need. All superfoods are easy to find in the grocery store, contain nutrients that are known to enhance longevity, and have other health benefits that are backed by peer-reviewed, scientific studies. Rachel Been/CNN
Blueberries are often singled out as a superfood because studies have shown they aid in everything from fighting cancer to lowering cholesterol. But all berries, including raspberries, strawberries and blackberries, contain antioxidants and phytonutrients. Worried about the price of fresh fruit? Experts say frozen berries are just as "super." Photo Illustration/Thinkstock
Salmon provides a high dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which studies show significantly lower the risk of heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids fight back by reducing inflammation and slowing the rate of plaque build-up in blood vessels. Salmon is also a good source of lean protein. Photo Illustration/Thinkstock
Eating a breakfast high in protein is a good way to keep hunger at bay throughout the day. Eggs are full of choline, a nutrient that helps block fat from being absorbed in the liver. Choline may also help in preventing memory loss. Photo Illustration/Thinkstock
Many dieters shy away from nuts because of their high calorie and fat count. But studies show that eating a handful several times a week can help shed pounds and prevent heart disease. Almonds in particular contain lots of monounsaturated fats and fiber. (Healthy swap: Replace peanut butter with almond butter) Thinkstock
Staying hydrated will keep you from munching absentmindedly, and if you choose to drink green tea, you'll also be increasing your metabolism, which will burn more fat. Plus, the antioxidants (yes, those again) found in green tea can help prevent cancer. Photo Illustration/Thinkstock
Broccoli is one of nature's most nutrient-dense foods, with only 30 calories per cup. That means you get a ton of hunger-curbing fiber and polyphenols -- antioxidants that detoxify cell-damaging chemicals in your body -- with each serving. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have long praised broccoli's cancer-fighting and prevention abilities. Photo Illustration/Thinkstock
Quinoa is the popular whole-grain du jour because it also contains a good dose of protein to help build muscle. Yet including any type of whole grain in your diet -- from barley to brown rice -- will aid in weight loss by filling you up for fewer calories. Photo Illustration/Thinkstock
Low-fat dairy is an important part of any superfood-focused diet. Studies show that women who consume approximately 1,400 milligrams of calcium per day burn more fat than their non-dairy-eating counterparts. Yogurt in particular helps slow the production of cortisol, a hormone that slows metabolism. Photo Illustration/Thinkstock
Beans, beans, the magical fruit; the more you eat, the more ... you lose weight. Black, kidney, white and garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas) all end up on superfood lists because of their fiber and protein. They fill you up and provide muscle-building material without any of the fat that meat can add to your meal. Photo Illustration/Thinkstock
While researchers aren't positive that eating chocolate will make you thinner, the heart benefits of dark chocolate have long been recognized. Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties may help offset the calories. And some scientists believe chocolate's caffeine could increase your metabolic rate. Still, stick to small pieces that will curb cravings without overloading your body with sugar. Thinkstock