Every week, some new listicle shouts about some exotic new super food. And sure: Super foods may have antioxidant compounds that could potentially improve your health. But while getting people to eat healthier is always good, “super foods” don’t really exist. In reality, we should consider almost all whole foods “super.”
“My idea of a super food is a food that’s super delicious, super nutrient-dense, super convenient, and super affordable,” says Nancy Clark, R.D., C.S.S.D., a sports nutrition counselor and author of food guides for runners, cyclists, and soccer players. “Any food that is claimed to be the new and hot ‘super food’ is simply just a trend.”
There’s nothing inherently magical about any natural, whole food. But whole foods give us the building blocks we all need to create and maintain strong and resilient bodies. It’s a simple dietary rule: Make sure you eschew processed foods, and eat real food.
Of course, packaged foods are popular because they’re typically affordable and convenient. But you can find lots of economical, easy-to-eat whole foods in any supermarket—you just have to make the commitment to add them to your diet. And because taste drives consumption, Clark says, a true super food has to taste good.
With that in mind, these seven super foods are cheap, tasty, easy to find, and filled with essential nutrients. Mix and match, pick and choose—just make sure to incorporate these into your diet consistently and regularly.