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3 New Superfoods to Add to Your Plate

April 06, 2024

Step aside avocado and quinoa, there are three new additions to the list of “superfoods” that could improve your health.

We asked Melissa Keeney, RDN, clinical nutrition manager at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, to break down the new additions for us.

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But first, what makes superfoods so “super”?

Superfoods are foods packed with helpful nutrients that fuel our bodies.

“We always encourage people to pack their plates with so-called ‘superfoods,’ which come with important health benefits,” she says. “These range from fish to beans and lentils.”

In this case, the new ingredients come from a nationwide poll of registered dietitians.

Here are the three new superfoods, according to Today’s Dietitian.

1. Salmon

This one surprised Keeney.

“I’m surprised salmon wasn’t already on the list! It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to lower rates of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease,” she says.

The American Heart Association recommends eating two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish like salmon, herring and sardines each week.

“Omega-3s can also protect against type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.”

2. Mushrooms

Attention history-buffs, this ones for you. Keeney says the ancient Greek warriors enjoyed mushrooms, another newly deemed superfood, as a source of strength in battle. The Romans even called them “food of the Gods.”

“They’re not as new to the superfoods list as we think. Mushrooms have been used in Chinese cuisine for thousands of years. They provide nutrients including selenium, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin D and fiber,” she says.

Eating mushrooms can help decrease risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, high blood pressure and stroke, Keeney says. They are also anti-inflammatory and may enhance immune function.

3. Pulses (beans, chickpeas, lentils, dry peas)

Don’t let the name fool you — pulses, which include beans, chickpeas, lentils and dry peas, already have a place on many healthy plates.

Pulse is a term for the edible seed harvested dry from inside a legume plant, and are different from soybeans, peanuts and fresh peas, but not any less nutritious, says Keeney.

“Pulses provide protein, fiber and vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, folate and magnesium,” she says. “Pulses can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and can help keep blood sugars stable.”

> Related: 4 High Carb Foods to Add to Your Diet

Rounding out the top ten…

Seven items remained on the list of superfoods from 2023, including:

  • Blueberries
  • Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Green tea
  • Ancient grains
  • Fermented foods

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But don’t limit yourself to superfoods

Superfoods deserve a place on your plate, but the list of healthy foods doesn’t end there. Keeney encourages a health variety of food when meal planning.

“Don’t get too caught up on only eating high nutrient dense foods. Many foods can be considered superfoods!” she says.