Make superfoods part of your diet

by Kaiser Permanente |
Person seasoning salmon fillets before cooking them

With a wealth of delicious produce coming into season, spring is a great time to add some of nature’s superfoods to your daily diet.

You can pick up these nutrient-dense foods at your local store or farmers market. They make a tasty addition to any meal, so experiment with different ways of preparing them. You may find a new favorite snack.

Beans and legumes

All types of beans offer protein, fiber, and iron while staying low in fat. Plus, they’re affordable and versatile. Toss cooked beans into a green salad, vegetable soup, casserole, or chili. For a satisfying vegetarian entrée, stew some black beans with tomatoes and seasonings like garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Serve over brown rice, wrapped in a tortilla, or with a green salad on the side.


Packed with vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants, blueberries can help lower your risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancer. Grab a handful to snack on, add them to cereal, blend with bananas for a delicious smoothie, or warm them on a stove to make a nutritious fruit topping.


Broccoli is a powerhouse when it comes to vitamins, fiber, and calcium. And research shows that this vegetable can help decrease your risk of colon cancer, cataracts, and stroke. Try raw chunks dipped in ranch dressing, steamed with lemon, or roasted florets with garlic and parmesan.

Flax seeds

An excellent source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds can lower your risk of heart disease, stimulate brain function, and improve digestion. Add ground flaxseed to your smoothies, sprinkle on oatmeal, or mix it into yogurt. You can even add a few spoonfuls to cake and brownie recipes.


A good source of protein, B vitamins, and heart-healthy fats — just a small handful (1/4 cup) of nuts can help you fight hunger between meals. This versatile treat can add crunchy texture to your salads, rice dishes, or couscous. Or you can pair them with fresh fruit for an energizing snack.


Packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is great for your heart and your brain. Whether grilled, baked, or sautéed, salmon makes a tasty substitute for red meat. You can also serve it over a green salad, or atop a bed of lentils and tomatoes.


Spinach provides iron, folic acid, bone-strengthening vitamin K, and antioxidants like beta-carotene. Blend it into your smoothies or use it in salads. For a tasty side dish, you can steam it with a dash of lemon juice or sauté it with garlic and olive oil.


Sweet and juicy, tomatoes are high in lycopene, which is an antioxidant connected to lower rates of certain kinds of cancer. They’re also a great source of vitamin C and folate. Chop them up for soups, tacos, sauces, or salsa. Add sliced tomatoes to your sandwiches. Or cut up a few heirloom tomatoes to make a salad with cucumber, chickpeas, avocado, and balsamic vinaigrette.


In addition to calcium, protein, and vitamin D, yogurt offers an added bonus — probiotics. These "good" bacteria support your digestive system, which can impact your overall health in surprising ways. Blend yogurt into your smoothie for a filling boost. Spoon some fruit, nuts, or granola into a cup of yogurt for an afternoon treat. For a filling breakfast, mix equal parts yogurt and almond butter (about 1/2 cup each) with a chopped apple.