9 Superfoods This Dietitian Keeps In Her Kitchen & Recommends To Clients
As an integrative dietitian, natural chef, and professional foodie, I talk about food all day, every day. This passion of mine wasn't exactly random—I grew up in a family of organic farmers, who taught me that living, and especially eating, in accordance with seasonality is the natural way of doing things.
While I've moved from farm life to the busy city of New York, I still cook most of my meals at home and have never downloaded a food delivery app. This lifestyle comes naturally to me due to my upbringing, but I understand that cooking nutritious meals can have its challenges. That's why, as a dietitian, I like to simplify healthy eating for my clients.
The first order of business is, of course, what you're stocking your kitchen with. Here's my go-to list of superfoods that I always keep at home and recommend to every single one of my clients:
Capers are famously used in Mediterranean cuisine, and they add a ton of briny flavor (and nutrition!) to a dish. Not many people know that these little salty berries are very low in calories, and they provide a good amount of several key nutrients. In particular, they're high in fiber, sodium, and vitamin K, as well as several other micronutrients, such as iron and copper.
Despite having "wheat" in the name, buckwheat is naturally wheat- and gluten-free, plus high in beneficial nutrients, polyphenols, and antioxidants. With all nine essential amino acids, buckwheat is considered a complete protein, making it a great base for plant-based meals.
While typically a holiday staple, cranberries should be top of mind year-round. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry compared 20 different fruits and found that cranberries contained the highest amount of phenol antioxidants1, which are critical phytonutrient scavengers of free radicals, combating oxidative stress in our body.*
Pomegranates are high in fiber and powerful polyphenolic antioxidants, including resveratrol for optimal metabolism and a rich, diverse gut microbiome.
Green leafy vegetables
Whether it's kale, spinach, or collard greens (find 16 of the best leafy greens here), you can incorporate these nutrient-dense veggies into nearly every meal. They're packed with lots of vitamins, minerals, and gut-healthy fiber. Plus, they're extremely versatile—blend them into a smoothie, sauté them with pasta, or toss together a filling salad!
Walnuts are a good source of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA, which has been shown to enhance cardiovascular health and promote healthy cognitive function2. According to one Harvard study3, consuming five or more 1-ounce servings of walnuts per week may also support longevity.
Sea vegetables, like algae, spirulina, chlorella, and kelp, naturally contain many essential micronutrients4 like iodine, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, folate, vitamin K, and vitamin C, which helps the body absorb more iron.* Consider adding a greens powder containing different sea vegetables to your morning smoothie for added nutrients.
Bone broth is rich in protein, helps aid in collagen production, and supports a healthy gut lining, making it a go-to ingredient for both skin and gut health.
Small fatty fish
Small fish like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring (SMASH) are lower in mercury than larger fish while still providing plenty of protein and brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Ella Davar, R.D., CDN, received her education in Nutrition Science from New York University, and an Integrative Nutrition Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her book, Driven Women Wellness: Your guide to self-care, offers a cohesive list of priorities, plan of action and hacks that help her clients reach their wellness goals while managing busy lifestyles in a healthy way. Davar specializes in integrative anti-aging nutrition and lifestyle interventions to help women of all backgrounds manage weight, stress, diet, and various health conditions.