Superfoods should be easy, readily accessible and packed with the nutrients your body needs for optimal functioning. Everyday foods that deliver these benefits include brain-enhancing power foods, heart-friendly fats, antioxidants and fiber to support overall wellbeing.

Yoghurt provides beneficial gut bacteria that may help reduce anxiety. Meanwhile, Alaskan sablefish provides an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids.

1. Watercress

Watercress may be relatively unknown among vegetables, but this cruciferous powerhouse packs antioxidants and nutrients to boost your health. Although not as popular as, say, kale or spinach, in a recent ranking by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Watercress earned a perfect score and should definitely be added to your diet.

This superfood may help prevent age-related weight gain: its abundance of isothiocyanates and other nutrients known as phase II detoxifiers can convert fat-soluble toxins to water-soluble ones that can be excreted via urine. Furthermore, it provides all nine essential amino acids – making it an excellent plant protein source.

2. Flaxseed

Flax seeds (or linseeds), often associated with hippies and yoga pants-wearing women, pack an impressive nutritional punch. Notably, flax contains fiber as well as disease-fighting plant compounds called lignans that fight disease-causing organisms and provide omega-3 fatty acids essential to heart health.

Add one tablespoon of ground flaxseed to yogurt or smoothie for a nutritional boost, or replace eggs in baking recipes, using them instead as crunchy coatings for protein dishes like chicken parmesan or eggplant parm. You can find flaxseed at most natural food stores as well as online shops; organic varieties provide maximum benefits; adding raw or soaked seeds directly to smoothies will enable their beneficial mucilage fibers to release faster for easier digestion.

3. Red cabbage

Though we often associate cabbage with cole slaw or corned beef, this dense leafy vegetable offers much more. A member of the Brassica family–which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale and radishes–it offers powerful nutritional value.

Antiviral and antioxidant effects of turmeric have long been studied and proven, particularly thanks to anthocyanin plant compounds found within it that protect against oxidation, reduce chronic inflammation and even block tumor growth.

Red cabbage is most often enjoyed raw in salads and slaws, but can also be prepared through sauteing, simmering or braising. Try this comforting blaukraut stew on a frosty winter’s day for an added dose of probiotics from fermented cabbage as well as apples, vinegar, garlic and sugar for extra health benefits!

4. Beans

These nutritious powerhouses are inexpensive, versatile, and easy to find – and offer fiber, B vitamins, iron, folate, calcium and potassium among many other important benefits.

Bean superfoods provide numerous health advantages: its protein and fiber can help us feel fuller longer, keeping hunger at bay. Beans also play a part in managing high blood cholesterol levels, preventing heart disease, controlling diabetes/prediabetes/precancerosis as well as protecting against certain cancers.

Legumes (including beans and lentils) and pulses are an affordable source of plant protein, fiber, and vital vitamins and nutrients such as B-vitamins, iron, folate and calcium. Add these versatile foods to soups, salads and stews or use them in dips or spreads – just remember to cook them thoroughly to prevent flatulence! Also check out our tips on making digesting legumes easier!

5. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate offers many health advantages beyond satisfying your sweet tooth. Packed with antioxidants (particularly with higher cocoa content), dark chocolate may reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, improve brain function and slow the aging process.

Additionally, studies have demonstrated its ability to increase insulin sensitivity – something which may prove especially helpful for people living with or at risk of diabetes. Furthermore, it can help manage appetite and assist weight-control efforts.

Target an ounce of dark chocolate per day–that’s 40 grams or 1.4 oz. To achieve optimal taste, opt for brands which have been tested low in heavy metals like cadmium and lead.