The term "superfood" has certainly gained popularity within the last few years. It seems that every couple of months a new, unheard-of food is popping up in health food stores and trendy restaurants. Who could forget the crazes over maca powder, goji berries, and quinoa? It seems, however, that many of us have forgotten the power of some simpler, more common foods. Practical superfoods do exist. Not only are these options usually cheaper than the latest superfood trend, but they are often healthier for you, too.  

Purple cabbage

Purple cabbage is one of the healthiest cruciferous veggies out there. Along with being full of essential nutrients like vitamin A, calcium, and vitamin C, red cabbage is also extremely high in antioxidants. While most cabbages are relatively healthy, purple cabbage seems to be the best, specifically in regards to its cancer-preventing properties. Plus, it really spices up a basic salad.

Sweet potatoes

As far as practical superfoods go, sweet potatoes are at the top of my list. Aside from being possibly my favorite food (tied with peanut butter and oatmeal), sweet potatoes are some of the healthiest vegetables out there. They're full of fiber, iron, and Vitamin A, and they contain more potassium than bananas. As slow-burning carbs, they are sure to keep you filled with steady energy all day. That's not to mention the fact that sweet potatoes pair perfectly with a wide variety of foods and spices, including cinnamon, paprika, and guacamole.


You might be seeing a bit of a trend on this list: a lot of these foods are full of antioxidants, and berries are no exception. While many berries are great sources of fiber, vitamin C, and several other nutrients, blueberries appear to be among the healthiest types of berries. Along with their nutrient dense properties, these practical superfoods appear to lower stress levels, help control bad cholesterol, and help to steady insulin levels. Berries are also basically nature's candy, so there is really no reason not to eat them. 


Flaxseeds are probably one of the easiest ways to get in your Omega 3 fatty acids. One tablespoon provides 1,597 mg of Omega 3 fats, the daily recommendation of which is around 500 mg. So, you'll definitely be good-to-go. Just add finely ground (this is important, otherwise your body cannot absorb the nutrients) flaxseeds into your smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal, or use them as an egg replacement in your favorite baked goods. 

Green tea

Green tea is something I make a habit of drinking almost daily. Green tea is linked with a reduction in inflammation and healthier skin. The drink also has high levels of flavonoids, a powerful antioxidant. It's a good source of caffeine, so it'll help you get through a tiring day. Unlike coffee, green tea contains L-theanine, a relaxant which helps to counteract the sometimes anxiety-producing properties of caffeine. 


Ah, beans, they are good for your heart, but so many people forget about them. In general, beans are good for you, but chickpeas are my personal favorite. These legumes, similar to many foods on this list, are full of fiber and antioxidants. They also contain a significant amount of protein and iron. My favorite way to eat them is oven-roasted with chili powder and lime. 


Everyone knows that you are supposed to eat your greens, but which one is truly the best to put in your salad? Firstly, if you are eating greens, you are definitely doing something right, but choosing spinach over, say, iceberg lettuce, is the better option. This dark, leafy green contains a good amount of vitamin K, folate, fiber, iron, and nitrates. Make sure to eat it with some kind of fat for optimal absorption. 


Oatmeal is the perfect food to wake up to. It's an inviting bowl of warm, delicious goodness. Plus, it helps that the grain is packed with fiber, iron, and zinc. Like sweet potatoes, oatmeal is a complex carb, which means that rather than giving you a spike of energy, it releases a steady stream of energy throughout the day. Eat a bowl of oatmeal with walnuts, berries, and flaxseeds along with a cup of green tea in the morning, and you'll have already checked-off five items on this list.  


Similar to flaxseeds, walnuts contain a good amount of healthy, Omega 3 fats. They're also a good source of antioxidants, protein, and fiber, making them the perfect on-the-go snack or add-on for your salads and oatmeal. 

It can be easy to obsess over the latest food trend, but you really don't have to spend tons of money on bee pollen, watercress, or moringa powder to be healthy. These practical superfoods won't break the bank. Eating accessible foods like beans, potatoes, oatmeal, and nuts can provide you with a lot of essential nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and anything else you might need in your diet. You don't have to stress yourself out while trying to find the latest superfood trend.