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Mary Lahr Schier

Nutrition Dynamos

Superfoods are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and more. They're good for you — and they can taste terrific too.

Over the last few years, “superfoods” has become a popular term. But you might be wondering: What exactly is a superfood — and what makes it super?

While not a medical term, superfoods are nutrient-dense and generally low in calories. And they provide vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that help boost immune systems, ease inflammation, and promote heart health.

Dark, leafy greens such as kale, collards, and spinach qualify as superfoods. Same goes for brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as beets and blueberries.

But other superfoods might surprise you. They include spices — cinnamon, ginger, and garlic — as well as oily fish, nuts and seeds, and green tea. All are rich in antioxidants, which protect cells from damage that can cause heart disease or cancer.

Recipe: Berry Chia Pudding

Two tablespoons of chia seeds provide 10 grams of fiber; 5 grams of protein; and a healthy dose of calcium, magnesium, and iron. Mix them with yogurt and berries for a super-healthy breakfast.

  • Yields: 1 serving
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Wait time: 2 hours or overnight


In a stout glass or jar, combine:

  • ½ cup plain yogurt (Greek or regular)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup or honey (optional sweetener)
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh berries
  • Granola (optional)


Mix seeds, milk, optional sweetener, and yogurt until well combined. Stir in berries. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. The chia seeds will plump up, creating a thick pudding. Top with a sprinkle of granola.

Mary Lahr Schier is the author of The Northern Gardener, From Apples to Zinnias (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2017).