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Top 10 Superfoods for 2024

Plant-based eating continues to rise in popularity, with Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) rating it as the second most popular diet trend after intermittent fasting. This is further supported by the addition of plant-based foods, such as pulses and mushrooms, to the top 10 superfoods list. RDNs predict that the ketogenic diet is slowly falling out of favor, dropping to third place in 2024 from second place in 2023.

Despite the popularity of plant-based diets, RDNs noted that consumers are unaware of how much protein is required in their diet and unsure about which plant-based foods contain protein.

RDNs predict the top purchase drivers in 2024 will be foods and beverages that:

Top 10 Superfoods for 2024

Here are the top ten superfoods to add power to your plate that RDNs predict consumers will seek out in 2024:

  1. Fermented Foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, kombucha tea, and pickled vegetables: Fermented foods have become an important part of the diet in many cultures, and over time fermentation has been associated with many health benefits. Microorganisms contributing to the fermentation process have been found associated with many health benefits, and so these microorganisms have become the focus of attention. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been some of the most studied microorganisms. During fermentation, these bacteria synthesize vitamins and minerals, produce biologically active peptides with enzymes such as proteinase and peptidase, and remove some non-nutrients.  The probiotics in fermented foods have been associated with improvements in digestion and immunity, weight loss, and more.
  2. Blueberries: This small but mighty berry is loaded with nutrients. They may help lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, improve memory, aid in exercise recovery, and more. Often labeled a “superfood,” they are low in calories and incredibly good for you. What’s more, they’re sweet, colorful, and easily enjoyed either fresh or frozen. 
  3. Seeds, such as chia and hemp: These tiny seeds pack a lot of nutrition in a small package. These nutritious foods are a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, healthy fatty acids, and a variety of minerals. They contain omega-3 fatty acids called alpha-linolenic acid, which help improve brain function and boost the immune system. Try adding some seeds to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, salads, rice dishes or baked goods. You don’t need to eat a lot of seeds to reap their health benefits. A serving size of 1 to 2 tablespoons each day is a great addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
  4. Avocados:  Also known as Persea americana, is a powerhouse superfood. They reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and living with obesity and improve cognitive function and digestive health. Enjoying avocados at mealtime can help your body absorb more antioxidants from other healthy foods. Pairing avocado with tomato sauce and carrots boosts the absorption of vitamin A, which is a crucial nutrient for healthy skin, vision, and immunity.
  5. Nuts, like almonds and walnuts:  Nuts provide key proteins and nutrients, good fats, and antioxidants, aid in the reduction of cholesterol, and help you live longer. Almonds and walnuts are beneficial for your health and deserve a spot in your health plan. They can also be incorporated into your favorite dishes. Sprinkle crushed nuts on top of your fruit or leafy green salads, drop a handful on top of a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt, or roast some nuts and mix them with dried fruit to make your trail mix. The key is moderation. A healthy handful can lead to good health and longer life. So go nuts!
  6. Green tea: Studies suggest that consuming green tea may positively affect skin health, help with weight loss, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, among other benefits. Green tea has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any tea. It is naturally low in calories and contains less caffeine than black tea and coffee.
  7. Pulses – dry peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas: They are nutrient powerhouses that have a larger-than-life role in sustainable food systems. Research has shown that eating pulses can lower blood cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and help with body weight management, which are all risk factors for heart disease. The pulses have antioxidants that prevent the effects of free oxygen radicals that can cause chronic diseases like cancer and heart failure.
  8. Mushrooms: Mushrooms are low in calories and provide a range of nutrients, including antioxidants, fiber, B vitamins, and minerals. Mushrooms exposed to UV light can also be an abundant source of vitamin D. The consumption of edible mushrooms has been linked to numerous health benefits, including improved gut and brain health, and protection against obesity, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, and more. They have been referred to as the main underutilized nutritious food.
  9. Ancient grains: All ancient grains like quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, and oats contain more nutrients than other foods. They’re absorbed into the body more slowly because of their fiber content, which helps regulate spikes in blood sugar. This is particularly important for those with diabetes or other chronic conditions. These grains aid in digestion and the production of certain fatty acid-binding proteins. Additionally, ancient grains aren’t as sugar-laden as modern grains, which can lead to weight gain.
  10. Salmon:  Salmon is known to be a superfood when it comes to heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and essential vitamins help lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels, which reduce the risk of developing heart conditions such as heart attacks and arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats). It is high in protein and low in calories while providing the nutrients essential to the body.

New to the list of superfoods for 2024 are pulses (dry peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas), mushrooms, and salmon, foods that align with a healthy and popular Mediterranean style of eating.

Note: Non-dairy milks have fallen off the list of superfoods despite securing a spot in 2023.


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