The Next Superfoods to Include in Your Lunch

For a while the nation couldn’t stop talking about kale. The vegetable’s long reign as the star “superfood” is easy to understand—it’s loaded with vitamins A, C and K, as well as fiber and antioxidants.

But a healthy diet is all about variety and, dare we say, now many folks turn green around the gills at the thought of one more kale salad. Luckily, these contenders to the superfood crown also are healthy, delicious and full of produce promise.

Diversify your diet and boost your health by packing these superfoods in your lunch!

Heirloom Apples

This easy-to-pack produce is perfect for adding some antioxidants into your lunch. Heirloom apples topped the charts when the National Restaurant Association surveyed chefs about what’s next in produce. These blasts from the past are grown from seeds that have been handed down like family heirlooms. Their shapes and flavor profiles are all over the map; you could even take a bite and think, “I had no idea an apple could taste like that!”

Why It’s a Superfood: Heirloom or otherwise, an apple provides vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. One study found that people who ate one apple a day had fewer prescription medications than those who didn’t.

Try It: Heirloom varieties are still a niche product and usually grown on a smaller scale, so a local farmers market is your best bet at finding them. Types to look for include the Alexander, the Gravenstein, Cox’s Orange Pippin and the Esopus Spitzenburg (believed to have been a favorite of Thomas Jefferson).

Radishes

Industry insider AF&Co, which has been predicting food trends for eight years, claims that the veggie of tomorrow is the radish. This root vegetable comes in a variety of exotic-sounding types such as French Breakfast, Easter Egg and Black Spanish.

Why It’s a Superfood: As a cruciferous vegetable—just like kale!—the radish is high in vitamin C and carotenoids (antioxidants). Plus, it packs a punch of fiber.

Try It: With its crunchy and peppery taste profile, this veggie shouldn’t be relegated to the plain old salad. Try roasting or grilling (radishes go well with steak), or top your next lunch taco with a few thin raw slices. They can also be sliced thin and dipped into hummus or other nutritious dip as a light snack.

Seaweed

Have a flavor for the exotic? Then this superfood is the perfect for you. Seaweed is popping up on menus throughout the country. (That includes kelp and algae, too.) This might sound difficult to incorporate into your day-to-day meals, but it’s easier than you might think.

Why It’s a Superfood: The long list of nutrients the saltwater plant offers includes calcium, iron, omega-3s (crucial for brain health) and iodine (important for normal thyroid function).

Try It: Toss dried kombu, a type of seaweed, into soups, or grab a bag of seaweed chips. The green stuff can also be used as a flavorful salad topping.\

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