By Sarah-Jane Bedwell, SELF
While registered dietitians certainly recommend balance, variety, and moderation to ensure you get all the necessary nutrients that you need, they have "personal superfoods" that they reach for on a regular basis for both nutrition and convenience purposes. From turmeric smoothies to chocolate and peanut butter combos, dietitians around the country share the foods they eat every single day.
I eat some form of vitamin C and potassium packed citrus each day because the delightfully refreshing flavors are a great reminder that good nutrition should taste great! It might be a 6 ounce glass of orange juice one day and the next day a cup of grapefruit segments in a salad. For quick and easy healthy snacking I love the easy to peel Clementine oranges too.
-- Carolyn O'Neil, MS, RDN, author of The Slim Down South Cookbook, nutrition advisor for BestFoodFacts.org
I eat an egg almost every day. I will have a scrambled egg for breakfast, slice a hard-boiled egg on my salad or just eat a hard-boiled egg as a snack with some veggies on the side. One whole egg is brimming with protein and the egg yolk has many good-for-you nutrients like vitamins D and B12, riboflavin, choline and selenium. Plus, the yolk is home to phytochemical antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both shown to play a role in healthy eyes.
-- Toby Amidor, MS, RD, author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day
My day doesn't seem complete without some steamy oatmeal. I create a bowl of benefits by adding a swirl of almond butter, chia seeds and warm milk to boost protein, fiber, calcium and flavor. This breakfast keeps my appetite satisfied and it works wonders on my taste buds, too! It even makes a great lunch or dinner when time is tight.
-- Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It
I use turmeric daily. Research has shown this wonder spice safely fights inflammation better than some ingredients in common anti-inflammatory OTC drugs. As a runner, I want to eat foods that have been proven to reduce inflammation because that means I can be active for longer in my life. It is also a source of antioxidants that could help fight inflammatory bowel disease, prevent cancer, improve liver function, and possibly lower cholesterol. I put 2 teaspoons in my daily smoothie. I don't taste it but I know it's doing awesome things in my body.
-- Jenna Braddock, MSH, RDN, CSSD, sports dietitian
Whether it's along side an omelet, on a sandwich, in a salad or part of my pasta dish, a day doesn't go by that I don't include a tomato. It's a perfect food to add volume to a meal without adding many calories. And the bonus: it's packed with vitamin C to help keep your immune system strong.
-- Keri Gans, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet
Dark chocolate is a must-have in my daily repertoire. I always go for a square of at least 70 percent cocoa and lately have been enjoying 85% topped with a teaspoon of peanut butter. Studies have found that one ounce of high quality dark chocolate (at least 70 percent) may decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke so I say, bring it on!
-- Holley Grainger, MS, RD, culinary nutritionist
Nuts & Seeds
Since I eat mostly plant-based protein, I stock up on nuts & seeds. Not only do they give me protein, they also have satisfying healthy fats and fiber. I stir them in my oatmeal, puree them for sandwich spreads, toss them into salads, chop them as a pasta topping, and sprinkle them into dark chocolate bark.
-- Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, author of The Flexitarian Diet
Hummus is a daily food for me. I am not a huge fan of raw veggies. Regardless, I try to get in four servings a day. Dipping them in hummus gives my boring veggies a boost of flavor. Not only that, I get in some extra fiber and protein by adding the hummus.
-- Jim White RD, ACSM HFI, spokesman for Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios
I enjoy blueberries daily because for only about 80 calories in 1 cup of blueberries, blueberries top the charts for antioxidant content compared to other fruits. One cup delivers 14 percent of the recommended daily dose of fiber and nearly a quarter of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. The synergy of these nutrients protects our hearts and cells against cancer. Frozen blueberries make it possible to enjoy summer sweetness during the winter months.
-- Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, Food and Nutrition Expert
Hot Water With Lemon
I start most days with hot water and lemon instead of caffeine as it doesn't agree with me. The lemon water gently wakes up my digestive tract and gets me ready for the day. The lemon offers flavor as well as anti-inflammatory and immune boosting nutrients.
-- Katie Cavuto, MS, RD, Nourish.Breathe.Thrive
More from SELF:
Up Your Metabolism With These 10 Superstar Foods
6 Moves To Resize Your Butt and Thighs
A 20-Minute Body Weight Routine Even the Busiest Woman Has Time For
The 10 Best Stretches For Better Flexibility
Make These 9 Gourmet Grilled Cheese Recipes STAT
Find the Best New Beauty Product For Your Zodiac Sign