Foods Beginning with S – Z
This index provides you with useful information about hundreds of different foods. Discover the health benefits of your favorite foods as well as the exuberant amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals they contain to fuel your body.
Use this alphabetized list to fuel your mind about the fuel for your body. Then jump on over to the recipe page to find healthy recipes that incorporate these superfoods into an easy and nutritious meal or snack.
Salmon – this hearty fish is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids which are known to aid in the prevention of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and aging by reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol, and regulating blood pressure. It is also high in protein, B vitamins and Vitamin D which are optimal for bone health, metabolism, immunity, and weight management.
Shrimp – this shellfish is relatively low in calories and fat and high in protein. Since it has a mild flavor it takes on almost any flavor or marinade and can be prepared in a multitude of ways. Not only is shrimp high in protein, which is important for weight loss and muscle repair, but it is also high in selenium, phosphorus, and choline. These three minerals play an important role in reducing the effects of aging and inflammation as well as maintaining skin, bone, and hair health.
Spinach – it’s no wonder this dark leafy green is labeled a “superfood” and is recommended as a staple in every diet. Not only does spinach have contain a high amount of water and fiber, but it is also relatively high in protein (about 1g per cup) compared to other leafy greens making it an excellent choice for weight maintenance, lowering cholesterol, maintaining blood sugar levels, and reducing the risk of heart disease. Spinach is also extremely high in a multitude of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants including B vitamins, Vitamins A and K, manganese, and folate which are known for increasing energy production, metabolism, and cell repair and decreasing the effects of aging.
Strawberries – this sweet and refreshing fruit is full of cholesterol-lowering fiber and contains a large amount of water making it a popular food for those seeking weight loss or management of their cholesterol. Additionally, because strawberries get their sweetness from natural sugars, they have less of an effect on blood sugar spikes making them an excellent choice for those managing diabetes. Strawberries are also loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, particularly Vitamin C and potassium, which play an important role in the prevention of heart disease and help promote immunity and cell health.
Summer Squash – the most popular varieties of summer squash include zucchini and yellow squash and contain less starch and more water than winter squash. Regardless of the variety, all summer squash are high in vitamins and antioxidants, particularly manganese and Vitamin C. Summer squash are also an excellent source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin known for their role in antioxidant protection for eye, bone, and overall cell health. Their high water content and low calorie content paired with their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make summer squash a great addition to any diet.
Sweet Potatoes – this root vegetable is loaded with almost twice the amount of fiber than white potatoes. Diets high in fiber have been linked to lower cholesterol, increased digestive health, and increased satiety to aid in weight loss and management. These popular spuds are also rich in B-vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene which are noteworthy for their role in increasing immunity, heart health, eye health and metabolism. The high levels of manganese in sweet potatoes also help stabilize blood sugars levels which makes them a great choice for those managing diabetes or seeking weight loss.
Tilapia – this mild, low calorie, white fish is an excellent addition to any diet, especially those seeking weight loss or management of cholesterol, diabetes, or heart disease due to its light in flavor and high protein content (about 25g in 4 oz!). Tilapia also contains high levels of calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and selenium which are all important minerals and antioxidants to maintain strong bones, increase immunity, prevent the effects of aging, and prevent osteoporosis. Enjoy tilapia grilled, broiled, or baked (rather than fried or sauteéd) to reap its health benefits without adding fat or cholesterol.
Tofu – this soy-based product is made from soy beans and water and is often sold in blocks based on firmness. It is full of plant-based protein and rich in calcium making it a great substitute for those following a vegetarian diet or a diet that aims to consume greater amounts of plant-based protein versus animal-based protein. It also contains heart healthy monounsaturated fats which are good for weight maintenance and the prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Since tofu is relatively flavorless, it easily absorbs flavors, spices, and marinades making it a very versatile substitute for any most dishes that contains meat. Use firm or extra-firm tofu in stir-fry, salads, or any dish where you want it to retain its shape. Use silken or soft tofu in dishes such as baked desserts (as a substitute for dairy), smoothies, soups, frosting/icing, or scrambled as “eggs.”
Tomatoes – recognized as a vegetable (but really a fruit!), tomatoes are low in calories and contain a high amount of water making them a great option for weight loss and increased satiety. They are also loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, particularly Vitamin C and lycopene, and quertin which have been shown to play an important role in increasing immunity, lowering cholesterol, and maintaining healthy skin, bones, and teeth. Studies have shown that diets high in antioxidants may help prevent against some cancers.
Turkey – adding lean turkey (including turkey breast and cuts of white meat vs. dark meat) to your diet is an excellent way to enhance your protein intake while limiting your intake of saturated fat which makes it a great choice for weight management and the prevention of heart disease and diabetes. In addition to its high protein content (about 34g per 4oz serving), turkey is also loaded with B vitamins, potassium, iron, and zinc which play an important role in metabolism, thyroid function, decreasing inflammation, and maintaining healthy hair, skin, and bones. It is particularly high in the mineral, selenium, which has been shown to reduce the effects of aging, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Pre-packaged varieties and deli-style cuts are often loaded with sodium so choose low-sodium and boneless/skinless varieties to reap the most benefits.
Turmeric – this yellow spice is often used in Asian and Indian cuisines, particularly in curry and rice dishes. Recent studies have labeled it as one of the healthiest spices due to its high content of curcumin, an antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Decreasing inflammation in the body may help prevent and treat arthritis, heart disease, stroke, and cognitive decline due to aging as well as help maintain healthy skin and hair.
Turnips – this round, white root vegetable resembles the texture and appearance of a potato, but are lower in calories and higher in fiber making them a great substitute for those seeking weight loss or management of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Turnips are an excellent source of Vitamin C which helps support healthy bone, skin, and hair and boosts immunity. They also contain most of the B vitamins, including niacin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, as well as calcium and potassium which are important for metabolism, energy balance, nervous system function, fluid balance, and maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Enjoy them raw, roasted in the oven, or boiled and mashed as a substitute for potatoes.
Vinegar – a common condiment, vinegar is often used in dishes to add an acidic flavor without adding fat and calories. It also makes a great substitution for creamy and high-fat salad dressings. It comes in many varieties including balsamic, white wine, red wine, distilled, rice, and apple cider.
Whitefish – lighter in flavor and lower in fat and calories, whitefish comes in multitude of varieties such as cod, haddock, mahi-mahi, pollock, tilapia, grouper, halibut, flounder, and trout. It is low in fat and calories and high in protein making it a great choice for those seeking weight loss or maintenance or those looking to decrease their risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, or type II diabetes. Whitefish is rich in B-vitamins, known for their role in energy production and metabolism, as well as selenium, a mineral known for its role in healthy cell maintenance and thyroid function.
Winter Squash – the most popular varieties of winter squash include pumpkin, butternut squash, acorn squash, and spaghetti squash. They contain more starch than summer squash and contain a high amount of fiber. Diets high in fiber have been shown to lower cholesterol, support digestive health, regulate blood sugar levels, and increase feelings of fullness which may beneficial for those seeking weight loss as well as play a role in the prevention of heart disease and stroke. Their bright orange and yellow hues mean they are loaded with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and beta-carotene which are known for decreasing inflammation and promoting hair, skin, and eye health. All winter squash varieties are rich in antioxidants which may help protect the body against certain types of cancer. Enjoy them roasted to bring out their natural sweetness or boiled and mashed as a substitute for potatoes. Spaghetti squash makes an excellent substitute for your favorite pasta dishes!