5 superfood alternatives

Change up your food habits with these great options.
© Men's Health // © Men's Health

Superfoods—like quinoa, garlic, and blueberries—get a lot of buzz for their health benefits. They’re good for you, yes, but they’re not the only foods that fight against disease and pack the good stuff into your system. In fact, many foods that we pass over are actually loaded with nutrition. (Know the 5 foods you're eating wrong so you can cut, cook, and sip for the most health benefits.)

By Jessica Girdwain, Men’s Health

1 of 7 Photo: Aurora

The superfood: Quinoa

The claim: Best grain for weight loss

The underdog: Oatmeal

“If you could call any grain a supergrain, it’s oats,” says Men’s Health nutrition advisor Alan Aragon. Quinoa does have slightly more fill-you-up protein—8 grams versus 6 grams in oats per cooked cup—but oats contain a unique nutrient called beta glucan. It’s a type of fiber that increases levels of an appetite-controlling hormone called PYY, says Aragon. Plus, from a dieter’s standpoint, since a serving of cooked oats packs 166 calories and a serving of cooked quinoa, 220 calories, oats are the more weight-conscious choice. (Learn how to stoke metabolism with foods found in your kitchen. Check out these 5 food swaps for a better burn.)

2 of 7 Photo: Rex Features

The superfood: Garlic

The claim: Cancer-fighter

The underdog: Onions

Onions and garlic are both members of the allium family of vegetables. And just like garlic, onions provide organosulfur compounds, which may offer protection against certain cancers and help stall tumor growth. Go for purple onions, suggests a 2007 study from Norwegian researchers. They get their hue from disease-fighting pigments called anthocyanins. Purple onions not only contain 25 different types of these pigments, but they pack more than yellow and white onions. (Discover 8 stealth strategies to Cancer-proof your body.)

3 of 7 Photo: Image Source

The superfood: Blueberries

The claim: Help protect your heart

The underdog: Bananas

Bananas help fight cardiovascular disease, too. “Bananas blow blueberries away in two essential minerals that the American public generally doesn’t get enough of,” says Aragon. Not only do they contain more than three times the potassium—an “anti-high blood pressure nutrient,” he says—but they also pack three times more magnesium, a mineral that’s involved in hundreds of body functions, including blood pressure regulation. (Safeguard your body's most important organ: 100 ways to protect your heart.)

4 of 7 Photo: Flickr Open

The superfood: Almonds

The claim: Almonds are the healthiest nut

The underdog: Peanuts

If you like peanuts, there’s no reason to skip them in favor of the of-the-moment nut, almonds, says Aragon. Though technically a legume, peanuts have a similar amount of calories, fiber, and slightly more protein, so they’re just as good for you. When it comes to antioxidant content, peanuts are the winner—in fact, they’ve been found to have as many antioxidants as some berries. (They can save your life—so it's time to get to know these power-packed nuggets with Your ultimate nut guide.)

5 of 7 Photo: Fuse

The superfood: Black beans

The claim: A great vegetarian source of protein

The underdog: Peas

Both black beans and split peas are nearly identically good sources of complex carbs, protein, and fiber. Black beans also offer 45 percent of your daily iron supply in just a cup. Split peas are also an excellent source with 32 percent of the daily value. (Here are more foods with amazing—and scientifically proven—health benefits: Check out the 50 foods with superpowers.)

6 of 7 Stone