10 Superfoods to Incorporate Into Your Diet to Nourish Your Body From Within

Penny Lane, a 2024 SI Swimsuit rookie and certified holistic health coach, shares her insights on nutrition.
Superfoods

Blueberries are the ultimate superfood. 


Kickstart your New Year with SI Swimsuit’s 31 Days of Wellness! This January, SI Swimsuit will unlock exclusive offerings with brand models, wellness experts, fitness gurus and more, who will guide you through 31 days of rejuvenating workouts, recipes and self-care rituals.

You may be familiar with Penny Lane as one of the seven 2023 Swim Search co-winners and a ’24 SI Swimsuit rookie. The multihyphenate is also an actress, entrepreneur and certified holistic health coach. 

After being negatively influenced by standards in the modeling industry as a young woman, the 29-year-old native of Cheshire, England, briefly stepped away from the industry to prioritize her health. She found solace in meditation, nutrition and spirituality, and her journey led her to get her aforementioned certification. From maintaining a healthy morning routine to opening up the conversation about mental health awareness and body standards, Lane is doing her part to share her expertise with others while promoting healthy body standards and body positivity along the way.

The New Year is often a time for setting wellness-related goals, so we chatted with Lane to get a better understanding on the essential superfoods you can consider incorporating into your diet for a healthy and happy 2024.

What is a superfood? 

Superfoods don’t encompass any one food group in particular. Rather, they are naturally-occurring, nutrient-dense foods rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and healthy fats, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Below, Lane has provided a list to get you started in the kitchen.

Lane’s top 10 superfoods to nourish from within

Seaweed

Lane says that while seaweed is often overlooked, it offers numerous health benefits.

“Bursting with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, seaweed is a low-calorie superfood that adds a nutritional boost to various dishes,” she explains. “This oceanic plant is particularly rich in iodine, crucial for thyroid health and boasts anti-inflammatory properties. Whether enjoyed in sushi, salads or soups, seaweed not only tantalizes the taste buds with its unique umami flavor but also offers a range of nutrients that support overall well-being.”

Maca

This adaptogenic root can be consumed in powder form, and works to help our bodies manage stress and restore balance, says Lane.

“It’s known to help balance hormones and bring up libido,” she adds. “It’s loaded with amino acids, vitamins and minerals. I like to use this in smoothies or even add to my coffee.”

Mushrooms

“Types like reishi, shiitake and cordyceps have powerful nutritional properties [and are] packed with tons of B vitamins which are amazing for skin health, your nervous system and immune-boosting abilities,” Lane says of the vegetable.

Cocoa 

If you’re looking to boost both your magnesium intake and your brain health, reach for cocoa.

“[Cocoa] is amazing for your brain health. It is also packed with loads of antioxidants,” Lane notes. “Thanks to the compound theobromine that is found in cocoa, it’s a natural mood and energy booster all while reducing inflammation. It contains another compound called phenylethylamine which works by stimulating the brain’s pleasure centers.”

Organic blueberries

Lane refers to blueberries as “nutritional powerhouses” with myriad health benefits.

“Boasting exceptionally high antioxidant levels, they contribute to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as enhanced blood sugar control,” she says. “Regular consumption of these berries goes beyond these cardiovascular advantages, extending to improvements in vision and promoting a healthy gut. Their multifaceted impact on overall well-being makes these berries a delightful and essential addition to a balanced and health-conscious diet.”

Organic eggs

Eggs are packed with amino acids and are great for brain and eye health. And while some people opt to only consume egg whites, Lane reminds us that yolks are in fact a nutritional powerhouse.

“Rich in essential vitamins such as B12, B2, B5, A and selenium, these nutrients contribute to a diverse array of health benefits. It’s crucial not to overlook the yolk, as it serves as a concentrated source of these vital elements,” she notes. “... So, before discarding the yolk, consider the multitude of nutrients it brings to the table, making eggs a truly comprehensive and beneficial dietary inclusion.”

Garlic

Garlic is packed with antioxidants and can protect against heart disease, Lane shares.

“Notably, garlic boasts remarkable antifungal and antibacterial attributes, fortifying its role as a formidable ally in overall health,” she adds. “It’s no surprise that the Italians, who incorporate garlic generously into their cuisine, are often associated with robust well-being.”

Olive oil

One of Lane’s favorite superfoods, olive oil contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can boost your overall well-being.

“Its ability to support cardiovascular health, regulate cholesterol levels and promote brain function makes it a standout choice in promoting a balanced and nutritious diet,” she says. “Whether drizzled over salads, used in cooking or enjoyed as a dip, the rich and distinctive taste of olive oil adds a delightful touch to a variety of dishes while providing a host of health benefits, making it an indispensable staple in my kitchen and an essential component of my favorite superfoods.”

Wild-caught salmon

The 2024 SI Swimsuit rookie suggests incorporating wild-caught salmon into your diet to meet your protein needs, as well as address any vitamin D deficiencies or inflammation in the body.

“What sets [wild-caught salmon] apart is its unique distinction as one of the rare foods naturally abundant in vitamin D, a nutrient that many individuals often lack,” Lane explains. “... It’s a wholesome choice that goes beyond taste, offering a trifecta of health benefits.”

Honey

Great for the digestive system, raw honey also boasts potent antibacterial and antifungal properties that supports the digestive system, Lane notes.

“Beyond its digestive perks, raw honey showcases noteworthy anti-inflammatory properties, further elevating its health-promoting credentials,” she says. “As a natural and versatile remedy, raw honey not only sweetens but also nurtures overall well-being, making it a delightful addition to your dietary repertoire.”

Tune in next Wednesday, Jan. 17, for the next installment of Lane’s wellness series, in which she shares holistic breathing techniques for stress relief.

Make sure to follow SI Swimsuit on YouTube!


Published
Cara O’Bleness

CARA O’BLENESS

Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.