You may have heard the term “superfood” thrown around on blogs and when your friends or coworkers talk about their latest diet. You can also find any number of foods labeled as a superfood at the grocery store. It sounds really great. After all, who wouldn’t want to eat a food labeled as super? But what exactly are superfoods? Are they really that good for you and should you be eating them? Let’s find out what makes a food a superfood.
Are Superfoods Real?
Superfoods are not an official label. The government has no category for superfoods and the FDA does not recognize them. Superfood is a term that marketers have developed to help make their product sound healthier in the hopes that you will buy them. However, just because superfoods are not an official group, does not mean that you shouldn’t seek out and eat superfoods. They are incredibly nutritious and should be enjoyed!
Nutritionally Dense Foods
Not all foods are created equal. Some foods simply are not as nutritious as others. Superfoods describe foods that are nutritionally dense and therefore very good for you. They are mostly plant-based foods but include some dairy and fish. These foods usually have a lot of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and plenty of vitamins and minerals. Superfoods often have a lot of fiber, phytophenols and healthy fat, as well. All of these things help your body to function at its best.
Some Popular Superfoods
There are quite a few superfoods you can choose from. Here are some of the most popular ones.
Blueberries – Strawberries and cranberries are also super.
Beans – This includes lentils, legumes and black beans.
Nuts and Seeds – Almonds, chia seeds, and pistachios all fall into this category.
Kiwi – This tiny fruit is very nutritious.
Kale – Spinach and other leafy greens are also super.
Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are much more nutritionally dense than white potatoes, so it is best to opt for these.
Salmon – Mackeral and sardines are also good fatty fish.
Acai – You can get acai in frozen or powder form.
Matcha – Its cousin, green tea, is great too.
Greek Yogurt – Be sure to go for unsweetened yogurt.
Broccoli – Cauliflower falls into the supercategory as well.
Eggs – A great source of protein.
Ginger – A spicy plant that can add flavor to any dish or smoothie.
Beets – Another starchy veggie that is full of vitamins and minerals.
This is just a small list of all the foods that are considered a superfood. If you google the term, you can find many different lists with many different foods on them!
How to Eat Superfoods
Just because a food is labeled a superfood doesn’t mean you need to eat them exclusively. Superfoods should be incorporated into a diet full of protein, healthy fats, and unprocessed carbs. You should always eat a wide variety of veggies that include dark, leafy greens and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower. However, you can also enjoy starchy veggies like beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
So, the next time you see a food labeled as a superfood, go ahead and give it a try. It will be a great addition to a healthy diet!