Superfoods is still a major buzz word in the health industry, but many people still don’t know why some foods are more “super” than others. Which foods are deserving of the superhero cape? Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to be a superfood.
What are Superfoods?
In order for a food to be considered a “superfood,” it needs to be a nutritional powerhouse. These foods give you more bang – or nutrients – for your buck.
A large percentage of superfoods are plant-based, but you’ll also find some fish and dairy products in this category. These foods are all nutritionally-dense.
Kale, blueberries and salmon are three of the most well-known superfoods, but there are dozens of others that pack a ton of nutrients and antioxidants in a tiny package.
With that said, there is no concrete criteria for determining which foods are superfoods. Many dietiticians and health experts say the term is really more of a marketing buzz word to get people excited and interested in nutritionally dense foods.
Still, these foods are very healthy and often contain free-radical-fighting antioxidants as well as phytonutrients.
The Truth About Superfoods
Superfoods really are great for your body and your health, but it’s important to be realistic about your expectations. Many people are under the impression that they can eat one or two servings of these foods per day on top of an otherwise unhealthy diet and protect themselves from chronic disease. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Superfoods can kick your health into overdrive, but only when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Which Superfoods are the Biggest Superstars?
There are dozens of superfoods, but some are more “super” than others. Some of the top superstar superfoods include:
Garlic helps boost the immune system by promoting white cell growth, which is the body’s natural defense system. But garlic also has antimicrobial properties, meaning that it can help slow the growth of yeast, bacteria and fungi.
On top of these great benefits, garlic also helps to lower harmful cholesterol.
Fresh garlic is the most nutritious, but the powdered version of this plant is just as effective at lowering cholesterol.
An excellent complement to garlic, onions are another superfood superstar. It gets its superpower from quercetin, an antioxidant that strengthens and protects damaged cells.
Onions also raise your good cholesterol levels while thinning the blood and lowering your blood pressure.
High in fiber, kale is a dark leafy green vegetable that’s similar to spinach and is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals.
Kale is high in vitamins C and A, which are great for your skin and have anti-aging properties. A single serving of this green veggie contains more than half of your recommended dose of vitamin C.
High in vitamin C and magnesium, broccoli is the vegetable your mom has been telling you to eat since you were a child. And that’s because this green vegetable is considered one of the most potent immune boosters.
Wild-caught salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as iodine, zinc, potassium and vitamin D.