What is a Superfood?
By Jodie Parus, RD, LD
By definition a superfood is "a food considered especially nutritious or otherwise beneficial to health and well-being." Superfoods are calorie sparse and nutrient dense; meaning they pack a lot of punch for their weight and are superior sources of antioxidants and essential nutrients.
Superfoods are touted to boost your immunity, mood, energy, and overall health and well-being. Individual foods are associated with more specific claims such as the ability to help you lose weight, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and promote digestive health.
One thing is for sure, foods that you find classified as superfoods are nutrient rich powerhouses and offer many health benefits in a lesser amount of food. In essence, you get "more bang for your buck."
Kale, blueberries, and quinoa are popular superfoods right now, but they are not your only choices. If you research the topic, you may find lists of foods that are rare and that may be difficult for you to get your hands on. You may also wonder, how am I supposed to incorporate that into my meals? See below for some superfoods that you will easily be able to locate and add to your diet:
- Leafy Greens such as watercress, parsley, endive, chicory, mustard sprouts: Contain high doses of chlorophyll, easily digestible proteins, enzymes, and a wide range of vitamins and minerals
- Bell Peppers: Red, yellow, orange or green, they are excellent sources of Vitamins A, B, C, E, K
- Beets: A great source of fiber, iron, Vitamin C, magnesium, folate, potassium, and manganese
- Buckwheat: Despite its name, it is not a grain, but a seed that is gluten free and low glycemic. High in protein and the essential amino acids lysine and arginine.
- Goji Berries: Very rich source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), and B6 (pyridoxine). Also contain 18 amino acids and 21 trace minerals.
- Cherries: Great source of anthocyanins and Vitamin C
- Pomegranates: Contain up to 7 times the amount of antioxidants of green tea!
- Chia Seeds: Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, also provides protein, healthy fats and fiber