Superfood is a popular marketing term for unclassified food claimed to confer extraordinary health benefits, usually resulting from superior mineral and chemical composition. The word is not generally used by medical professionals, dietitians and nutritional scientists, most of whom strongly dispute that certain foods have all the touted health advantages. On the contrary, numerous reports are emerging almost weekly about the so-called superfoods and their alleged health benefactor properties. However, you must keep in mind that there is no universal law of nature that says one food is considered superfood or that there’s just one magic ingredient that can make anything healthy.
So how do you differentiate the foods that are superfoods from those that are not? Well, keep in mind that not all healthy foods possess these attributes, especially not natural foods. Here are some of the characteristics of a superfood that will help you get started in choosing which superfoods you should incorporate in your daily diet to help keep you fit and healthy.
As far as nutritional value is concerned, there are plenty of superfoods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. These include, but are not limited to, blueberries, chia seeds, pomegranates, salmon, ginger, quinoa, beet greens, alfalfa sprouts, spirulina, and wheatgrass. Albeit these foods may lack vitamin A and C in large quantities, they are still considered superfoods because they contribute to a healthy and balanced diet. Therefore, they should be included in any diet.
In terms of weight loss and maintaining healthy eating habits, the list of superfoods is extensive and very diversified. For starters, you can start by integrating superfoods into your diet plans when you are planning to lose weight. It is true that these nutrient-rich foods make you feel full for a longer time. This leads to binges and eventually weight gain. But if you eat them sensibly and in moderation, you can enjoy all the health benefits without gaining weight.
Almonds, blueberries, walnuts, pecans, prunes and strawberries are examples of good superfood choices for those who are trying to lose weight. Almonds, blueberries and walnuts have a high fiber content that helps you control your cholesterol levels and has many other positive effects on your health. Walnut can be used instead of butter for those with peanut allergy. Peanut and walnut can be used as a topping for sandwiches.
As for dark leafy greens, cherries, kale, spinach, cabbage and lettuce are considered excellent superfood choices. Kale and spinach are rich in antioxidants, which can lower the risk of heart disease. They also provide necessary vitamins and minerals the body needs. And because they are rich in nutrients, they help detoxify the body.
Aside from providing essential nutrients, there are some other benefits of including these greens in your diet. They help improve digestion and absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract and lower bad cholesterol levels. Studies show that consuming them regularly can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Some research also suggests that green superfoods can reduce the risks of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
So if you want to enjoy all these nutritional benefits of a superfood, make sure you include it in your everyday diet. If you have tried diets before that don’t allow you to incorporate any green vegetables or fruits, it may be the right time to try a new diet plan. Bananas, apples, almonds, blueberries and lettuce are all nutritious enough to add into your daily meal plans. The good thing about banana is it can easily be incorporated into any meal whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner. And the best thing about adding any of these fruits or vegetables to your diet is you can have them anytime and any number of times to satisfy your appetite for a healthier lifestyle.