Posted on 08-04-2016
Superfoods. It’s a trending term that you’ve probably heard before… especially in recent years. The term Superfood always seems to be thrown around with other health buzzwords such as antioxidants, Omega-3s, free radicals, probiotics etc., and honestly, it can all get a bit confusing. Today we’re going to cut through the jargon, and get to the bottom of what Superfoods really are, and leave you with the information necessary to determine whether or not you should start eating them!
Long stories short, Superfoods are just foods. There are no set regulations on what defines a Superfood, and the term itself is basically a marketing term to get you to buy the food! That being said, more often than not, a Superfood is simply a food that is very rich in vitamins necessary for your body to function well. However, because the term “Superfood” is basically a marketing term while some Superfoods are actually super good for you, others aren’t so. This begs the question, “Should I begin to incorporate these foods in my diet?”
Oftentimes, foods with average nutritional contents get labeled as Superfoods, so that it will entice consumers into purchasing them. There are however some real “Superfoods” that truly are worth incorporating into your diet. A common example of this would be Kale. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods around. It’s full of vitamins critical to your body such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A (to name a few), and it’s both low in calories and carbs! Because of Kale’s high nutrient density, eating Kale will greatly increase your health. Another great example of a true Superfood would be Quinoa. This grain is lower in carbs than rice or pasta, has twice as much fiber as many other common grains, and is incredibly rich in protein, all while being low in fat and calories. Eating nutrient dense foods such as Kale and Quinoa will not only make you feel better, but they will fill you up more as your body gets more of the nutrients it craves, and none of the processed fillers that we so often find on today’s grocery store shelves.
An example of some of the “Superfoods” that aren’t so super would be many of the brands of yogurt with probiotics. Although some yogurts actually do have live active cultures in them that help to regulate your digestion, many others are just pumped full of active bacteria during production, which die off and have no effect on the body by the time of consumption.
The key with Superfoods is to not fall for the marketing ploys that get consumers to buy the products, and eat foods that are just naturally good for you. This doesn’t sound like news, but with all the hype about “Superfoods” recently, it’s easy to get duped into thinking that all of the foods labeled as super are exponentially better for you. The truth is that eating healthy foods such as Kale, Quinoa, Salmon, and Blueberries are the real ticket to living a healthier lifestyle. Some markets will label these foods as Superfoods, and others won’t, and the reality is that it doesn’t matter. Healthy foods are healthy for you, regardless of how they’re advertised, although sometimes advertisements will make foods seem healthier than they are by making broad health claims.
Eating healthy can be challenging, especially in a world where it is difficult to know if what is being advertised is actually true. However, if you fill your diet with dark leafy greens, fruits, and lean meats like light fish, your body will be getting all of the nutrients that you need. Healthy food choices are often times just as “super” as the Superfoods that you’ll find in the market, whether they are labeled as such or not! So to answer the question, “Should I incorporate Superfoods in my diet?” the answer would have to be “Just eat healthy!”
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