Just because something is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, is it better for us? Do these foods supply the nutritional benefits that it promises or is that a sales pitch?
Superfoods are a term to describe foods that contain the maximum nutritional benefits and with little to no calories. They are filled with loads of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These foods exist mainly in plant form, making certain fruits and vegetables a great source for nutrition!
Does that mean that we are not getting the nutrition we require from other foods? Or is this just a way to get us to buy more expensive produce?
Why Are Superfoods Important? Is It Just The Hype?
Superfoods are nutrition-rich, which means they provide more nutrients than calories; these nutrients include high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Antioxidants help our bodies balance out any free radicals that could wreak havoc in our bodies; these free radicals are produced by heart disease, cancers, or respiratory diseases.
But superfoods are not cure-all foods; people have unrealistic expectations thinking that superfoods can protect them from all diseases. However, you only benefit from eating superfoods if you have an all-around healthy diet. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to take preventive measures against cancer and heart diseases. Common superfoods include leafy greens as well as berries and avocados.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Vegetables like kale, spinach, and collard greens are superfoods rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, and many B vitamins; they also have loads of minerals like iron and magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Many of the vegetables that are part of the superfood group are gaining popularity because they are versatile. These vegetables can be used in smoothies or consumed as a side dish sauteed with garlic or salad.
Berries And Avocados
Carmen’s superfood berries include acai berries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, and goji berries; research on these berries shows that they can lower the risk of a heart attack. Don’t be quick to dismiss the frozen berries so fast because you think that fresh berries are better. While frozen berries are smaller, they are ripe when picked and contain the most nutrients, whereas fresh berries lose their antioxidants and nutrients as they travel around the world, so don’t dismiss the frozen berries!
Avocados’ popularity has risen throughout the last few years, many recipes use avocado as the main ingredient, and they can be found on menus in many restaurants! This is because avocados contain healthy fats and are a good substitution for butter and mayonnaise, which are high in saturated fats.
Does This Mean You Have To Change Your Diet?
To reap the benefits of all these nutrition and antioxidant-rich superfoods, you have to have a healthy and balanced diet. So there is no use in raiding the food aisle or breaking the bank to buy overpriced berries and avocados just for their superfood face-value.
To receive the maximum benefit from your produce, buy what is in season as it contains the highest nutritional content as it spends less time traveling when produced locally. To maintain a balanced diet, you can add colors to your plate in the form of vibrant fruits and vegetables for every meal. Try to substitute processed food, beef, and poultry with salmon or tofu. And to add antioxidants to your daily diet, cook with spices like turmeric, cumin, ginger, and cloves.
Dr Saadiqah Hajat