Superfoods is a recently coined term that refers to food that offers multiple health benefits for disease prevention. They are a nutrient-rich food that contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with few calories.
Unfortunately, superfoods are a myth. It was a term that Michael Van Straten, an alternative medicine practitioner, first used. It was eventually incorporated in marketing purposes aiming to influence consumer behaviors and current food trends. But it doesn’t mean that there isn’t any food that wouldn’t come close to being a superfood. So, let’s look at the food deemed as superfood and the reasons behind it.
The Fake Superfoods That Are Still Good For You
Antioxidants are abundant in these superfoods, which help protect your cells from free radicals linked to heart diseases, cancer, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, emphysema, immune deficiency, arthritis, and respiratory infections. Of course, if you have any of these illnesses, you should get urgent care before depending on any superfoods.
While the superfood trend has created unrealistic expectations for consumers, there is still some food that you can add to your healthy and balanced diet to get closer to having a superfood diet. Here are some of them:
In general, teas are very rich in antioxidants with fewer calories. They can be good for hydration and counters the effects of inflammation, arthritic, stress, and carcinogens. The epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG is an antioxidant typically found in green tea, which can also help kill cancer cells without any adverse effects on the tissues in our body.
Nuts and seeds
Consumption of nuts and seeds can lower high blood pressure, inflammation, and risks of heart disease because of their B vitamin folate contents. Besides that, they are also rich in fiber, protein, healthy fats, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
The nuts and seeds known to be the healthiest are walnuts, pistachios, almonds, cashew, peanuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds. Additionally, they are low on calories which can help in losing and maintaining a healthy weight.
Besides being tasty, they are also a nutritional source of flavonoids, vitamins, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. So, acai berries, strawberries, blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries are good at lessening heart diseases and cancers risks.
Blueberries can also lower the risk of having urinary tract infections. Goji berries are high in flavonoids and vitamin C, and they have a history of being used in treating diabetes and high blood pressure while keeping the livers, kidneys, and eyes healthy.
Avocadoes are known sources of healthy fats, fiber, folate, potassium, minerals, magnesium, and vitamin E. The high monounsaturated fats in each avocado can help lower the body’s inflammation and reduce the risks of having heart diseases, diabetes, and cancer.
Despite their high cholesterol content, eggs are rich in B vitamins, choline, vitamin A, vitamin A, iron, choline, selenium, and phosphorus. Additionally, eggs are high in protein with two potent antioxidants: zeaxanthin and lutein, suitable for the eyes.
While the high cholesterol content of eggs makes them not as healthy as other superfoods, moderate consumption of 6 to 12 eggs per week shouldn’t do any harm to the body.
Salmons, along with other fatty fish like herrings and trouts, are nutritious fish with protein, B vitamins, selenium, potassium, and healthy fats. It’s also a source of omega-3 fatty acids content, decreasing the risk of inflammation, heart diseases, and cholesterol.
Having a fish-based diet, especially with the mentioned fish, can lower the risk of diabetes and helps in maintaining a healthy weight. While a disadvantage in eating salmon is that these fish are highly contaminated with heavy metals and other pollutants, one can still enjoy the benefits of a fish-based diet by limiting it to a maximum of three servings per week.
Mushrooms are known to have medicinal properties. They are rich in vitamins, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants that help keep your immune system and bones healthy while reducing inflammation and risks of certain types of cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. They also have low cholesterol and gluten, making them perfect for maintaining a healthy weight.
You might have heard of dark chocolate as healthy food, and the reason is that it is rich in flavonoids or antioxidants. These flavonoids can help boost immune health and prevent heart diseases and cancers. Although sugar could potentially negate the health benefits of dark chocolates, choosing chocolate with lesser sugar should still do its job.
Superfood For A Super Healthy You
So, while superfood is only a myth and marketing strategy, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Just make sure you still have a healthy and balanced diet while consuming these superfoods.