All fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals, and that’s why for most diet regimens, they remain the largest sections in the food pyramid. But is it possible some choices are superior to others?
“There are some foods that seem to confer more benefits compared to others in the same category,” says nutritionist and educator John Bagnulo, PhD, MPH. The term ‘superfoods’ can be misleading, I like to say ‘nutrient-dense’ instead. But whatever you call them, they’re definitely worth considering as an addition to your meals.”
In many ways “superfood” is a vaguely-defined word in the food industry, much like “natural” or “healthy,” and like those terms, it gets tossed around a great deal in the midst of marketing hype. But as Bagnulo notes, some of these foods do pack a lot of nutritional benefits in comparison to other options.
Why Superfoods are so “Super”
It is tough to find a consistent and standard list of superfoods, but the various lists you do find will contain mainly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fatty fish, nuts and seeds. In addition to vitamins and minerals, superfoods contain compounds that offer additional benefits. They don’t just nourish you and give you energy, they also protect your health. Some known benefits include reducing inflammation, lowering cancer risk, improving bone health and boosting cardiovascular health.
For example, a common superfood is salmon due to it being high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce triglyceride levels and slow the growth of plaque in the arteries. Berries are also great due to the antioxidants causing a reduction in inflammation, so great for anyone with arthritis, Crohn’s disease, asthma etc. Certain nuts that are high in omega-3’s (like walnuts and almonds) will help reduce the risk of certain diseases too.
Some other superfoods we know and love (well most of them anyway) include: eggs, black beans, sardines, flaxeed, greek yogurt, green tea and any fruit or vegetable, especially dark greens).
What about Frozen Food?
Opting for frozen fruits and vegetables isn’t as much of a nutrient sacrifice as some would think. If fresh produce isn’t in your budget, go for the frozen option to save a little money and make it last longer.
Source: MJ Fitnatic