Why are they called superfoods?
Foods labeled “superfoods” are certainly high in some amazing antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, compared to their counterparts, but the term is primarily used as a marketing ploy to draw individuals to buy products and justify their high expensive. For example, blueberries are marketed as superfoods for their high antioxidant properties, specifically high vitamin C levels, but in fact 1 cup of cooked (boiled) sweet potato has 42mg of vitamin C, compared to 14.4mg of vitamin C in 1 cup of blueberries.
What are the nutritional benefits of superfoods?
Superfoods are certainly beneficial for our body and when consumed assist us towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle, benefits include:
- High in antioxidants particularly anthocyanins, and vitamins K and C, reducing risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease
- High in antioxidants and Vitamins K, A and C, reducing risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease
- High in antioxidants particularly anthocyanins and essential fatty acids, promoting cardiovascular health
- High in vitamins C, B2 and iron, essential for energy production
- High in polyphenols protective against cancer, and folate protective against birth defects and heart disease
- High in fibre and essential fatty acids, promoting cardiovascular health
- High in fibre and protein, promoting bowel health, satiety, and weight loss
Next time you see the term superfood down the shopping aisle, take a moment to justify your choice. Focus on consuming fresh organic produce filled with colourful fruits and vegetables and whole grains, aimed at increasing your antioxidant intake, reducing risks of disease.
Author, Sarah Campbell, Naed Nutrition