You've decided to work harder on your health, including proper nutrition. You've heard a lot about superfood that supposedly has so many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and similar ingredients that will make you super man. Hm, is that really it?
What is "Superfood"
The term “superfood” refers to foods rich in nutrients that are the basis of a healthy body. Although most of them are made from foodstuffs of plant origin, some fish and dairy products are also included in this group.
The most important thing in the whole story is that there are no official criteria for making foods into a superfood group. Nowhere in the world there are no laws or regulations that regulate how many specified minerals or vitamins the food must have to wear the name of the superfood. Even scientists rarely use this name.
It’s a marketing term for healthy food.
However, the superfood deserved this name because it has significant amounts of vitamins and minerals and other ingredients that help strengthen the immune system and thus enable us to live longer and better lives. Common elements that make a good food are antioxidants, healthy fat, fiber and phytochemicals – active compounds of plants that are responsible for their strong colors and scents that help the human body to fight various diseases. If you consume this kind of food regularly, you’re supposed to be healthy.
Examples of superfood
The vegetables of the superfood etiquette are most often given to cabbage – and that’s for a reason. If you prefer to eat your own finger than half the bowl of cabbage, know that the same applies to most green or leafy vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli. They are rich in vitamins A, C and K, fibers and minerals. For similar reasons, the batat also falls in superfood.
Various exotic fruits such as nara, kiwi, acai and goji berries are also members of the superfood family. But there are fruits from our areas that will not empty your wallets – apples, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.
Whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts such as almonds and pistachios are also superfood.
In healthy food stores you will also come across a different powders, scales, grasses, algae, etc., which are derived from plants that are unspecific for our environment (growing in Amazonia, Peru, Tibet etc.), and they also work well in protecting our immune system.
Why is - or not - super
One of the problems that occurs when using the term “superfood” is that although a particular foodstuff is exceptionally healthy, and therefore superfood, the way it is processed may be unhealthy. And then lose the benefits that the food has in its original release.
Eg. a few years ago in our supermarkets appeared smoothies, milk skis and similar beverages that are advertised as rich foods such as nara, kiwi and various exotic fruits that belong to superfood. What’s the problem? Such drinks are loaded with added sugar. It is smarter and healthier to eat two fresh kiwi than to buy processed smoothie in a bottle. If you drink smoothie, do your own – all you need is a blender, a piece of fruit, some fluid and 2 minutes of time.
It’s a whole thing with whole grains. Instant oatmeal loaded with additives are good for health as well as white bread, and processed cereals, flakes and muesli that are advertised as healthy not to mention.
When food is labeled as healthy or super, most of us think that we can eat in unlimited quantities. However, moderation in everything is the key to healthy living. Besides, just because one type of food is labeled as super does not mean it is drastically superior to other healthy foods.
There is no magic food that will remove all of your health problems or help with weight loss. Neither will the spoon of chia seeds start your digestion you’ve been neglecting for years, nor will the maca powder in a few weeks return your hormones to normal after years of taking contraceptive pills. Yes, garlic reduces cholesterol, but it would be necessary to eat 28 cloves of garlic a day to only reduce cholesterol due to these foods. Hardly feasible, is not it?