Superfoods are a hot topic.
On top of all the misleading food labels that read “all-natural,” “no sugar added,” or “no artificial flavors or colors,” you can now add “superfood” to your list of ambiguous nutritional claims.
Sure, there really are foods that many nutritionists consider superfoods. But trust me — odds are, these foods won’t come from your nearest drive through or processed, pre-packaged food from the grocery store.
Every superfood you find is going to be a real (unprocessed) food.
What Makes Them So Super?
Stay away from highly processed foods devoid of important macro and micronutrients. But why go for the superfoods? And how exactly do you find them?
There isn’t a universally or nutritionally tested way of determining what foods are actually “super.” But many health experts consider any whole food that is low in calories and has a high nutrient density or above-average nutritional benefits as a superfood.
These nutritional benefits vary greatly depending upon the particular superfood, but according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), many of these antioxidant-rich foods may help reduce your risk for fatal diseases like cancer. According to the 2011 ACS Guidelines for Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention, a third of the annual cancer deaths in the United States are caused by poor diet and lack of adequate physical activity.
Where Do I Start?
So now you’re ready to get healthy and start implementing some of these awesome superfoods into your diet. Great! Here are three nutritious, real, and tasty foods that could easily be considered superfoods because of their numerous health benefits.
Did I mention they’re all in season?
Blueberries — These sweet and naturally blue berries are crammed with disease-fighting antioxidants, known to help alleviate the damage done by inflammation.They are great in smoothies, eaten with a handful of raw almonds or simply enjoyed with a bowl of greek yogurt.
Red bell peppers — While all peppers are low in calories and are a healthy option for any meal, red peppers — which taste sweeter and aren’t as spicy as other varieties — pack a special nutritional punch. They contain 11 times more beta-carotene than green bell peppers and also give you 240 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin C. Raw pepper with hummous, or fajitas, anyone?
Watermelon — This tasty summer treat provides some awesome nutritional support for your body. Aside from refreshing you on a hot day, this fruit also delivers significant amounts of lycopene, a carotenoid present in many superfoods. A recent study led by food scientists at Florida State University even suggests that watermelon can be an effective weapon against prehypertension, a precursor to cardiovascular disease.
Is That All?
There is only room for three superfoods, I can assure you there’s a whole grocery store full of these nutritional gems (here’s some more, and more). You just have to know what you’re looking for and how to find it. Go in with a plan — a list even. Avoid the temptation of those pesky processed treats that lack any nutritional benefits (AKA empty foods). check out the organic section of the produce department.
Hopefully this has got you thinking about the foods you’re putting in your body and how they might be affecting your long-term health. And remember: whenever you’re in doubt, contact me, a registered holistic nutritionist for the safest, healthiest recommendations.
How About You?
Share in the comments and let my readers know what other foods you turn to when you’re in need of a healthy, nutritious boost.