Oct 30, 2016
Superfood is a term we hear and see often, but what is a superfood and where does the term come from? I sought out to answer this question after seeing this term used over and over again to describe things that I would call food… Not “Superfood,” just food. Foods like Blueberries, Almonds, Brussel Sprouts, Apples, Avocado’s and Pumpkin. All of these foods I ate growing up and we called them things like; nuts, fruits and vegetables. While it’s not as glamorous as “Superfood,” these foods I ate as a kid had the same health benefits. So back to the question what is a “Superfood?”
I tried to find out exactly when the term Superfood was first used and found conflicting results, some of the online resources stated that the term might have been used as early as the 1800’s but after a few minutes of looking (20 to be precise) I gave up and decided it wasn’t necessarily important to know when the term was first used but more importantly how it is being used today. The term “Superfood” is used to describe a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. That definition is rather the opposite of what I would think a super food is. I would say a “Super Food’ would clean your room or give you the ability to fly after eating it but that’s just me, a fitness blogger desperately trying to find a way to make this blog post more interesting… How am I doing by the way? Are you enjoying this so far?
I wanted to take a look at these “Superfoods” a little closer and see what makes them so super. The first thing I did was search online blogs and websites to find which foods are most commonly being called “Super.” I found that a lot of the same foods were appearing in these blogs and websites and when I looked at their individual nutritional values I found that they all had a mixture of vitamins, minerals, fiber and healthy fats. These are things that I refer to and consider essential, as they are essential to living. We need all of these things to live a healthy life and our body depends on them to perform. These essentials are found in different concentrations in these foods, some had more than others, and others had all or just some. However, these foods all have something to offer in the way of essential nutrition.
I found that the term “Superfood” is somewhat misleading and has been banned in some countries, “The new EU legislation will ban the use of the term superfood unless it is accompanied by a specific authorized health claim that explains to consumers why the product is good for their health.”
Furthermore, the term “Superfood” is not used by dieticians and nutritionists but as term used by marketers to help sell and promote certain foods and products.
Ultimately I think the term “Superfood” is synonyms with “nutrient dense,” meaning that the food has essentials to a healthy lifestyle and body. Food is good and the best foods are ones are organic whole fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans and meats.
Below is a list of the most common “Superfoods” I found and what they contain in the way of essential nutrition.
Almonds – Healthy Fats, Protein, calcium and Iron.
Apples – Vitamins A, C, Calcium and Iron
Avocado – Healthy Fats, Vitamin C & Fiber, Minerals.
Bananas – Potassium & other Minerals.
Beets – Vitamins A, B & C and Potassium.
Blueberries – Vitamin C, K and Fiber
Cabbage – Vitamin A, C, Calcium and Iron.
Cauliflower – Vitamin C
Chia – fiber Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids.
Dates – Carbs & Fiber.
Edamame – Protein & fiber.
Eggs – Protein, Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron and Cholesterol.
Black Beans – Fiber & Protein
Jalapenos – Vitamin A & C.
Lemon – Vitamin C.
Pumpkin – Vitamin A, Potassium.
Quinoa – Protein, Fiber & Iron.
Salmon – Protein Omega 3 & 6.
And as always remember - Stay Motivated!