With the beginning of every year, publications and even private conversations seem to be dominated by talks of dieting. The dieting industry is one of the largest industries in the United States so it’s fair to say that Americans are obsessed with food. We are obsessed with food, foods that are bad for us that we can not stay away from, foods that used to be considered bad but aren’t any longer such as eggs, and what the newest foods are that are supposed to be the best for us. The ever-evolving world of food is mutable and all around us.
The Standard American Diet is often lacking in vital nutrients, we do not get the servings and varieties of food that our bodies need to live a healthy life. Thus we are always seeking ways to boost our nutrition or supplement our diet in some way. The newest foods on the block are the oft-touted superfoods. But before we go running the nearest health food store, you should find out just what you need to know about superfoods.
So What Is a Superfood
Superfoods are foods thought to be more nutrient dense than other foods. These are often plant-based foods but some types of fish and dairy are also included in this categorization. Superfoods have extra large doses of certain vitamins and minerals that aren’t easily found in the Standard American Diet. Some of the nutrients that certain superfoods contain include antioxidants thought to ward off cancer; healthy fats, thought to prevent heart disease; fiber, thought to prevent diabetes and digestive problems; or phytochemicals, the chemicals in plants responsible for deep colors and smells, which can have numerous health benefits.
The best way to eat a balanced diet is to incorporate as many varieties of foods into your diet, including a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This includes superfoods of all varieties. Some people believe that eating more superfoods eliminate the need to visit the vitamin shops near them, they can use their nearest grocery store to get all of their vitamins.
What Foods are Considered to be Superfoods
The term “superfood” isn’t a scientific classification, so what the general populace considers a superfood can vary by time and region. It seems like every year a new exotic fruit pops up in the media and it touted as the new, best, superfood available. Acai berries, goji berries, dragon fruit, even pomegranate have all had their moments of fame as the star superfood of the moment. Generally, these exotic fruits are packed with one kind of nutrient which makes them desirable to the health conscious dieters but any organic grocery near you will have a wide variety of exotic and non-exotic superfoods for you to choose.
More common fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries, also contain many antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients in similar quantities to more exotic fruits. Nuts, legumes, and seeds are good sources of protein and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats when eaten in moderation. Choices include unsalted almonds, peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts. Salmon, sardines, and mackerel are fatty fish that are low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats, reduce triglycerides (the chemical form of fats in most foods and in your body) and slow the growth of plaque in the arteries.
Kale who hasn’t heard it lauded as a superfood? It certainly fits the bill but so does most dark, leafy greens: Swiss chard, collards, mustards (including radish greens), spinach (and others in the amaranth family), and cabbages. Add broccoli to that list, as well. It’s in the cabbage-mustard family; the modern version is merely grown for its floret instead of leaves. These dark vegetables are loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber, calcium and other minerals.
Superfoods Enhance your Lifestyle and Your Diet
A lot of foods that fall into the category of ‘superfoods’ are foods that Americans tend to lack in their diet on a daily basis. Most Americans do not get the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables in a day or even in the span of a week so concentrating on adding superfoods, adds more of these by default. The qualities in a plant food that make them colorful and fragrant are also those things that add these super nutrient dense qualities. By concentrating on a colorful, fresh, diet, you will be adding superfoods to your everyday life.
Your Pembroke Pines organic health stores can be your guide to adding more superfoods and variety overall to your diet, they usually have a large section of fresh produce as well as more shelf stable and frozen varieties of food that you can add to your diet.