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Superfoods: what are superfoods?

Women preparing a selection of superfoods on table
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Want to know what makes superfoods so super? Read on to learn about the potential health benefits of these nutritious foods, and how you can incorporate them into your daily diet.

What are superfoods?

Superfoods are natural ingredients that are rich in nutrients. They are normally plant-based and also high in antioxidant properties. Whilst there’s no legal criteria for what defines a superfood, there are a number of common qualities which can help to protect against diseases and enhance weight loss.

Benefits of superfoods

Superfoods, and superfood supplements, are a beneficial addition to a varied, balanced diet. They contain high levels of vitamins and minerals to keep your body strong and healthy.

According to registered dietician, Mary Ellen Phipps, superfoods are "more nutrient-dense than other types of produce, providing rich sources of fibre, phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein and omega-3 Fatty Acids."

Superfoods are also low in calories, making them a nutritious addition to your diet if you are trying to maintain a healthy diet.

Do superfoods really work?

Superfoods only work if they are eaten as a part of a healthy diet. They aren’t a ‘miracle’ food and can’t counteract poor nutritional intake. So rather than adding one or two of these foods into your daily meal plan, it’s best to improve your overall eating habits.

How can I get more superfoods in my diet?

Swapping out unhealthy choices for superfoods, or adding to them your meals is the best way to get a more nutritious diet. This could include topping salads or yoghurt with seeds, making superfood smoothies or adding another portion of veggies to your dinner. Combine superfoods with other health foods to get a balanced, well-rounded diet.

Superfoods are highly nutritious and are packed with various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Enjoy them in meals, smoothies and snacks and see how they make an impact on your health.

10 superfoods you can add to your meals

  • Ginger

    Ginger is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories

  • Green tea

    Green tea contains caffeine and is rich in antioxidants

  • Salmon

    Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids and is also high in selenium, vitamin B12 and potassium

  • Berries

    Berries are a nutritious, sweet alternative to processed sugary snacks

  • Pomegranate

    The arils, or seeds of a pomegranate, are filled with antioxidants

  • Sweet potatoes

    Sweet potatoes are high in healthy carbohydrates and are also gluten-free, perfect for those with intolerance or celiac disease.

  • Spirulina

    Spirulina is an excellent source of protein, antioxidants and iron

  • Nuts and seeds

    Nuts and seeds are packed with protein, omega-3 and fibre

  • Avocado

    Avocados are loaded with nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium and magnesium

  • Kale

    Kale contains vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin B6 to iron, calcium, magnesium and more

A final word on superfoods

While superfoods provide many nutritional benefits, they are not a magic solution for good health and should not replace a well-rounded and balanced diet.

Looking for more tips to help you eat healthy? Find out more about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet or get simple breakfast ideas to boost your protein intake.

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References

https://observer.com/2018/01/a-registered-dietitian-explains-what-a-superfood-actually-is/
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/