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Superfoods: what are superfoods?

Women preparing a selection of superfoods on table
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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.

Here we share the best superfoods and how to incorporate them into a nutritious diet.

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.

But 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 - we’ll show you how later on in this guide.

Best superfoods to improve your health

  • Ginger - is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories
  • Green tea - contains caffeine and t is rich in antioxidants
  • Salmon - contains omega-3 fatty acids and is also high in selenium, vitamin B12 and potassium
  • Berries - are a nutritious, sweet alternative to processed sugary snacks
  • Pomegranate - the arils, or seeds of a pomegranate, are filled with antioxidants 
  • Sweet potatoes - are high in healthy carbohydrates and are also gluten-free, perfect for those with intolerance or celiac disease.
  • Spirulina - is an excellent source of protein, antioxidants and iron
  • Nuts and seeds - are packed with protein, omega-3 and fibre
  • Avocado - is loaded with nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium and magnesium
  • Kale - contains vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin B6 to iron, calcium, magnesium and more

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.

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.

References

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