While no single food can check every box in terms of nutrition, some are arguably better than others. Many of these nutrient dense foods have been labeled "superfoods". While superfoods are not a nutritionally recognized category of foods, they stand out for being particularly nutrient-dense while remaining relatively low in calories. Keep reading today's blog post to find out why superfoods stand out from other foods, how superfoods are defined, and what foods are classified as superfoods.
What superfoods do
While each superfood has its own unique nutritional properties and advantages, superfoods as a whole are overall associated with the health benefits listed below.
A strong immune system
What makes a food a superfood?
While it is well understood that the category "superfood" implies exceptional health benefits, the actual nutritional profile of superfoods is typically less obvious.
As a general category, superfoods are particularly rich in:
Antioxidants: These natural compounds protect your cells from damage and may lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
Minerals: These essential nutrients (think calcium, potassium, iron and the like) help your body perform at its highest level.
Vitamins: It’s better to get these organic compounds from natural foods — like superfoods — than from supplements.
Fiber: Fiber helps decrease cholesterol, prevent heart disease and control glucose in Type 2 diabetes.
Flavonoids: Found in plants, flavonoids (once called vitamin P) have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Healthy fats: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, a.k.a. “good fats,” help lower your cholesterol and prevent heart disease and stroke.
What foods quality as superfoods?
While most superfoods are fruits and veggies, some fish and dairy products qualify as well! Here is a non-exhaustive list of the most popular superfoods that are easy to find and add to your diet.
Dark, leafy greens
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