The word “superfood” sounds pretty great, like a nutritional superhero who’ll swoop in and save you. It would be nice if a few all-star ingredients were all you needed to look and feel your best.
And yet, life isn’t usually that simple. With many people trying to remain healthy during this uncertain time, here is a look at what foods can help you achieve that goal.
What Are Superfoods?
Superfoods include familiar foods, such as blueberries, sweet potatoes, salmon, and spinach. You’ll also see more obscure foods, like açai, spirulina, quinoa, bee pollen, wheatgrass, and gogi. But what qualifies something as a superfood? And are they miracle workers, or is it all just wellness marketing hype?
Wellness enthusiasts tend to agree superfoods contain elements most beneficial to a person’s health, including antioxidants, fiber, and fatty acids. However, according to the prestigious Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “superfood” isn’t a scientific term.
Super vs Sham
Since there aren’t any sanctioned qualifications for superfoods, just about anyone can make a claim about a powerful, life-changing food. Word travels fast in the wellness world. Suddenly, a new super-ingredient is being marketed, and everyone thinks it’s crucial to their diet.
While the nutritional benefits associated with eating superfoods isn’t an absurd concept, there’s often not enough research to be certain of the benefits. This isn’t to say that superfoods are a total sham. Certain foods are known to support good health if you eat them regularly.
The time-tested superfoods list includes:
- Green tea
- Leafy greens
- Olive oil
- Sweet potatoes
Each of these foods is nutritionally dense, offering varying combinations of fiber, protein, healthy fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When they’re consumed regularly, at least a few times a week, these superfoods can have anti-inflammatory effects, regulate digestion, help you maintain a healthy weight, improve your complexion, and ward off illnesses.
If you’re on a health and fitness journey, it’s easy to get roped into diet fads and be swayed by wellness claims that are too good to be true. Keep in mind that everyone is different. What food makes you feel satisfied, energized, and all-around amazing when you eat it? Whatever the answer is, that’s your superfood. And there’s no magic food that can prevent you from catching a virus. But healthy eating in general will boost your immune system.
Instead of looking for shortcuts, embrace tried-and-true wellness strategies. When it comes down to it, whole foods and a smart exercise plan is your best bet.
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