Are Superfoods Real?
By Accredited Practising Dietitian, Simone Bourner
The word ‘Superfood’ is everywhere these days alongside claims of disease preventing, revitalising and youth preserving but what does it actually mean and do these foods actually have superpowers or is it just another marketing ploy?
Did you know there is actually no official definition of a superfood?! We tend to think of them as natural foods that contain a high amount of nutrients and as such may provide health benefits such as decreasing the risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease), boosting the immune system, improving mood and helping to decrease inflammation. The word is commonly seen alongside mystical ancient foods or products with exotic names such a goji berries, acai berries or maca powder.
It’s great that there has become more of a focus on healthy eating but be careful not to get caught up in the hype. The word itself is not regulated which means it can be plasted anywhere and products that provide just as many nutrients (and are often half the price) might not be labelled in the same way. An example of this is kale vs. broccoli. Check out how they compare here https://www.google.com.au/search?q=kale+vs+broccoli&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=AZ5CVpTsB8a50gS2mrSAAw . I know which one I prefer the taste of!
The bottom line is, unfortunately there is no one food or nutrient that is a miracle fix. It’s all about consistently including a variety of healthy foods and creating your own diet that’s super right for you!
Our tips to maximise your nutrient intake:
- Aim for 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables each day – including fruits such as blueberries and making a rainbow on your plate at meal times with brightly coloured vegetables. Don’t forget those leafy greens!
- Use herbs and spices such as ginger, turmeric, basil and cinnamon in your cooking
- Go for wholegrain products to boost your fibre intake
- Try a variety of black, green and herbal tea varieties
- Include healthy sources of fats such as salmon, nuts and seeds – chia seeds, linseeds, flaxseeds and almonds
- Yoghurt is a great source of protein and calcium and can help promote healthy gut bacteria
Check in with your Eat Smart Dietitian if you have further questions or would like to know more about maximising your nutrient intake.