Superfoods - everyone has probably heard this term at least once in their lives. Athletes, yoga gurus, dieticians, and all types of other health enthusiasts have lauded superfoods as the underlying reason for their fit bodies and success in reaching weight loss goals. Upon reading any nutritionist article on these “golden” foods, there has been no shortage of people rushing off to Whole Foods to stock up on blueberries and salmon, as well as many other lesser known foods like goji berries and quinoa. But how effective are these foods really?
Blueberries: One of the most popular superfoods around, blueberries are valued for their high amount of antioxidants, which help to cleanse the body of free radicals. Studies have found a definite correlation between blueberry intake and health benefits. According to the National Health Services of the UK, a study in 2012 showed that women who ate three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries had more than 30% lower risks for heart disease.
Quinoa: This light brown grain that resembles a bowl of Rice Krispie Treats while dry is one of the most popular new superfoods around. Not only is it high in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and potassium, but also gluten-free and can be eaten like rice and other grain-based foods. Though there is no guarantee that quinoa will taste as good as Rice Krispies, it is definitely much healthier.
Salmon: Though salmon is a type of food that is readily available and is commonly found on restaurant menus, it is also one of the healthiest foods around. Salmon has an abundance of healthy fats, like the Omega-3 fatty acids. According to a CureJoy article by Emma Olliff, a qualified nutritional therapist, these fatty acids reduce cholesterol and blood pressure while improving the appearance of skin and hair. Aside from Omega-3 fatty acids, salmon also contain vitamins that boost your brain’s performance.
Kale: A favorite with health-food enthusiasts, kale is the superfood that has been taking the world by storm. Companies everywhere from Whole Foods to McDonalds have jumped on the kale bandwagon, taking advantage of the fad to push kale chips, kale brownies, and even chocolate kale fudge pops to eager consumers. Kale is one of the healthiest foods around, boasting immense amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, according to Time Magazine. In fact, one serving of kale contains more than 650% of the suggested daily amount of vitamin A, and more 900% of vitamin K!
Though the benefits of superfoods may not be as amazing as they claim to be, eating superfoods is still extremely beneficial for the human body. As Despina Hyde said in an article by Live Science, “‘As a dietician, I think that ‘superfood’ is more of a marketing term for foods that have health benefits.’” Superfoods may not have all the superpowers of Batman, but they are at least good enough to be Robin.