Superfoods - Newer term for special foods
There is a relatively new and increasingly popular term being used in the food vernacular. We had “foods"; then we had “healthy foods"; and now we have “super foods.” The question is what exactly makes a food “super"?
“Phytos” will fight for you.
Although not all health experts seem to agree on which foods, if any, reach the status of “superfoods", most will say that vividly colored fruits and vegetables, along with several nuts, seeds, spices and herbs could fall into this category. Most of these foods contain a category of substances called phytonutrients, which appear to have a protective effect on your health.
What are we eating?
It is important to say here that if we were all eating lots of fresh, whole, unprocessed foods and avoiding many of the edible non-foods found on grocery store shelves and at fast food restaurants, the issue of superfoods would probably not be as important. Having said that, it does appear that even within the realm of healthy foods, there is a special category of foods that have extra special properties that qualify them for super status.
Two categories of super foods
There are two types of foods that are often given super food status. One category is made up of foods that are generally easy to find in grocery stores, in restaurants and even in your own backyard garden. These are the foods you would probably recognize as part of an ordinary healthy diet.
Some examples of super foods in this category are:
-Coconut and Coconut oil
More exotic superfoods
Then there is another category of super foods that are more exotic and less easily obtainable, except through specialty websites or health food stores. These are foods that either are not commonly produced, or that only grow in very specific parts of the world. These include:
--Caveat: Just because a food has been designated, as “super” does not mean that you should consume large amounts. If you decide to include any of these foods in your diet, eat them in moderation, as you would any food.
In addition, if you are taking any medications, be sure to consult with your pharmacist or doctor regarding interactions.
Although most health experts would agree that you can be perfectly healthy without eating any of these super foods, it certainly can’t hurt to include some of them in your diet. Adding a bit of turmeric to your soups or some blueberries to your breakfast cereal can only improve your ability to be healthy and stay well.