What Exactly Are Superfoods and Why Should I Eat Them?

If you've ever been to a juice bar or read an article about health and wellness, you've probably heard the term "superfood" before. It seems to pop up everywhere these days: in recipes, articles, ingredient lists.

But what does it mean? Are superfoods really that much better for you than other foods? And if so, why?

In this guide, we'll break down the science behind superfoods, the health benefits that they have to offer, and some tips for incorporating them into your diet.

What are superfoods?

Superfoods are foods that are particularly full of nutrients, vitamins, healthy fats, and antioxidants that can help your body and your overall health.

Antioxidants help your body fight off the harmful effects of free radicals in your cells. Free radicals can contribute to cancer growth among other conditions. So, antioxidants play an important role in your long-term health.

And the other nutrients and vitamins in superfoods can boost your immunity, lower your blood pressure or bad cholesterol, and improve your gut health. Plus, many, though not all, superfoods are also low in calories, so you can eat more of them without worrying about gaining weight.

The term “superfood” first appeared in the early 20th century during World War I. Though it is not a regulated term with a scientific definition, many sources agree on the use of the term for the superfoods touted by most healthy eating and wellbeing sites.

In short, the term “superfood” indicates a food that is more densely packed with the things your body needs than other foods are. So, superfoods are a great addition to any meal or snack.

Some superfoods include:

Blueberries: these are jam-packed with antioxidants (especially vitamins C and K), manganese, and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals help plants resist bacteria, fungi, and viral infections, and they can play a role in human immunity as well.

Avocado: this fruit provides more potassium than bananas, and it also offers vitamins C and K, folate, and monounsaturated fats (heart-healthy fats that might help lower bad cholesterol in the body).

Golden Chlorella: this is a fairly new discovery for many cooks out there. Derived from microalgae, golden chlorella is a wonderful source of vegan protein and antioxidants, like proteins, phospholipids, and carotenoids. It also offers high magnesium content and beta-carotene.

Spirulina: for its weight, this plant has higher protein than red meat. It also provides essential fatty acids and tons of antioxidants. Mostly available in a powder, it’s easy to sprinkle on dishes or add to smoothies.

Flaxseeds: these little seeds pack a big punch. They bring you omega-3 fatty acids, protein, thiamine, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus. You can easily pop them in oatmeal, hummus, granola, smoothies, or other dishes.

Green Tea: you might be surprised to learn that green tea can boost your metabolism, increase your insulin sensitivity, and lower your chance of heart attack and stroke. This is thanks to its antioxidants and polyphenols. Though green tea comes from the same plant as black tea and oolong tea, it is not as processed, and therefore preserves more of the tea plant’s natural benefits.

Turmeric: this spice contains a phenolic compound called curcumin that reduces inflammation and helps your body regulate blood sugar levels and fight the growth of cancer. Black pepper increases your body’s absorption of curcumin. So, be sure to pair the two during your meals.

How do I include superfoods in my meals?

Superfoods can be added to your diet in a number of ways. Some make great additions to smoothies and salads, such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, ginger, wheatgrass, and avocados. Coconut oil is useful as a cooking oil for just about anything that calls for oil. Choosing free-range eggs and raw milk increases the nutrients in both of those common breakfast foods.

Golden chlorella and spirulina can be sprinkled onto any dish you enjoy. And some superfoods, such as salmon, broccoli rabe, sweet potatoes, kale, Swiss chard, and mustard greens, work well as part of a main course or side dish.

What are good superfood snacks?

Blueberries, raspberries, almonds, and dark chocolate make for fabulous snacks on their own. You can also treat yourself to a morning or evening cup of bone broth or green tea. Or you can sprinkle a little cinnamon (another superfood) into your morning coffee.

Because the health community is becoming more aware of superfoods, you can also find many healthy snack bars and drinks that include some of the ingredients above as well as superfoods like acai berries, goji berries, grapefruit, and walnuts.

However you decide to consume them, make sure to add a variety of superfoods to your diet so you can reap their benefits.

At Natura.Punkt, we concentrate on bringing the benefits of the superfood golden chlorella to you because it is rich in so many nutrients and is a great source of vegan protein.

We offer protein-rich pastas, protein powders, protein bars, granola, and supplements. Visit our site to learn more about our offerings. Or go to our wellness blog to gain more fabulous ideas for bringing greater richness and nutritional value to your daily diet.