Any food that is exceptionally dense with nutrients has been dubbed a superfood; a marketing term to try and represent the health benefits the food holds. Despite having a little scientific basis to support the term, and the fact that experts and dietitians do not commonly use the term, it’s still out there. The idea behind it is to encourage people to eat more healthily, and raise awareness of the nutritional content of food items that we wouldn’t otherwise know about. In general, they will usually be dense with vitamins, minerals, and/or antioxidants.
Interestingly enough, most superfoods are plant-based, with some fish and dairy as well. The first thing that jumps to mind when you hear antioxidants is usually berries. Blueberries in particular are often famed for being a superfood; rich in vitamins and high in fiber, these berries pack a punch. Other berries that have also had some hype are acai berries and goji berries, native to South America and Asia respectively. Up next are leafy greens, the darker the better. Some of these vegetables even contain more vitamin C than oranges, they’re also high in vitamin K which is good for heart and bone health. While kale is somewhat famous in this category, other greens such as spinach or bok choy also bring their own minerals with them too, such as carotenoids, potassium, iron, and magnesium.
Nuts and seeds contain good amounts of healthy fats and minerals. This also means that they are higher in calories, so should be consumed with care. Chia seeds, however, are pretty low in calories and are a great source of protein, fiber, and zinc. Avocado is also rich in healthy fats, claiming fame in recent years with the popular dish ‘smashed avo on toast’. Ginger and garlic are both known to provide immune benefits. While garlic works as an anti-inflammatory, ginger is known to help pain relief and alleviate an upset stomach. Turmeric is also famously known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. No matter which of these superfoods sounds most appealing to you, remember to keep everything in moderation, and always consult a medical professional.