These foods are hot trends because at one time someone dubbed them a superfood. What exactly is a superfood? Does it impart super human powers? Give us spidey senses? Help us fly?
Unfortunately there is no medical definition but Google states that a superfood is “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.”
That seems pretty broad to me. Ok yes, I’m a dietitian, so maybe its easy for me to get a little confused and worked up about this terminology. The origins of the term “superfood” come from the marketing world, in an effort to sell more of a certain food.
Now, don’t get me wrong, kale, avocadoes, goji berries, chia seeds make a wonderful addition to any diet. But, looking more closely, all fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats are superfoods. Without a highly diverse diet we can have some serious holes in our health. Humans need a variety of foods to get ample amounts of fats, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, etc. By focusing on one food and dubbing it a superfood we lose the whole picture. The real picture. It’s our WHOLE DIET, not just one food, that makes us healthy.
Here are a few other foods that have gotten looked over, but contain plenty of healthy benefits:
– Peanut Butter: Oh yes, I will be the spokeswoman for any peanut butter company. Not only because I love it so, but because it provides healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, and vitamin E – a good for your skin vitamin. Spread the good stuff 🙂
– Eggs: eat the yolk, only eat the whites, limit them in your diet. I say, eat the whole thing, and just like all foods, don’t go crazy, But eating a whole egg provides lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients that are essential for eye health. Also, there are b vitamins in there for energy production and choline which is needed for healthy brain function. What do you get if you eat just the whites? Protein.
– White Potatoes: don’t give up on this oldy but goody. Eating a small white potato will provide you more potassium than a banana. Plus, they are an awesome vehicle for toppings – try making a pizza potato with sauce, veggies, and low fat mozzarella cheese. Or a Mexican inspired version with black beans, salsa, and avocado.
So bottom line? Incorporate the latest superfood only if you like and it fits within your budget (have you ever bought goji berries – woof!). Otherwise, keep looking in your produce section, bulk bins, and meat and dairy cases for other foods with equally beneficial nutrients!