Superfoods – Strike a balance
Superfoods achieved immense popularity in recent decades with numerous product launches and consumer inclination towards a clean and healthy living.
The promotion of superfoods with their myriad health benefits now vigorously circulates in media — catchy headlines with unique content, infomercials, and marketing campaigns are common spectacles.
Research suggests that the influx of superfoods stems from the growing perception of food as medicine. With increased awareness, people practice great care in selecting what they put in their bodies. Health benefits are becoming a primary concern, and consumers are ready to shell some extra bucks to buy food with enormous health benefits.
Have you ever wondered what defines superfood? The definition can be quite fluid due to the lack of a scientific definition.
Food is usually elevated to the superfood status when they are packed with high levels of desirable nutrients to prevent a multitude of health issues.
Superfoods consumed in moderate quantity provide high doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, fiber, probiotics, and high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. They are also usually low in calories and sugar with lots of fiber and health-boosting phytochemicals.
Some of the popular superfoods in the market are:
- Dark leafy greens: kale, swiss chard, collard greens, turnip greens, spinach
- Root vegetables: ginger, sweet potato, turmeric
- Oil: olive, coconut
- Nuts and seeds: almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts; chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
- Fruit: avocado, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, goji berries
The list is not exhaustive and is ever-evolving.
Currently, kale is the king of the vegetable world. It is discussed and portrayed as the superfood to try. It is known for reducing inflammation and prevent tumors.
Experts caution that this doesn’t mean that other vegetables are not nutritious enough. There are many other vegetables, such as watercress, loaded with nutritional benefits, albeit not popular. And often, traditional vegetables are ignored with the elevation of certain food in the market.
Hence, the scientific community stresses a diverse plate full of different healthy and flavorful foods rather than a plate of just superfoods.
Author: Somrita Ganchoudhuri
Image source: unsplash.com