What entitles each of these foods to deserve the label of “superfood?”
Typically, it’s the combination of fiber, protein, healthy fat, plus essential vitamins and minerals, which promote optimal nutrition for our bodies.
But remember, a single food item is not a panacea.
So what’s so super about these superfoods?
When eaten consistently, and in combination with one another, these so called “superfoods” work together to create a fruitful melody in your body. They fuel your body, to aid function, to achieve the epitome of well being.
While others may have their own definitions of a SUPERFOOD, I believe a superfood must adhere to the following criteria:
More than one NUTRITIOUS benefit. This basic criteria of a superfood may be implied, but I wanted to state the (maybe?) obvious. A superfood should have some combination of fiber, protein, healthy fat (like omega 3s), vitamins or minerals.
For example, avocado is packed with healthy fats, FIBER (did you know that?!), plus vitamin C & E, folate, iron, and more!
Available and Affordable. You must be able to purchase your superfoods regularly in order to completely reap the benefits of these nutritional powerhouses. If berries are not regularly in your budget, sure, enjoy them when you can, but maybe they’re not your SUPERfood (but, instead, a delicious & nutritious treat!). Make your superfood something YOU can buy and consume frequently.
Diverse. Nutritional and culinary diversity is key in a superfood. Eggs, for example, provide protein and a plethora of vitamins. Plus, they can be prepared in a variety of ways and be included in many different recipes.
Enjoyable. No matter how nutritious a food item is, if you dislike it, you will not eat it often enough for it to be a superfood for YOU! Therefore, superfoods are personal. I can give you as many examples as you’d like of MY favorites…but YOU must choose YOUR superstars!
Accessible. A superfood in a tropical climate may be different than that in the tundra. If you have to make a special trip to a specialty store an hour away, it may be more difficult to include this food in your diet frequently, which is an important component of your personal superfoods. Be sure the foods you put in your top 5 list are easily accessible.
When choosing your superfoods, keep in mind that nutrition is multi-faceted; Nutrients are not isolated entities. Your body uses carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, in coordination with micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals), to function properly.