Do I need to eat superfoods?

Published May 20, 2014

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While you can certainly obtain all your important nutrients from common fruits, vegetables and other foods, “superfoods” have an exceptionally high concentration of various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant nutrients. If you eat a healthy diet, packed with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, moderate amounts of lean protein, legumes, raw nuts and seeds and minimal processed foods, then you probably don’t need anything extra to meet your daily nutritional needs. If this sounds like you, you’re also likely to be unknowingly eating superfoods anyway; aside from the more unusual plants like spirulina, chlorella and green coffee bean, every day foods like blueberries, broccoli and salmon are usually classified as superfoods too.1

How do superfoods help my body?

As part of a healthy diet, superfoods may provide your body with a nutritional boost. Each superfood is different and will contain a unique combination of nutrients and health‐promoting substances. The majority of superfoods are high in antioxidants, which help neutralize damaging free radicals.

For example:

  • Berries, including acai berries are rich in antioxidants known as anthocyanins.2
  • Tea and cocoa are a source of flavanols,2 also antioxidants.
  • Spirulina contains phycocyanin, a potent free radical scavenger.

Other notable superfoods and their health benefits include:

  • Red algae – A natural source of minerals including calcium and magnesium.
  • Quinoa – A grain‐like plant that was sacred to the ancient Incas. It’s considered to be a complete protein offering all the essential amino acids in balance and is a source of magnesium, manganese, folic acid and potassium3.
  • Pomegranate – Provides a potent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and a powerful combination of antioxidants.
  • Chia – A staple food for the ancient Aztecs and a natural source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and dietary fiber.4

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