Salmon, blueberries, green tea, spinach, kale, avocado…. Are just a few of the vast list of foods hitting social media as and finding popularity as a “super food”. But what does it take to be “super”??
Super foods has become a marketing buzzword all over Instagram and social media platforms. It is a non-medical term, associated with foods that have a perceived nutritional breakdown showing it is packed with nutrients to help fuel and improve your overall health and physical/mental performance. They are also associated with not only health promotion, but disease and adverse health prevention. These “super foods” usually are found to have extraordinary amounts of antioxidants, vitamins or minerals.
This brings us to our second buzzword; Antioxidant. This popular term is also one found in medicine and is a “antioxidant” is a substance that reduces damage caused by oxygen/oxidization, from which products of its chemical reaction can cause damage to the cells in our body (heart disease, cancer, arthritis, immune deficiency and other inflammatory conditions). Antioxidants can be natural or artificial in nature and there are studies showing there to be possibly thousands of substances that can act as an antioxidant. From this we can conclude that an antioxidant is more so a description of a substance and what it can do; rather than a category.
So, let us bring together these two components with critical thought. We know antioxidants are good for the body, and we want to seek out foods that contain them. Now, these foods that are considered “super foods”, are usually vegetables and fruits, which we know are a staple in a balanced nutritional lifestyle.
Meaning JUST EAT HEALTHY.
Ensure that your meals contain a balance of healthy vegetables, fruits, proteins and carbohydrates. Eat colorful foods; spinach, berries, salmon. Don’t be afraid to explore spices; turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, if for nothing else will brighten the flavor profile of your food. Don’t get so caught up trying to hop on the bandwagon for the hot new diet trend. Focus on eating a balanced diet with fresh, colorful foods and you will be well on your way to a “Super” lifestyle.