What’s so super about superfoods?

By Gennie Martin and Lindsey Clark

The Tower (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)

Though many people argue over what is and what is not considered to be included in the superfood category, the nutrition-filled foods that are most believed to be a part of this group are salmon, broccoli, spinach and lentils Eileen Labadie, MA, RD, CDE said.

“There’s a little bit of a controversy about people wanting to call everything a superfood,”  Labadie said.

Superfoods offer different health benefits and are noted as superior to processed foods or those high in fat content. Superfoods have taken all over the media and news, Foods for Fitness teacher Marianne Modlin said, but they aren’t all what they’re made out to be.

“They are fads. One minute something’s good for you. The next minute it’s not,”  Modlin said.

Labadie, however, said so-called superfoods do tend to have higher levels of nutrients and added health benefits compared to regular foods.

These nutrient-rich foods have taken over the health world, eaten regularly by some and sporadically by others wanting to lose a few pounds.  While eating these foods to make up for missing nutrients is a not very effective idea, Modlin said a consistent diet full of these foods is very rewarding and provides many different health benefits.

Many individuals attempt to thread these foods into their meals hoping they contain all of the essential vitamins and minerals. Although, Ella Koss ’16 said a balanced and consistently healthy diet is a better idea than occasionally eating a superfood.

“Balance between superfoods and all foods in general is essential to a healthy diet,” Koss ‘16 said. “A balanced diet is the best.”

Both Labadie and Koss encouraged eating overall healthy foods for meals and possibly making a smoothie using different superfood ingredients.

The foods that people put in smoothies are often packed-full of vitamins and nutrients, Labadie said.

“Greek yogurt is a high protein and nutrient-dense type food,” Labadie said. “Same as fruit like berries, kiwi and flax seed which has omega 3 fatty acids.”

Starting good eating habits such as making these nutrient-filled smoothies, Modlin said, can lead to a lifetime of healthy eating.

“It’s good to establish good eating patterns now, because that’s something that is going to carry with you,” said Modlin.

10 superfoods you should try

1. Avocados- they contain healthy monounsaturated fats that are potentially supposed to reduce risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Though, they are high in fat so eat in moderation.

2. Apples-  Reduce risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Skin is packed with lots of fiber.

3. Blueberries- Have been proven to better vision and brain function.

4. Collard greens- Lots of nutrients including vitamin A, zeaxanthin and lutein, which keep your eyes healthy.

5. Edamame- 1 cup has 22 grams of plant protein and lots of fiber.

6. Oranges- One orange has more than 100 percent of the vitamin C needed for one day, also has calcium and folate.

7. Greek yogurt- Twice the protein of regular yogurt.

8. Sweet potatoes- ½ a sweet potato includes more than 450 percent of your vitamin A, also protects vision and immune system.

9. Flaxseed- Loaded with plant Omega 3s and has more lignans (compounds that may prevent endometrial and ovarian cancer) than any other food.

10. Asparagus- ½ cup supplies 50 percent of your daily bone-building vitamin K and a third of your day’s folate, it’s a natural diuretic so it banishes bloating, too.

Info from everydayhealth.com womansday.com


Photo credit: Unsplash

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

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