Ask The Trainer:"What are Superfoods and their benefit?"
Feb 5, 2019
Christian Agudelo, ACSM - CPT
Superfoods are foods that are mostly plant-based but also some fish and dairy. Thought to be nutritionally dense and good for one's health. Blueberries, salmon, kale and acai are just a few examples of foods that have the superfood label. Superfoods have extra-large doses of vitamins and minerals that can help us ward off diseases and live a longer, healthier life.
Some of the nutrients that certain superfoods contain include antioxidants, thought to ward off cancer; healthy fats, thought to prevent heart disease; fiber, thought to prevent diabetes and digestive problems; or phytochemicals, the chemicals in plants responsible for deep colors and smells, which can have numerous health benefits.
Earvin Bahena, NSCA - CSCS
The term “Superfood” may be considered hyperbolic but don’t let that fool you, these foods are full of vitamins and minerals to positively affect your health. Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach are great sources of folate, fiber and vitamin C and can help reduce heart disease and diabetes. Berries are another great example as they contain antioxidants and minerals and can help treat digestive and immune related disorders. Avocados are nutrient rich with minerals, healthy fats and oleic acid which is linked to help reduce inflammation in the body. While eating these super foods are great for you, in order to achieve optimal health it is best to eat a variety of foods in a balanced diet.
Spencer O'Neil, NASM- CPT
Superfoods are food that are jam packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals. Many of the superfoods can be added to really enhance the nutrients of a meal. One of my favorite superfoods is yogurt due to its versatility and high source of calcium and protein. Adding fruits and grains to it allows you to get a good amount of vitamins and minerals in a single snack. Yogurt is also full of probiotics which helps digestive issues. It can be tough to find a way to get all the nutrients you need but adding superfoods to a meal is a quick way to enhance it.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a superfood as “a food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health.”
One food does not have the power to supply all essential nutrients but the theory behind superfoods is that it offers more benefits than certain foods because of its capabilities of diminishing or fighting diseases, and providing more than one nutritional value that the body needs. Types of superfoods include, berries, fish high in omega 3 like salmon, dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard greens, nuts like hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans, olive oil providing vitamin E, Whole grains a source of vitamin B and phytonutrients found in oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice. These items should be added to enrich the benefits of a meal.