Have you been hearing the term “superfood” recently? It’s thrown around pretty frequently in the health and nutrition space, not to mention by marketers at every conceivable chance, and is often assigned to foods that people aren’t necessary familiar with like chia seeds or goji berries. Don’t feel intimidated by the price or exotic sound of super foods; there are plenty of superfoods that you probably already eat on a daily basis.

So what are superfoods? Superfoods  refer to foods with high plant nutrient content that may provide health benefits.  It is relatively new term, but it’s actually just a synonym for a functional food (a term that’s been around for a while). The term functional is easier for me to grasp…basically you not only eat food for pleasure and sustenance but it’s also providing the bonus of health benefits for your body. As long as you eat a healthy diet comprised of whole foods you’re eating superfoods/functional foods all the time. Just about every fruit and vegetable provides a healthy benefit. Take a look for yourself:

Antioxidant (delays the onset of many age-related diseases)

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Oranges
  • Grapes
  • Honey
  • Raspberries
  • Tomatoes

Reduces Cancer Risk

  • Apples
  • Beans
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Green Tea
  • Milk
  • Salmon
  • Soy
  • Tomatoes

Improves Heart Health

  • Apples
  • Beans
  • Berries
  • Fish
  • Green Tea
  • Walnuts

Reduces Blood Pressure

  • Banana
  • Celery
  • Garlic

There’s many more foods in each category and many more categories, but the bottom line is if your daily diet has tons of veggies and fruits, you can’t go wrong. For me, knowing about functional foods helps me understand why dietitians recommend yogurt with berries, fruits as snacks, salads for lunch, and veggies with dinner. It’s not because its rabbit or bird food (i.e. low in calories), but rather its about putting things in your body that prevent disease rather than bring it on.

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