Looking around the internet, there are a lot of â€œbest superfoodsâ€ lists. While each list is different to some extent, the authors seem to agree that superfoods should stand out by providing an optimal amount of either good fats, protein, vitamins and minerals, or other nutrients like antioxidants.
Many of these lists include healthy foods blueberries, avocado, dark greens like spinach, and dark chocolate, to name just a few. But who gets to decide whatâ€™s a superfood?
The answer is not scientists or researchers. Superfood isnâ€™t actually a scientific term, nor do researchers agree on what foods belong on the list of superfoods.
So why do we all keep talking about superfoods, and are they really that important to our diet?
History of Superfoods
According to Harvardâ€™s School of Public Health, the first use of the term superfood dates back to WWI as part of a marketing strategy by the United Fruit Company to sell more bananas. The marketing materials at the time focused on the nutrition, ease of digestion, the natural germ-free wrapping of the skin, and the variety of ways that bananas could be cooked or added raw to almost any meal. At the time, these qualities proved highly appealing to consumers.
The term superfoods and popularity of bananas was likely cemented when the American Medical Association announced bananas as a cure for celiac disease in babies and children. Later research would show that this is incorrect (it is actually caused by a gluten sensitivity), but the banana had already taken off, and later more companies would get wise to the idea and start promoting their foods in the same way.
On the one hand, superfoods could be thought of as a corporate marketing ploy to make money; but in another way many of the foods labeled as â€œsuperâ€ do benefit from good nutritional value. Yes, some foods and their potential benefits may be â€œoverhyped,â€ like bananas, but just remember always to be skeptical of marketing claims and do your own research when someone tells you that any one food will do it all.
Foods with Optimal Nutritional Value
When looking to get more nutrition in your diet, you want to add a mix of foods from different food groups. Food variety is a good way to support the digestive system and introduce the body to a variety of macro- and micro-nutrients.
- Raw cacao
- Salmon (wild raised and caught only)
- Nuts and seeds
- Beans and legumes
- Leafy greens (dark greens and purple varieties are best)
- Healthy oils
- Whole grains
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Lean protein
Adding more of these foods will help to provide optimal support for energy production, physical activity, a healthy brain, weight management, and much more.
If your diet isnâ€™t so super, look to supplements to support your body and healthy eating patterns.
HealthForce SuperFoods makes supplements that help you to experience the best that nature has to offer. These formulas are made with a blend of herbs, green vegetables, spices, aquatic plant life, seeds, and other plant life to help and provide physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Dr. Jameth Sheridan, researcher, experimenter, inventor, and founder of HealthForce SuperFoods, described the pursuit of the company as uncovering the â€œmiraculous healing plantsâ€ gifted by Mother Nature and giving it to people that want to realize their full potential.
Each HealthForce SuperFoods supplement works best when combined with a whole food or vegan diet. For optimal feelings of health and wellness, add exercise and more sleep into your routine; and limit bad habits such as drinking alcohol or consuming processed foods.
HealthForce SuperFoods is also a â€œcleanâ€ manufacturer, meaning there are no fillers, binders, excipients, synthetics, isolates, or animal products. The amber glass bottles also help to lock light out better retain the nutritional potential of each product. More information about quality testing and certifications can be found on the HealthForce SuperFoods website.
There is nothing wrong with reading superfood lists, but just remember that living a â€œsuperâ€ life means making smart lifestyle choices. Eat from a variety of different food groups, find supplements that fit your goals, get more sleep, exercise, and water, and regularly consult with your primary care physician to learn more about your dietary needs at each stage of life.