If you've been listening to anything health and fitness related in the last few years, you've likely heard a thing or two about super foods.
But what is a super food and how does it help you exactly?
Super food is actually a term that the food industry used to talk about very nutrient packed foods but, in reality, no food is actually a "super food." Generally, items labeled as super foods have a dense nutritional profile including antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and fats however there is no real criteria nor regulation of what deems something a super food.
That being said, incorporating these items into your day will be beneficial, although them alone will not magically make you lose weight, be healthier, or anything else you may desire.
What are some of the best super foods to have each day?
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark Leafy Greens provide essential Vitamin K which aids your bones, folate which is essential for your body, nitrites which burn brown fat (the bad kind!), help regulate cholesterol, blood pressure through fiber and provide other essential nutrients to your body.
Stock up on kale, collar greens, microgreens, spinach, cabbage, beet greens and arugula!
You've heard the old saying..."beans, beans, they're good for your heart..." and while the ending might be a joke, the adage is true. Beans, which are a legume, have a decent amount of protein making them a great protein source for those that don't eat meat. While they aren't complete proteins, pairing them with other items can help you get all nine essential amino acids. Beans also have folate, antioxidants which protect against free radicals, fiber and a host of other great benefits.
Green tea has been touted as a super food for a while now. It's been said that green tea can aid in weight loss due to the polyphenols that affect fat oxidation. Drinking green tea isn't magically going to make the pounds fall off but it might increase your metabolism very slightly. Green tea may also help your cholesterol, reduce your blood pressure and is anti-viral and anti-bacterial.
Berries of all kinds contain antioxidants which can help protect against free radicals which may help prevent cancer. In addition, berries are relatively low-calorie, high in fiber and may help with prevention of degenerative diseases. Blueberries, raspberries, acai, pomegranates and others are good additions to your daily diet.
Oats, amaranth, buckwheat, farrow and millet, to name a few, boast a variety of helpful vitamins and minerals in potent amounts. From magnesium to groitogens, grains can be an important and healthy part of your diet. They also have fiber, protein and satisfying carbohydrates to keep you full and healthy.
What about all the other super foods?!
Other super foods can be a good addition to your diet. Remember, just because something is labeled a super food doesn't mean it waves a magic wand to all your problems. Incorporate a variety of different foods into your daily rotations and ensure you get enough vegetables and fruits throughout the day!