Food Vocabulary Part 1: Superfoods

As more and more people begin to adjust their diets and incorporate more healthy, whole foods into their meals, we pick up a whole bunch of new terms to add to our food vocabulary.  As great as it sounds to throw these new words around, it is even more important to better understand what those words mean.  Today’s word is SUPERFOOD.  We will delve into the details on what it means to be a superfood and some examples of them.  It is integral to not only be aware of what to add to our diets but actually understand the benefits these foods provide.  When we understand the importance, we are more likely to adhere to our plans and keep them in our diets.

What is a Superfood?

Foods containing:

  • High level of vitamins

It is important to maintain high levels of a variety of vitamins in our bodies to avoid becoming deficient in any given one.  They work hard inside our bodies with other enzymes to carry out various functions in order to keep our bodies free of disease, aid in digestion and elimination, and promote growth.

  • High level of antioxidants

Foods with high levels of antioxidants are known to be cancer fighting foods.  They neutralize free radicals found in our plants grown within soil exposed to pesticides.  You can find them in fruits and vegetables such as various berries, sweet potatoes, pineapple, and walnuts.

  • High level of minerals

Minerals promote cardiovascular health and detoxification within our bodies.  A few more well known minerals that superfoods include are calcium, copper, potassium, and magnesium.  

What are some examples of Superfoods?

  • Berries

Incorporating berries into your diet can be the most simple way to add a superfood into your routine.  Have a handful as a snack by itself, add to a smoothie, or add them to your favourite baked goods.  Without even realizing we are consuming nutrient dense foods that help balance our blood sugar.  These delicious fruits are also full of flavanoids (another new food term for some!)  This is how our fruits get their colour.

  • Chia Seeds

Search this word online and you can find a variety of ways to begin to add chia seeds into your next meal.  Maybe a smoothie with the berries, or an oatmeal?  They are extremely high in protein and are a good source of fat.  Fats are integral to maintaining a well-balanced diet as long as we consume the right ones.

  • Coconut Oil

Not only does it smell and taste delicious but it also provides many health benefits.  It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal so it can be used for not just consuming but skin care too.  It is a good fat so if you are looking to lose weight, substitute this in for the margarine you might have sitting in your fridge.

  • Quinoa

Despite popular belief quinoa is a seed, not a grain.  However, we treat it similarly to a grain.  You can incorporate it into breakfast, lunch, and dinner: as oatmeal, salad, and side dish respectfully.  Not many plant-based foods are complete proteins, meaning you have to consume a few food items to achieve the complete protein, but quinoa is complete itself.  This is a great food for those veggie lovers and gluten-free eaters to boost protein and provide a gluten-free option in your diet.  

  • Ginger

Ginger is one of my favourite superfoods because it can be used in sweet meals like a fruit smoothie or savoury dishes like a stir fry.  It is also a great food to consume for upset stomachs and if you are feeling under the weather as it relieves gas and bloating, is an antibiotic, and is a great immune booster.  

These five foods are simply just examples of a more extensive list of superfoods.  Hopefully this provided some insight into the SUPERFOOD word to help you make more educated, health conscious decisions next time you write out the grocery list.  Stay tuned for more posts on other words within my food vocabulary.

Be fierce. Be strong. Be vibrant.