Did you know that there is no medical or nutritional definition as to what constitutes a superfood? The term is generally used to refer to any food that is high in a wide range of nutrients. Foods as diverse as broccoli, salmon, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, oats, quinoa and eggs are all often called superfoods. However, companies in the food industry promoting new products also use the term superfood in the hopes that people will buy something in the belief that it is going to do them good. Of course, some foods, such as those already mentioned, deserve the tag. But what about when it is used as nothing more than a marketing slogan?
If you are unsure, make certain you read the nutritional label. If a product is claiming to be a superfood it should contain high levels of nutrients for its calorie content. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will be low in calories (100g of pumpkin seeds contains well over 500 calories, for example), but that these calories will be fulfilling rather than leave you feeling hungry again in a couple of hours, as often happens with highly-processed fast foods. For example, broccoli is a very good source of fibre, vitamins A, C, K, and B6, folate, potassium and manganese, as well as containing smaller but still useful levels of many other nutrients.
If you want to include superfoods in your diet whilst losing weight, don’t assume this is going to be difficult. As you will be wanting to enjoy a wide range of vitamins and minerals anyway, there are many options you can try. While many people believe eating potatoes results in weight gain, a baked potato (either white or sweet) once or twice a week is a good meal choice as potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals whilst helping you to feel full. Lentils are also a good source of protein and fibre, as are beans, barley and quinoa. All of these can form the basis of a main meal. Include a colourful salad, and enjoy bananas, blueberries and almonds, all of which are high in nutrients, as a healthy snack, and not only will you avoid weight gain, you’ll feel great too!