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What's So Super About Superfoods?

Posted on 10/27/2015

Acai, chia, and turmeric, oh my! Every few months it seems there is a new superfood that has just emerged and is desperately needed for a healthy diet. But is that really the case? What happened to the good old standby fruits and vegetables?

What are Superfoods?

Kale SaladThough there is no legal or medical definition, superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. There is a lot of buzz about certain foods but the fact is that common and readily available foods contain these powerful qualities. Some of them are things which you can find in just about any kitchen, like garlic and lemon. You don’t have to get online and order goji berries from across the world in order to acquire these certain nutrients. You simply must follow simple nutrition advice and eat a well-balanced diet.

At the core of a balanced diet are foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients while being low in unnecessary fats and sugars. And variety is key to obtaining all nutrients necessary for good health. Each food group contains different combinations of nutrients. So, for example, oranges provide vitamin C but no vitamin B12; cheese provides vitamin B12 but no vitamin C. To make sure you get all of the nutrients needed for health, choose the recommended number of daily servings from each of the five major food groups. There will never be a new food, or even diet, that will counteract centuries of nutrition research and understanding.

The Truth on Superfoods

The truth is many food companies over-emphasize the health benefits of these so called superfoods. Or even worse, claim these benefits come in pill form! Always remember…if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Furthermore, supplements aren't intended to be a food substitute because they can't replicate all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

Their appeal is easy to understand though. We all long for a magic bullet for weight loss, detoxification and rejuvenation, so we seek out superfoods to fill the potential nutritional gaps. However, they cannot and will not repair years of damage created by unhealthy eating. If you truly want a healthy diet, you must take a common sense approach to healthy or ‘clean’ eating. 

Taking the Proper Precautions

As with any weight loss or diet plan, consult your physician before you begin. It's always best to seek the advice of professionals as you can be better guided and have an educated structure to your lifestyle change. There are a lot of fads and half truths out there, so be careful when taking other's advice.

When in doubt, Seattle Sutton has been creating delicious and healthy meal plans for over 30 years that adhere to the most currect recommended dietary guidelines. Feel free to contact Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating to learn more about our traditional and vegetarian meal plans, or read our customer success stories to get motivated today!

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post-author

Rene Ficek, RDN, CDE

Grew up in the food industry and took that love of healthy eating to earn her degree in nutrition. She has worked as a registered dietitian for 6 years and has been with SSHE since 2013, providing nutrition analysis and meal planning. Her special interests in weight management and diabetes, helps patients manage their weight and health conditions. She enjoys an active lifestyle, as well as time in the kitchen. Rene’s favorite SSHE meal is the Thai Noodle Salad.

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