Are SuperFoods for Real?

December 4, 2009

SuperFoods: another diet trend—or is this for real?

What has become known as “SuperFoods” is very real—as real as blueberries, salmon, garlic, and raw honey. But it’s the term “SuperFoods” that’s become a bit of a trend, after the publication of the blockbuster 2003 book, SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life, by Steven Pratt, M.D., and Kathy Matthews.

The book introduced us to 14 “SuperFoods”— whole foods that are so densely packed with vital nutrients and antioxidants that they help improve our overall health, fight disease, and slow aging. A couple of years later, Pratt and Matthews wrote a second book, SuperFoods Healthstyle, and nine new foods were added.

These 23 SuperFoods include walnuts, oranges, spinach, broccoli, green and black teas, blueberries, pumpkin, oats, turkey, tomatoes, soy, yogurt, wild salmon, beans, avocados, cinnamon, garlic, onions, kiwi, dates, honey, pomegranates, and dark chocolate.

According to an AOL Health & Fitness interview with co-author Dr. Steven Pratt, all SuperFoods had to stand up to the following three requirements before being included in the list:

  • Easily available in American supermarkets.
  • Part of healthful diets in cuisines around the world.
  • Sufficient scientific research to prove they could contribute to preventing diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer.

These days, you can browse the Web and find articles by nutritionists (like this WebMD article) that expand on the original 23 SuperFoods to include eggs, red meat, dark leafy greens like kale, buckwheat pasta, and goji berries. But there is a common thread: These are foods that have been around for thousands and thousands of years. 

A trio of benefits

SuperFoods offer three nutritional benefits: nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. Here’s a rundown on each one, and which SuperFoods deliver the most (note that most SuperFoods deliver well across all three).

Nutrients: We’re talking vitamins and minerals. Vitamins help our bodies function; minerals are the body’s building blocks. We don’t work without them. Nutrient-rich SuperFoods include kiwis, yogurt, salmon, broccoli, onions, garlic, and sweet potatoes.  

Fiber: It’s not just your grandmother’s prunes. Fiber helps the digestive system, improves the absorption of nutrients, gives that long-lasting full feeling after eating, increases insulin effectiveness, and decreases the overall risk of disease. Your grandmother might have called her SuperFoods “roughage.” Fiber-rich SuperFoods include: vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains.

Antioxidants: These nifty molecules repair the body’s wear-and-tear, which comes from eating processed food, getting too much sun exposure, excessive exercising, and taking in environmental chemicals. All produce free radicals in your body. These free radicals are believed to be connected to cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants can reduce free radicals or eliminate them. For that reason, antioxidants have become a vital part of staying healthy in a modern world. SuperFoods rich in antioxidants include: berries, kiwis, apples, cranberries, chocolate, and beans.

Chef by Request SuperFood meals

If you’re a Chef by Request customer, you might notice by now that your meals are filled with these SuperFoods. If you’re not, here’s a peek at how our chefs, Katia Sabbah (San Francisco) and Patrick Fagan (Seattle and Portland) pack healthful, energy-boosting foods into their creative, delicious meals. Some of these are great examples of how to stack a meal with SuperFoods.

Seattle and Portland Supermeals:

  • Meatloaf or turkeyloaf rolled in whole oats
  • Pumpkin and brown rice salad
  • Energy bars with pomegranate extract, oats, honey, and very dark chocolate
  • Blueberry pancakes
  • Cranberry chicken salad with toasted walnuts drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and walnut oil
  • Lentil and vegetable salad

San Francisco Supermeals:  

  • Blueberry sour cream muffins
  • Pomegranate-glazed salmon
  • Spiced chickpeas with yogurt and pine nuts
  • Tomato tartlets with ricotta
  • Pumpkin muffins with cinnamon
  • Sweet potato and pumpkin biscuits
  • Spinach salad with cranberry and turkey breast  

How much SuperFood?

Let’s face it; most of us don’t measure our servings, so start by recognizing what these foods are and why they’re important. You’re probably eating some of them already. Next, strive to eat more whole real foods and a greater variety of them over the course of the next few days, weeks, and months.

Who knows, you may not only love the foods you discover, you may fall in love with how you feel. 


More links:

Learn more about how Chef by Request supports your great health.
Learn more about Chef by Request.
Stay healthy! Sign up for Chef by Request service.
SuperFoods RX


4 Responses to “Are SuperFoods for Real?”

  1. […] Save a piece of fruit for that evening craving or have a cup of tea with raw honey, which is a superfood. Try setting a “last call” for your day’s […]

  2. […] one of these: For a sweet tooth, eat sweet potatoes, yams, or yogurt and raw honey (a superfood). Instead of white pasta, try quinoa (also high in protein). Eat your fruit instead of drinking […]

  3. […] Are Superfoods For Real? … to include eggs, red meat, dark leafy greens like kale, buckwheat pasta, and goji berries. But there is a common thread: These are foods that have been around for thousands and thousands of years. A trio of benefits SuperFoods offer three nutritional benefits: nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. Here … Categories: Superfood Goji Tags: Comments are closed. Acai Is The Superfood Of 2009 – Get Your Answers Here Did You Know? You Can Sell Energy Back to the Power Company!  Learn How » RSS feed […]

  4. […] statistics from the CDC Web page. Read the Mayo Clinic’s 10 Tips for Picky Eaters. Get some SuperFoods in your family’s diet. Learn more about Chef by Request. Start your own healthful eating […]

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