“Superfood” has become quite the buzz word in the past several years. But what does it actually mean? Well, like many things, it depends on who you ask. For instance, “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being” is the straight-up dictionary definition. And ultimately, that’s exactly what a superfood is! Let’s break it down:
Origin of Superfoods
While superfoods are a relatively fresh (#punny) phenomenon in the U.S, indigenous cultures have been using them for thousands of years. “Superfoods” today, such as chia, maca, and coconut, are dietary staples in many indigenous cultures. For example, just 1 tablespoon of chia was known to sustain Aztec warriors for 24 hours! In addition to being light and easy to carry, chia is loaded with omega-3s, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, fiber, and antioxidants, making it an energy and nutrient powerhouse.
Fast forward to the rise of the health movement in the U.S, where superfoods are all the rage…
Every Body is Different
Everybody, and literally every body is different. As convenient as it would be, there is no single comprehensive list of superfoods that make up the ultimate, end-all-be-all diet regime for optimal health. Every body has different needs. For example, someone going through chemotherapy needs extra antioxidants, which can be found in aronia berries, blueberries, and goji berries, all of which are considered superfoods. On the other hand, somebody with a damaged digestive tract needs gut healing superfoods such as sauerkraut, bone broth, and kombucha. It’s important to understand YOUR body’s needs, and realize that every body reacts differently to foods, even admired superfoods.
So, What is a Superfood?
At the end of the day, any food in its most natural state, while eaten with integrity and gratitude, can technically be a superfood. Yep. Even plain ol’ carrots and broccoli can be superfoods! Sophie Jaffe, creator of the amazing Philosophie superfood blends, also points out that all superfoods have one thing in common: they are REAL (i.e. unprocessed) foods.
Essentially, a balanced diet full of organic vegetables, nuts, fruits, seeds, and protein is key. Eating certain “superfoods” cannot make up for an otherwise unhealthy diet. Rather, superfoods are recommended to be used to supplement and provide extra nutrients.
The next time you hear “superfood”, we hope you have a deeper understanding of the word and how to best nourish your body! As you can guess, we’re big fans of superfoods over at Yumbutter HQ (eh hem, superfood potions). Now, run forth with your super knowledge and go love yourself. 🙂
P.S. We know we said there’s no exhaustive list of superfoods, but this is a good place to start. Also, some of our faves here at Yumbutter HQ are chia, hemp, goji, and lucuma.
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