The word super has been applied to many things: a certain man of iron, stars and where would the world be without supercalafragilisticexpialadoscious? In recent years the word super has been applied to foods and created much buzz about so called super foods.
For those who aren’t in the super food catch phrase know here is a basic run down of the who, what and why of foods and how they became super.
The super food phenomenon may have all started on Oprah as the case with so many things in our nation’s lexicon language. This is not to say that Oprah has any special powers to make food better than it is, but the phrase went into popular use after Dr. Perricone’s visit discussing 10 super foods and their effect on beauty.
The idea that there are only 10 super foods is completely incorrect. There are many super foods. The exact criteria to become a ‘super’ food are easy to define, but a bit harder to pin down. To a great degree it all depends on who you talk to.
To be a super food, the food in question must carry higher than average levels of phytonutrients, or phytochemicals. In plain English super foods are usually organic in nature and are loaded to the bursting point with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and any other good thing for the body. To this end there is a long list of foods labeled as super.
Choosing the right super food for you is a bit like choosing which of the Super Friends is going to accompany you on a trip. If your trip called for a lot of flying Superman or Wonder Woman and her jet would be a great choice. On the other hand if your destination is at the bottom of the sea Aquaman would be the better choice.
This is one reason why experts quibble about which foods are worthy to carry the super label. If you are striving to avoid cancer there is a list of foods suited for that end, if younger skin and more energy is the goal the list will change. Choose your super foods for you and your goals.
As a general rule any deeply colored vegetable or fruit (like blueberries and broccoli) will be super. Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and bright herbs with strong smells are considered super foods in their own rite.
To put a name on it the following foods are all widely accepted as super foods: