Every week we seem to have a new superfood thrust into the limelight, blueberries, quinoa, kale etc, but what’s it all about, what are super foods?
Well, we’re told they’ll do anything from curing us of cancer, to slowing the ageing process, to helping us lose weight. OK, great but what foods are they?
“There are no standard criteria or approved list of superfoods” said Kris-Etherton, Professor of Nutrition at The Pennsylvania State University.
So, with no standard list and most ‘experts’ giving a different list how can you know what to eat? Well, most of the foods touted as superfoods are good for you, but sometimes when you look at an average portion size rather than 100g you’ll see that whilst they're good, they're not that super after all.
Portion size comparison
One recent addition to the superfood club is dried thyme and it’s a great example of the portion size folly. Here’s one claim “Thyme is a culinary and medicinal herb of the genus Thymus. How much antioxidants it has is astonishing, placing it within the top 10 of all foods tested for antioxidant content”.
Now if you eat 100g of dried thyme it’s amazingly good for you, but seeing as an average portion size would be about ¼g that changes things a bit. It still has vitamin K1 and iron with 4% and 2% of your RDA (recommended daily amount) respectively, but it’s hardly off the scales as a super food. Click here to check it out for yourself, test changing the portion size and see how it affects the nutrition.
Therefore, taking portion sizes into account and the multiple health benefits of some foods we’ve created our own Top 10 list of Superfoods for you.
Superfood Top 10
1. Chicken livers – a small portion of these (80g) lightly fried and either curried or made into pate will give you 9 days’ supply of vitamin B12, a 3 day supply of Biotin, and a 2 day supply of the most powerful form of vitamin A and folate. These 4 work together providing amazing support for your immune system, DNA, eyesight, blood and skin health. Click here to see
2. Tinned fish – a small tin (120g) of the oily variety such as sardines and mackerel will give you a 4 day supply of vitamin B12 and the most powerful form of omega 3 (EPA/DHA), giving you protection from heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and strokes. Click here to see
3. Spinach – This ingredient will give you a combination of vitamin K1, folate and lutein and zeaxanthin which have been shown in a recent study to stave off cognitive decline by 11 years when eaten regularly. Click here to see
4. Eggs – this all-time classic has good amounts of a newly classified nutrient called choline. Choline helps with muscle control, memory and prevents liver damage from fats and cholesterol. Click here to see
5. Hazelnuts – a handful of these gives you vitamin E, the most powerful antioxidant we know of along with phytosterols – a phytonutrient that maintains the positive activity of our cells and supports our immune system. Click here to see
6. Mature cheese – Along with calcium for your muscles, mature cheeses contain Vitamin K2, a vitamin that is increasingly recognised as being very beneficial for bone and artery health. Click here to see
7. Red wine – a medium glass of this French favourite will give you the phytonutrients known as flavonoids and quercetin both of which have been shown to afford protection from cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and cataracts. The quercetin also regulates histamine, good news for hay fever sufferers. Click here to see
8. Baked beans – not popularly thought of a potential superfood but these babies are packed with support for your immune system, healthy bowels, liver and brain along with the phytonutrient know as lycopene which has been shown in human studies have anti-cancer properties. Click here to see
9. Pork belly – this ingredient provides Thiamin (B1), a vital nutrient for your DNA creation along with omega 3 (surprising but true), and contains a rare type of omega 6 known as Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and should help with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Click here to see
10. Sauerkraut – a tablespoon of this will give you more probiotic bacteria (the good stuff) than 50 probiotic supplement capsules! Click here to see
Vegetarian Superfood Top 10
Click the links to find out more about these ingredients
I'm our communications and marketing person, dealing with social media and copywriting. I also work with Matt and Ric overseeing the design and strategic management of the site.
I'm also the author of the Eva the Hungry Amoeba children's book series (only one so far). You can find it on Amazon.
My favourite foods, shepherds pie and smoked haddock!
Love this? Get blogs and more in your inbox
Subscribe to receive our blogs plus each weeks featured ingredient, recipe and nutrient in your inbox