Superfood is a term sometimes used to describe food with high phytonutrient content that some may believe confers health benefits as a result. For example, blueberries are often considered a superfood (or superfruit) because they contain significant amounts of antioxidants, anthocyanins, vitamin C, manganese and dietary fibre.
Definition of Phytonutrients
Phyto- means "plant,” phytonutrients are also called phytochemicals and they are found in all plants. Phytonutrients are a relatively recent discovery in the nutrition world, and they are turning out to be quite important. For a long time, we've known that people who eat a lot of vegetables and fruits seem to be healthier in many ways. It was assumed that this is because vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals, and this is part of the story. But it turns out that there are hundreds, and perhaps even thousands of other substances that are beneficial to humans that are produced by plants.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of Phytonutrients, and they have the following benefits:
Which foods are Super Foods
The Cabbage Family which are also known as cruciferous vegetables. These contain chemicals (sulforaphane, isothiocyanate and idoles, to be exact) that help breakdown cancer-causing compounds. Included are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, bok-choy and watercress.
The Allium Family - these vegetables contain compounds that protect DNA. They are onions (all kinds, including green onions), garlic, leeks, shallots, and chives.
The Purple/Red Family - Some of the most powerful antioxidant foods are in this family. Most of the berries (especially blueberries), plums (and prunes), red grapes (including raisins, grape juice, and red wine), cranberries, and pomegranates are in this family. The color in these fruits comes from a group of chemicals called anthocyanins, which reduce inflammation, protect against cancer, and recent studies show good effects in eyes, arteries, and brains.
The Red Family
- Tomatoes and tomato products, watermelon, pink grapefruit. These foods contain lycopene, which studies have shown reduces the risk of several types of cancer. Apricots and pink guavas are also sources of lycopene. Click here
to see our 'Super Reds' page.
The Deep Orange Family are fruits and veggies rich in the carotenes. Carrots (of course!), pumpkins, mangos, apricots, cantaloupe, and sweet potatoes are some of the foods in this group. Carotenes help improve communication between cells as well as doing many of the same functions as other antioxidants.
The Yellow-Orange Family the citrus fruits as well as peaches, nectarines, pineapple, and papaya. These fruits are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, another group of antioxidants which help our immune systems.
The Green Family
- There are lots of green vegetables, and they vary in which family they belong to. The dark green leafy vegetables are rich in lutein, among other phytochemicals. Others belonging to this family are green beans, avocados, kiwi fruit, green peppers, and honeydew melon. Click here
to see our 'Super Greens' page.
We don’t always get enough phytonutrients in our diets which are due to a few factors.
Being too busy and not eating as well as we would like.
The soil that our fruit and vegetables grow in tends to be deficient of a lot of nutrients to start with which does not help.
A lot of so called “fresh food” we buy in the supermarkets can be months old before it reaches the shelves
So as you can see sometimes it is a good idea to supplement our diets with Superfood such as Super Greens and Super Reds.
If you would like to click on the links above, you will find that we have re-formulated the Super Greens and Super Reds so as to make them even more effective.