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Berries, chia seeds and leafy greens: Why they deserve their superfood status

by , 23 February 2018
Berries, chia seeds and leafy greens: Why they deserve their superfood status
You see the term ‘superfood' in lots of health publications nowadays. It seems like every day, there's a new one that promises to be the secret to better health.

While there's no formal definition for the term ‘superfood', one things experts agree on is that they aren't all created equal. “Superfoods are those that are not only packed with a lot of minerals and vitamins, but with plant compounds called phytonutrients,” explains nutritionist Elizabeth Somer.

“More and more research reveals how important phytonutrients are for health and longevity,” adds Somer. Three foods she considers true superfoods are berries, chia seeds and leafy greens - here's why…

Three true superfoods that are nutrient-dense and low in calories

#1: Deeply coloured berries
The more pigmented a berry, the richer is it in phytonutrients, according to Somers, who recommends blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. She explains that these berries always make the list for her because there’s overwhelmingly strong research on the health benefits they offer.

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#2: Chia seeds
Chia seeds may be petite, but they pack a seriously powerful nutritional punch! They’re filled with fibre, protein, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids, which are all the nutrients your body needs on a daily basis and are often missed in the typical Western diet, says Somers. What’s more chia seeds are packed with antioxidants, which help reverse the damage that environmental toxins do to the body, as well as lignans, which are phytonutrients that can help boost the immune system, keep hormones balanced and enhance prostate health.
 
#3: Dark leafy greens
Kale is all the rage lately – and with good reason. This dark leafy green has almost no calories but is high in vitamins A and B, iron and nutrients called carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients are pretty scarce in other foods and can help prevent vision loss, according to a body of research. Other nutrient-rich greens include spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard and turnip greens.
 
PS: Go here for three news ways to enjoy chia seeds at breakfast!

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