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Superfoods (Super Foods)

Nutrition Glossary

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Updated February 04, 2014

Fruit Salad
Carin Araujo

Definition: Foods that appear to offer additional health benefits beyond simple nutrition. There really isn't one standard definition for superfoods, but they usually are some combination of the following:

  • Low in calories.
  • Contain substantial amounts of omega-3 fatty acids or monounsaturated fatty acids.
  • High in fiber.
  • Contain phytochemicals that have been found to have the potential to prevent disease in laboratory or clinical research.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Low in unhealthy substances such as saturated fats, trans-fats or refined sugars.

One example of a superfood is salmon. That's because it contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and a substance called astaxanthin. Salmon is also low in saturated fat and calories.

Many fruits and vegetables are considered superfoods because they are high in fiber and phytochemicals and usually low in calories. Functional foods are often considered superfoods.

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