So, what makes one food super and another, well... not so super? The answer: it’s all relative.
Superfoods: fact vs. fiction
First of all, it’s worth pointing that out that no formal scientific definition of the word ‘superfood’ exists. However, experts tend to understand the term as encompassing foods rich in antioxidants, polyphenols and other anti-aging nutrients that not only help our skin, but can improve our overall health. So, what makes one food super and another, well... not so super? The answer: it’s all relative. Ingredients commonly described as ‘super’ or ‘miracle’ foods tend to contain more vitamins and minerals relative to their size and/or calorific content than other similar or comparable foods. In the vitamin C stakes, for example, guavas contain higher levels than oranges. Kiwi fruit, on the other hand, may boast less vitamin C gram for gram, but makes up for it with impressive levels of vitamin E and vitamin K, as well as a high fibre content. Other powerful superfoods that are great for the skin include fermented black tea extract (also known as kombucha), which acts as a potent anti-glycation agent for maximum skin radiance, as well as blueberries - rich in polyphenols and with nine times more antioxidants than grapes!
Myths busted: limits and benefits
While many studies1 have found that foods high in antioxidants can hugely improve the state of our health, when it comes to understanding the potential benefits of superfoods, it’s best to consider them in terms of ‘super diets’. It goes without saying that no amount of superfoods will undo the damage caused by a largely unhealthy lifestyle that features, for example, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, little to no exercise and/or an unbalanced diet. The key to getting the most out of these mythical ingredients? Superfoods’ effectiveness tends to be linked to the quantities in which we consume them, so a varied diet that focuses on fresh, unrefined produce is crucial. We don’t know about you, but as much as we’re on board with the power of antioxidants, a kilo of blueberries doesn’t sound very appetizing. Mixing and matching a variety of these powerful ingredients is the best way to ensure your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function effectively, so make your lifestyle your priority!