They are superfoods and are in fashion: but what is so different?

Nutritionist Patrícia Rufino answers a short questionnaire that demystifies the mysteries surrounding so-called superfoods. Take note.

It is important to bear in mind that the food supply that reaches us through the vast shelves of commercial surfaces is, in most cases, low in nutrients and vitamins, with foods, whose nutritional principles are not recommended as is the case with processed foods. , precooked or refined. Sweets and sausages are an example of this, where the salt or saturated fat content is much higher when compared to fresh food.

When filling the cart, there are still some doubts about what we should or should not bring to enhance our health and well-being.

What is special about superfoods?

Characterized by the presence of nutritional principles, such as vitamins, minerals, fibers, antioxidants and phytonutrients, superfoods come directly from nature and do not go through said industrial processes, where their active ingredients are lost.

Several studies claim that, for example, pigments in fruits and vegetables not only give color, but also contain many of the compounds that act as antioxidants, detoxifiers, strengthen the immune system and help prevent certain diseases such as cancer, in addition to strong contribution of vitamins and minerals.


How can we take advantage of these foods?

The type of cooking of a food is one of the most important factors to keep in mind when we want to make the most of its nutritional, vitamin and mineral benefits. High temperatures tend to lead to a greater loss of nutrients than raw food intake, as is the example of vitamin C that is lost when cooked or oxidized if not ingested in a short time – orange juice must be consumed right after the oranges have been squeezed, otherwise it loses its vitamin importance.

For this reason, I always recommend steaming which, in addition to being healthier – since it preserves most nutrients – is richer in flavor. Steam cooking is a more economical and ecological alternative because we use less water and energy than is necessary for traditional cooking.

Do superfoods heal?

Eating the right foods is very important in preventing and controlling our health and well-being and in strengthening our systems (immune, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular or digestive) for proper functioning.

Superfoods do not cure diseases, but they have a strong role in preventing them. 


Should you only consume superfoods and abandon those that are not?

All foods have properties and advantages. It is proven that only with a varied diet can we provide the body with all the necessary variety of macro and micronutrients.

We must avoid or control the consumption of sweets, snacks, pre-cooked food, carbonated drinks, because they favor problems such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes or increased cholesterol.

What superfoods should we eat and why?

Fruits and vegetables in general : Consuming more fruits and vegetables decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, hypertension, obesity or diabetes. Choose those with intense color that will bring the greatest benefits.

Broccoli and particular : it is a great antioxidant and anticancer. This vegetable contains fiber, which helps to regulate intestinal transit, minerals and Group B vitamins, such as folic acid.

Garlic and onion : they have a diuretic, bactericidal and fungicidal action.

Red fruits : they are rich in antioxidants and neutralize free radicals. They also have anti-inflammatory properties.

Avocado : contains monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid, also present in olive oil, peanuts or nuts, which help to increase good cholesterol and prevent atherosclerosis (chronic vascular disease). In addition, this fruit has a strong antioxidant – vitamin E, ideal for skin and hair. Note that avocado contains more calories than other fruits, so we should moderate your intake.

Nuts : considered a dry fruit, the nut contains so-called good fats, such as omega 3, which helps regulate cholesterol and has an anti-inflammatory effect. However, we should not abuse your consumption because of calories. Its ideal consumption is that of a handful of nuts (or various dried fruits) a day.

Chia seeds : contain soluble fiber to lower cholesterol and regulate blood glucose and insoluble fiber. Both help to regulate bowel function.

Blue fish : with multiple benefits due to the type of fat they have, omega 3, blue fish is beneficial in regulating blood pressure and good cholesterol. It is an excellent anti-inflammatory.

Algae : Spirulina has a very rich nutritional profile that makes it a superfood. Although it has been used for thousands of years, it is considered as a food of the future. It is widely used as a dietary supplement and the World Health Organization recommends that it is the solution to alleviate nutritional deficiency in the world.

Milk : we can not stop talking about this superfood, vital in the first months of human life, although it is not considered as important as we started to eat the other solid foods. Let’s think about the physical, emotional and psychological development that occurs in this first phase of life. During the first few months, breast milk or prepared milk represents the nutritional basis for development. This is the only food that can be processed in a child’s digestive system. After 6 months, when the solid foods are gradually introduced, their consumption may be reduced, but milk is the main nutritional source in the first year of a human’s life.

Extra virgin olive oil : it is considered the best oil to be consumed, due to its content of essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6, with a high content of antioxidants, such as vitamin E, polyphenols with anti-inflammatory power. This makes it an beneficial food for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases Due to its high number of calories, only 3 to 4 tablespoons a day are recommended, both for seasoning and for cooking.

The advice comes from nutritionist Patrícia Rufino.