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What are Superfoods?

Superfoods are foods — mostly plant-based but also some fish and dairy — that are nutritionally dense, containing lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are good for one's health. However, "superfood" isn't a scientifically recognized term, with no set criteria to determine what is and isn't a superfood, according to the American Heart Association. Regardless, some foods, like blueberries, salmon, kale and acai, are nutritionally very valuable in comparison to other less nutritionally dense foods.

"Superfoods don't have their own food group," said Despina Hyde, a registered dietician with the weight management program at New York University's Langone Medical Center. "As a dietician, I think "superfood" is more of a marketing term for foods that have health benefits."
Superfoods contain a variety of nutrients, such as antioxidants, which are thought to ward off cancer and other diseases by reducing oxidative stress on the body. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an excess of free radicals in the body, associated with human disease. Some foods, like salmon, also have healthy fats, which can help to prevent heart disease. High-fiber foods, like kale, can promote good digestion and provide a sense of fullness, which can aid in weight loss efforts, according to a 2019 study in the Journal of Nutrition.
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