It’s a trending phrase—but when we hear or see the words “super foods” health experts say to use caution. “A super food is more of a marketing term for them to basically talk about food that has supposed health benefits for you, whether it’s the nutritional profile of that food or the nutrient density of that food. Since there’s not really a regulatory definition for it people can call anything a super food,” explained Erika Graziani, an outpatient nutrition program coordinator with Lee Health.
There are foods that can give you super health benefits. “Foods you want to lean more towards, of course, they are going to be your whole plant foods because they have phytonutrients. The plant chemicals that offer antioxidants protection, helping fight against inflammation, and those are naturally found in many different plant foods,” said Graziani.
To feel your best, health experts recommend centering each meal around fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as opposed to meat, or foods that are high in fat. “The beauty of a lot of the whole plant foods is they’ve got a lot of nutritional value. They are packed full of vitamins, minerals, the phytonutrients, the fiber, for not very many calories,” she said.
As you plan your next meal, she recommends sticking to the colors of the rainbow—That’s where you’ll find foods with the most health benefits. “All of those different colors, not only do they have different vitamins, minerals, and things of that nature, a lot of those foods that come from plants are going to be a good source of fiber, which in itself is a great thing,” said Graziani.
Eating foods with too much sugar, fat, and salt can lead to health concerns like inflammation, heart disease, and diabetes—but choosing foods that are good for you will help you feel better and benefit your health long term.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.