What Are Superfoods And Are They As Healthy As You Think?

You may think of your favorite bag of potato chips as a superfood, but — sorry, friend — the term "superfood" references the kind of food that's far more healthy.

According to UC Davis, the name "superfood" reportedly came about in the early 20th century as a marketing strategy to promote and sell bananas. Since then, many more healthy foods have been designated superfoods, and as of 2014, the term "superfood" was used substantially enough to earn a definition in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (via Washington Post).

So how does a food earn the good fortune of being designated as "super?" As the banana might suggest, a superfood is a food that provides significant nutritional value with minimal calories. And while a superfood is typically a food that is chock full of vitamins and antioxidants, there is no official classification or criteria for superfoods as of yet. Though, superfoods will typically have specific healthy superpowers, such as helping to prevent heart disease and cancer, and lowering a number of other health risks (via Medical News Today).

Which superfoods are the healthiest?

The good news is that any superfood you eat is going to have health benefits. Even better news, is that some superfoods are probably already part of your diet, so they will be easy for you to enjoy on a regular basis.

Avocado, for instance, is considered a superfood as it contains several nutrients. One of these nutrients, magnesium, helps to regulate your blood pressure and blood sugar. Avocados also contain unsaturated fats, which are healthier for your heart than saturated fats. Right alongside avocados are blueberries, as they provide a hefty dose of potent antioxidants. (via Everyday Health).

While superfoods are largely plant-based, salmon is also often identified as a superfood because salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s serve your body's functions in a variety of ways, including supporting your immune system and reducing the risk of heart disease (via Good Housekeeping).

Start off your next superfood-inspired dinner with a healthy avocado salad, followed by a plate of grilled salmon, and wrap it up with a bowl of fresh blueberries for dessert, and you'll be on your way to feeling superhuman in no time!