Really interesting discussion on a Twitter chat I participated in recently – all about superfoods. For those not familiar with chats they’re an opportunity for tweet peeps to get ‘together’ at a certain date and time to discuss a topic. Everyone uses the same hashtag. For example #healthtalk is the tweetchat I participated in. Hosted by @EverydayHealth (everydayhealth.com), registered dietitian nutritionist Rachel Begun (@RachelBegunRD) was the special guest on the topic of superfoods.
What do you think of when you hear that word—superfood? Does a particular food come to mind? To some perhaps, but to many on the chat it was much bigger than that. Here were some tweet highlights:
How to define superfoods?
- @RachelBegunRD: Rich with nutrients considered to be especially beneficial for health, such as those containing antioxidants. (Rachel Begun)
- @GreatMealIdeas: All whole foods are super foods and when eaten as part of a healthy pattern that’s a super diet. (Carol Harrison)
- @ChristysChomp: Though there is no true definition, I refer to fresh, whole foods with multiple health benefits as ‘super’ foods. (Christy Wilson)
- @EmpowerHER: Since superfoods are nutrient-rich they help us prevent sickness, get the daily vitamins we need, the list goes on…
- @RachelBegunRD: They’re nutrient-rich while containing minimal amount of nutrients we want to limit. (Rachel Begun)
- @ChristysChomp Christy Wilson: Superfoods contribute to one’s health rather than sabotage it. Multiple health benefits from eating whole foods. (Christy Wilson)
- @EmpowHER: Superfoods are nutrient-rich and ‘super’ food for you.
What types of food?
- @RachelBegunRD: We recommend a ‘rainbow’ of colors for superfoods but white vegetables are nutrient-dense too—potatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms. (Rachel Begun)
- @JenniferNeily: Hands down fruits & veggies! I’ve never seen a study showing they’re of no benefit. (Neily)
- @Everydayhealth: Lots of spices & herbs have anti-inflammatory properties that may help w/ rheumatoid arthritis: 6 Herbs & Spices for RA
- @EmpowHER: Any frozen vegetable works well when you can’t buy fresh or when not in season. (I’ll add frozen berries to that!)
- @RachelBegunRD: Fresh fruits & veggies are great, but let’s not forget dried, canned, and frozen. Watch for added ingredients. (Rachel Begun)
What fortified/packaged foods should we limit/avoid?
- @RachelBegunRD: Use common sense with packaged foods. Don’t be fooled by fortified foods with minimal nutritional value. They’re not superfoods. (Rachel Begun)
- @LoRoRD: Frozen veggies are great, but steer clear of those that are seasoned or in sauces. They’re often high in sodium/fat. (Lori Rosenthal)
- @RachelBegunRD: Packaged/minimally processed foods can ABSOLUTELY be superfoods: canned tomatoes, pre-cut/washed veggies, whole grains, nuts. (Rachel Begun)
- @ShilpiMD: Not all superfoods are exotic fruits. Even tomatoes can be a superfood http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/shilpi-agarwal-your-holistic-health-guide/superfoods-supercharge-your-health-with-every-meal/ (Dr. Shilpi Agarwal)
- Four to choose, three to avoid from Today’s Dietitian. Not all fortified foods are bad for you.
I think my favorite tweet came near the end from NY-based registered dietitian nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix author of Read it Before You Eat It:
- “Expecting one food to be a #superfood is like asking one instrument to play the music of an orchestra. Goal = superdiet.”