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What Are Superfoods? Get the Lowdown from a Registered Dietitian

Superfoods have a high density of important nutrients and are associated with various potential health benefits. Find out more about superfoods and how to incorporate them into your diet.

What Are Superfoods? Get the Lowdown from a Registered Dietitian
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In this article:

There are healthy foods, and then there are superfoods. Blueberries, leafy greens, salmon, and whole grains are just some of the foods packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and other essential nutrients. Superfoods offer an extremely high concentration of nutrients, making them an excellent addition to practically any diet. 

Superfoods are associated with numerous potential health benefits when combined with a balanced diet. For example, they may help with weight management goals while supporting a balanced immune response and proper digestive function. Certain superfoods may even contribute to healthy skin, less inflammation, and sustained energy levels and concentration.

Although you could source and prepare many different superfoods individually, another option is to add a daily dose of greens powder to your diet. For example, Live it Up is made with organic vegetables and contains over 20 powdered superfood ingredients, such as kale, spinach, broccoli, wheatgrass, chlorella, and spirulina. 

Superfood powders make it easy to incorporate a good balance of superfoods into your diet without excessive shopping, prepping, and cooking. All you need to do is add a scoop of greens powder to your favorite beverage, mix, and enjoy the surprisingly pleasant taste of superfoods.

The Bottom Line

  • What Are Superfoods?
  • What Foods Are Considered Superfoods?
  • What Are the Potential Benefits of Superfoods?
  • Do Superfoods Have Any Side Effects?
  • Why Try Live it Up?

What Are Superfoods?


Many health experts use the term "superfoods" to describe foods with very high nutritional densities. A superfood provides vital nutrients yet has minimal calories. 

Superfoods are widely considered to be a great way to incorporate beneficial nutrients into your diet, such as antioxidants, fiber, flavonoids, healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins. 

There are many different superfoods, and each type is associated with a range of possible benefits. For example, nuts and seeds are good sources of healthy fats, whereas leafy greens tend to offer critical nitrates and antioxidants without providing many calories.

What Foods Are Considered Superfood?

A diet containing numerous nutrient-rich superfoods may provide you with a wide range of possible health benefits. Here are some of the top nutrient-rich foods to consider adding to your diet.

  • Beans and legumes: Beans and legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas, offer protein and fiber with minimal fat. Beans also contain a high level of magnesium, iron, potassium, and phytonutrients, and they're far more affordable than many other protein sources, such as meat.
  • Oatmeal and whole grains: Another great source of dietary fiber, oats may assist with maintaining a healthy weight. Oatmeal is a good source of zinc, phosphorus, and thiamine. Other whole grains, such as wheat, quinoa, and buckwheat, provide vitamins E and B and other minerals.
  • Berries: Many berries have high levels of flavonoids. For example, blueberries provide vitamin K, manganese, and a significant amount of fiber. Acai berries are full of amino acids and are associated with antioxidant properties, while goji berries are high in vitamin C and vitamin E. Raspberries, cranberries, and tart cherries are also notable superfoods.
  • Dark leafy greens: Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, and other green leafy vegetables contain various nutrients that may benefit overall health. These greens are high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and E, which may help support the immune system and promote healthy skin. Dark leafy greens are low in calories and taste great in many recipes.
  • Salmon: Salmon is a delicious source of omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein. Among other potential benefits, omega-3 fatty acids may help you maintain a healthy weight and experience less inflammation.
  • Sweet potato and pumpkin: Sweet potatoes and pumpkins are high-nutrient superfoods that have long been associated with many possible health benefits. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, potassium, manganese, and vitamins A and C. Pumpkins also contain vitamin A and antioxidants, which may help support healthy skin and eyes. These superfoods taste great when mashed, pureed, baked, or roasted and are great alternatives to potatoes.
  • Tea: There are many reasons to consider adding antioxidant-rich tea to your healthy diet. Green tea, in particular, is associated with numerous potential health benefits. Catechins, which are organic phytochemicals found in green tea, may even help protect your cells.
  • Yogurt and Kefir: Yogurt and kefir are notably high in probiotics, calcium, and protein. They typically contain beneficial bacteria that may support proper gut function, thus contributing to the digestive system’s ability to handle bloating, stomach discomfort, and other GI problems. Yogurt also contains vitamin D, which is associated with maintaining strong, healthy bones.
  • Ginger: Although most people know ginger for its delicious flavor, they may not realize that it has long been consumed for its purported health benefits. Ginger is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties that may support healthy digestion and swelling reduction. It also contains antioxidants that could help your body fight free radicals.
  • Avocado: These days, avocados seem to pop up just about anywhere, and rightfully so. Whether mashed into guacamole or smeared on toast, this fruit is high in healthy fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as potassium.
  • Seaweed: Seaweeds like dulse, nori, and wakame are high in nutrients and commonly used in Asian cuisine. Iodine, a mineral found in seaweed, is thought to support normal thyroid function. Seaweed is also full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Seaweed tastes delicious sprinkled on salads or as a wrap for sushi.
  • Garlic: Garlic is a popular ingredient that goes well with almost any cuisine. It has a number of purported medicinal properties, such as helping maintain proper immune function and reducing inflammation. Cooked garlic loses some nutrients compared to raw garlic, but it is high in antioxidants and adds a delicious flavor to dishes.

What Are the Potential Benefits of Superfoods?

When incorporated into a healthy diet, nutrient-dense foods may contribute to good overall health. 

Here are some of the other potential benefits of adding superfoods to your daily routine.

1. Provide Immune Support

Superfoods may help supply some of the crucial nutrients your body needs for a robust immune system. By consuming immune-supporting superfoods such as yogurt, blueberries, tea, and mushrooms, you could help bolster your body’s natural defenses and ability to effectively fight germs and illnesses.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Many superfoods are known to have anti-inflammatory properties, with antioxidants that may help reduce the number of free radicals. Free radicals are natural byproducts of digestion and other bodily processes, but an excess of them can lead to cell damage and an increased risk of inflammation. A diet high in anti-inflammatory foods may help reduce the number of free radicals in your body and may have beneficial effects on your digestive system, as well as the rest of your body.

3. Help Maintain Strong Bones

Many people lose bone density as they age, leading to problems such as fractures and a higher risk of falling. But superfoods such as tea, dark leafy greens, yogurt, and lentils contain nutrients like vitamins D and K and calcium that may promote bone health and reduce some of the physical weakness that often accompanies growing older. 

4. May Contribute to Healthy Weight Management

Many people turn to superfoods to increase their nutrient intake without consuming an excessive number of calories. By definition, most superfoods are nutrient-dense, which means they offer valuable nutrients in a relatively small serving size. For example, dark leafy greens are low in calories but high in vitamins and fiber. Oats offer fiber for digestion support, and healthy fats help you feel full, so you're less likely to want to eat more than your body needs or snack between meals.

5. Provide Digestive Support

Many superfoods contain nutrients that may contribute to digestive health and overall gut function. Yogurt, kefir, and other fermented foods contain healthy bacteria that may support proper digestion and immune function. Fiber-rich leafy greens, as well as ginger and garlic, have also been linked with healthy digestion and nutrient absorption.

6. Support Physical and Mental Well Being

When your body gets the nutrients it needs, it's better able to utilize energy for physical and mental effort. Consuming certain superfoods instead of coffee for energy could help you avoid the unpleasant side effects of caffeine and sugar. Ingredients like beets, maca root, and mushrooms may support physical endurance and mental stamina, helping you feel ready for whatever the day holds. 

7. Help Facilitate Post-Workout Recovery

If you are active, you know how vital recovery is. Your body needs time to rest and refresh itself to repair muscles and prepare for the next workout. When you support your body's natural recovery processes through a healthy, nutrient-rich diet, you may notice that you wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to tackle the day's workout, errands, or anything else on the schedule. 

For example, turmeric contains curcumin, a polyphenol, and is widely known as a superfood that may help your body relax and carry out its natural restorative processes.

How Can I Add Superfoods to My Diet?

The best strategy for enjoying all the benefits that superfoods have to offer is by incorporating them into a balanced diet alongside a healthy lifestyle involving plenty of sleep, frequent hydration, and regular exercise.

There are many ways to add superfoods to your diet, but some require more time and effort than others. High-quality powder blends can provide essential vitamins, minerals, probiotics, enzymes, and other nutrients without in-depth meal planning and expensive grocery lists.

Here are some other straightforward ways to add superfoods to your routine. 

Enjoy a Cup of Tea

Consider switching out a portion of your coffee intake for tea. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and is an excellent choice for an afternoon pick-me-up. Among many potential health benefits, it is frequently associated with metabolism support, calming effects, and even support for focus and cognitive function.

Build a Better Breakfast

Rather than pouring a bowl of processed cereal in the morning, make yourself some oatmeal (porridge). You'll feel fuller and enjoy the nutritional benefits of eating whole grains. And if you sweeten your oatmeal with honey and berries, you're adding antioxidants and flavonoids that may help encourage immune resilience.

Try Meatless Monday

Consider choosing one night of the week to have a meat-free meal for dinner. Substituting beans or legumes for beef or chicken is a great way to lower your calorie and fat intake while still getting enough protein and fiber. You'll also lower your grocery bill, as beans are much less expensive than meat.

Add Some Fresh Greens

Spinach, kale, and arugula work well in salads, and you can combine them with milder lettuces, such as romaine, to offset some of the bitterness. Collard greens, Swiss chard, and mustard greens are all easy to cook and offer high amounts of iron, calcium, potassium, and various vitamins.

Up Your Hydration Game

Getting enough water every day is essential for overall health and well-being. Drinking water on its own is important, but you can also include superfoods in your hydration routine by adding a scoop of greens powder to a glass of your favorite beverage, including water.

Do Superfoods Have Any Side Effects?

Adding superfoods to your diet is associated with a wide range of potential benefits, but there are some possible side effects to consider.

  • Allergic reactions: Certain foods, including superfoods like green tea, might cause allergic reactions such as skin rashes or headaches in certain people. 
  • Interactions with medications: Individuals who consume a significant amount of vitamin K may experience negative interactions with some drugs, especially statins, antibiotics, and anticoagulants.
  • Digestive problems: Some people may experience diarrhea when taking an excessive amount of supplements or abruptly changing their diet to include more fiber and leafy greens. As with any dietary change, it’s best to introduce the new supplement gradually.

It's always recommended to talk to a medical professional before adding a supplement or making significant alterations to your diet, especially if you are taking prescription drugs, have a preexisting condition, or have a family history of food allergies or digestive issues.

How Do I Choose a Green Superfood Powder?

When choosing a green superfood powder, it's essential to find one that you feel good about putting in your body. Look for a product with high nutritional value that uses top-quality ingredients. It would help if you didn't have to wade through an ingredient list full of unpronounceable additives. Here are some quick tips to look for in a greens powder:

  • A wide variety of nutrient-dense superfoods
  • No fillers, artificial ingredients, or added sugar or sweeteners
  • High manufacturing standards and third-party testing
  • Formula transparency

It's essential to choose a well-balanced superfood powder designed to provide the benefits you are seeking. Superfood powders can help support various aspects of wellness, so choose one that aligns with your health and nutrition goals.

Learn more:

Why Try Live it Up?

Why Try Live it Up?

Collectively, Live it Up products feature over 35 all-natural, plant-based ingredients, plus probiotics and digestive enzymes. They utilize fruit enzymes and a non-chalk formula to help you whip up tasty drinks that are gentle on your digestion.

Get your daily dose of superfoods by adding a scoop of our greens powder to a glass of water or your favorite beverage. You'll get useful probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants without spending hours researching superfoods and building customized meals.

What Superfoods Are in Live it Up Super Greens?

Live it Up Super Greens is a dietary supplement made with organic vegetables that contains many powdered superfoods, along with digestive enzymes and probiotics. Here are some of the top ingredients in this easy-to-use superfood powder:

live it up super greens
  • Spirulina powder: Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae with a high level of antioxidants. It's also a good source of protein, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, and C, and minerals like potassium and calcium. 
  • Kale powder: Kale offers excellent support for digestive health by providing fiber, calcium, and vitamins B, C, and K.
  • Ginger root: Ginger may help support the immune system and encourage healthy circulation.
  • Broccoli powder: Broccoli is an excellent source of micronutrients, including bioactive compounds, vitamins, and minerals.
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FAQs About Superfoods

Still wondering how superfoods can support your wellness goals? Check out our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about superfoods. 

What are the most common superfoods?

Some of the most popular superfoods include acai berries, goji berries, blueberries, oats, and beans. Salmon is another everyday superfood, as are leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collard greens, and Swiss chard.

How much of these superfoods do we need?

Eating a large quantity of a few superfoods won't "cancel out" a poor diet, but adding superfoods to a balanced diet may offer certain health benefits. Most experts recommend consuming everything, including superfoods, in moderation. For example, try switching an afternoon cup of coffee for green tea or adding an extra serving of green vegetables to your meals.

Why aren't all healthy foods considered superfoods?

There are significant benefits to eating a variety of healthy foods. However, the general definition of a superfood is one that is nutritionally dense, providing a high amount of nutrients in a low number of calories. Not all "healthy foods" fit this description.

What is the #1 superfood?

Nutritionists and dietitians will each have their own personal favorite superfoods, from kale to spirulina to seaweed. However, many superfood lists have blueberries at the top.

Is the term “superfood” just a marketing scam?

Although the "superfood" label has been used in marketing campaigns for many foods, this does not mean the concept is a scam. Many foods, such as berries and leafy greens, offer an excellent nutrient-to-calorie ratio, especially when it comes to vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.


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