Super food is a word that is commonly used by many people, and can have many different meanings. “In my opinion, a superfood is a food that has what I call the ‘triple A’ effect of health – anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and alkaline,” Dr. Daryl Gioffre, celebrity nutritionist and founder of the Alkamind Cleanse.
These are foods that are high in minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber, and low in sugar. Most importantly, he adds, they are foods that eliminate acid from your body and help your balance your body’s pH, which helps with weight loss.
“In fact, in a recent study researchers listed the top 41 powerhouse foods (a.k.a. ‘superfoods’) that have the ability to reduce chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, and out of the 41, all were plant-based, and 39 out of 41 were alkaline,” Dr. Gioffre says. Watercress came in at No. 1, dethroning kale as the top powerhouse superfood.
Slideshow: Best Spring Superfoods for Weight Loss
The more colorful your plate is, the more “super” it is, according to general theory. “I am always encouraging clients to ‘eat the rainbow’, incorporating as many of the phytochemical compounds that give the vegetables or fruit their color that hold specific health benefits,” Dr. Gioffre says.
If you are looking to detox and build healthy blood, then wheatgrass (greens) is a great choice, he adds. If you want to improve heart health, add some beets (red) into your diet. If you want to boost immune function, take advantage of the antioxidant properties of berries (purple).
But it’s important to remember that the color does not say it all. What matters is what a specific food contains in regards to mineral and sugar content. “A perfect example would be the yellow banana,” Dr. Gioffre says. “Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, and are high in fiber, but they also come with 25 percent sugar which makes it an acidic fruit.”
If you want to take advantage of the healthy properties of the banana, minus the acidic effects, eat it with a healthy fat, he says. “The healthy fat, like a raw almond or coconut butter, will slow down the metabolization of the sugar in the banana, preventing your insulin from spiking in your blood.”