As part of the annual CKNW Health Series, this week we are taking a look at healthy eating habits.
All week we will be speaking with certified naturopathic physician Dr. Allana Polo about ways to improve your diet.
Today’s topic: superfoods.
This is a word that gets thrown around a lot, and it may seem like every year there’s a hot, new ‘superfood.’ But what exactly does that mean?
“It’s basically just a nutrient powerhouse,” Dr. polo says. “It’s high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and it’s beneficial just to our health, or our well-being, because that food holds or poses some sort of nutrient or nutrition benefits.”
So what are some examples of superfoods? It seems like the list is constantly changing.
LISTEN HERE: Full interview with Dr. Allana Polo on ‘superfoods’
“Society is becoming so much more mindful about what the nutrition of food is, what we’re putting into our body, and how helpful that is. I think last year it was kale; kale was on the map for a while. And then it was chard, then cauliflower, goji berries, acai berries… basically these are all fresh, colourful vibrant fruits and vegetables. They’re rich in antioxidants.
So anything that’s colourful, versus a white potato, or white bread, or white pasta. These all have no nutrition. You look at something that’s deep green and purple and red, and those colours mean that it’s really high in nutrients and antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. That would be a superfood,” Dr. Polo says.
In other words, superfoods are a powerhouse of nutrients. Dr. polo says that by incorporating more of it into your diet, you will see health benefits over time because it’s just so good for you.
So what exactly are those benefits?
“Just more energy, the way that you heal from things better. More vitamin C, more of these vitamins that are good for repairing. You might notice that you’re not as sore after a workout the same way, you would be sleeping better. Your digestion might be better; they’re really high in fibre, so you might notice you’re more regular, or you don’t have as much GI upset… You know, it’s across the board, the benefits of having these foods in your diet,” she says.