What makes a food super?

What makes a food super?

Friday, June 10, 2022


We’ve always had food – at least some food. So how did it become super? And what are the qualifiers to becoming a superfood, anyway?  


The term superfood loosely originated around World War I as part of a food marketing strategy for bananas. Fast forward 100 years and the term has translated into hype. Let there be hype if the food is healthy.  


The qualifier to make the superfood list is a food offers high levels of nutrients linked to the prevention of a disease or has health benefits beyond its nutritional value. Here are some superfoods on the list, according to the American Heart Association: 


Beans & Legumes 

  • Plant-based source of protein 

  • Provide fiber, magnesium and phytonutrients 



  • High level of flavonoids 

  • Can lower risk of heart attack in women 


Dark Leafy Greens 

  • Packed with nutrients, fiber and antioxidants 

  • Low in calories and carbohydrates 


Nuts & Seeds 

  • Provide protein, fiber and unsaturated fats 

  • Best options are unsalted 



  • Whole-grain source of dietary fiber 

  • Can lower risk of heart disease stroke and diabetes 



  • Provides fiber, potassium and vitamin A 

  • Canned is a convenient, nutrient-loaded choice 



  • Protein 

  • Provides Omega-3 Fatty Acids 


Skinless Poultry 

  • Usually leaner than beef 

  • Grilled, roasted or baked 



  • Provides calcium, protein and vitamin D 

  • Best options are low-fat or fat-free 


“Think about creating a super plate,” said Maurine Maneely, Manager, Clinical Nutrition at Genesis Hospital. “One that contains healthy, colorful, flavorful foods. Plant-based foods, like fruits and vegetables and whole grains to promote better health.”  




Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.