In health and fitness circles, “superfoods” are often lauded as keys to optimum wellness.
Magical claims about superfoods have spread far and wide throughout the media since the term was introduced in the early 2000s. From reversing diabetes to preventing cancer, many have extrapolated the health benefits of these foods to the extreme. This has led others to claim the term is “just a marketing tool.” However, recently people have come to the agreement that the term “superfood” simply refers to foods with very high nutrient content.
Vitamins and minerals, also referred to as micronutrients, are necessary for the body to perform its essential functions. They help build strong bones, heal wounds, replenish your blood supply and bolster your immune system, to name a few. Foods containing high densities of vitamins and minerals theoretically optimize these functions in your body.
With this in mind, the experts at the health data site HealthGrove looked at five categories of food — vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes and fish — and used data from ESHA to determine the most nutrient-dense foods in each of these categories. The nutrient score of these foods was calculated by looking at the ratio of "good" nutrients (vitamins and minerals) to "bad" nutrients (fat, sodium, sugar, etc.). The top five healthiest, readily available foods in each category made the list.