A superfruit is essentially any fruit that furnishes superior health benefits that are beyond normal nutritional standards. To be honest, though, several fruits have enjoyed this title in the media without meriting it by providing those extra benefits.
To avoid wasting your money and time on fruits that don’t live up to their hype, you need to educate yourself on which are the real superfruits.
So what’s a superfruit?
The difficulty in determining which fruits actually qualify as a superfruit lies in the fact that there’s no authoritative classification system. People have pushed for one to be developed, but instead the list of fruits has only grown longer.
In the words of Paul Gross, Ph.D., “Superfruits are an important category for introducing healthful fruit formats to consumers; yet there is only a vague definition for what qualifies a fruit with ‘super’ status.”
He goes on: “During the past five years, almost every novel exotic fruit has been called a superfruit, a total now of about 36 called ‘super’ in industry media.” In his book Superfruits, Gross advocates for stricter classification criteria.
Six major superfruits
That being said, certain superfruits are generally accepted by nearly everyone. Here’s a look at six of these grocery-store heroes:
Acai. Acai trees are native to the Amazon rainforest region, and can grow more than 15 meters high. These towering trees produce tiny, dark-purple berries that Brazilian natives long ago discovered carry healing properties.
When consumed on a regular basis, these berries are known to improve hair and skin texture, increase energy, and treat aches, pains, and ailments. Some say acai berries helped native Amazonians survive long periods of famine.
The berries contain an estimated 50 nutrients that have yet to be clearly determined. Of those that have been identified, there are proteins, omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, antioxidants, and immune-boosting nutrients. Consumption of even a few berries has been shown to improve overall well-being.
Pomegranate. Not only does pomegranate taste good, it’s also extremely nutritious. The juice from pomegranates has been shown to improve blood flow, reduce stress, discourage the buildup of plaque in your blood vessels, and slow the growth of prostate cancer.
The fruit grows on small trees or shrubs and is typically found in the northern hemisphere. It’s usually harvested between September and February in the northern hemisphere and March through May in the southern hemisphere.
Blueberry. Did you know that blueberries are the most widely consumed superfruit in the United States? While much of that is a result of their beguiling color and wonderful taste, people are also interested in the nutrients packed inside.
With one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegies, and spices, these berries benefit the nervous system and brain. Studies have shown that blueberries aid memory and delay the onset of cognitive problems associated with aging.
Some of the phytonutrients found in blueberries (prepare to be amazed) are: malvidins, delphinidins, pelargonidins, cyanidins, peonidins, caffeic acids, ferulic acids, coumaric acids, gallic acids, protocatechuic acids, kaempferol, quercetin, myricetin, pterostilbene, and resveratrol.
Goji Berry. Don’t let a strange name scare you off. Goji berries have been consumed in the Eastern hemisphere for centuries, and are only recently catching on in Western nations. These powerful berries grow on trees found in the Himalayan Mountains, and are commonly referred to as “the key to eternal youth.”
Goji berries offer a number of health benefits, including protecting the liver, assisting eyesight, improving fertility, increasing circulation, promoting weight loss, and raising overall well-being.
When applied to the skin in the form of creams, such as L’dara, the nutrients found in goji berries help prevent aging and can smooth out the skin.
Cherries. Cherries are another very popular superfruit. A staple American fruit, cherries are easy to find and cheap to buy. They have been shown to ease arthritis pain, fight free radicals that cause cancer, aid sleep, and lower blood pressure in certain people. Some fans report success in losing weight by eating cherries instead of fatty foods.
Avocado. Over the past few years, avocado has been a hot topic in the arena of superfruits. Many people love these bright green fruits for their texture and taste, but others include them in the diet for health benefits such as lower levels of cholesterol, controlled blood pressure, prevention of birth defects, and more.
Are you taking advantage of all these superfruits have to offer?