Myth-Busting: What are Superfoods?

Superfoods // Photocredit: marilyna/iStock/Getty Images Plus

While it may seem that every other month or so a new fruit or seed is deemed a superfood with the power to cure anything and everything, these antioxidant-rich ingredients are proving effective in not only nourishing the body but also the skin.

Kale is the perfect example of a superfood that has garnered more than its fair share of attention. From kale chips and smoothies to kale facials and manicures, it seems there is little this leafy green can’t do. “Superfoods are making an impact in skincare due to a powerful understanding that health is wealth—health being the new status symbol of choice for educated consumers,” says AC Dotterweich, president of Expürtise. Once celebrated for being a healthy option for the body, their superpower status is now impacting skincare.

Of course, that begs the question: What constitutes a superfood? Unfortunately, there is no clear definition. That’s because superfood is actually a marketing term used to describe foods that pack a healthy punch. Considered nutrient powerhouses, they are usually rich in antioxidants, minerals, polyphenols, and vitamins. “What differentiates superfoods from normal fruits and vegetables is that they have a distinctly higher level of nutrients and protective compounds, which occur naturally,” says Brian Goodwin, international trainer for Eminence Organic Skin Care. According to him, their nutritional gifts can sometimes be attributed to the harsh climates in which they’re grown. For others, it comes down to high antioxidant levels.

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According to Justin Dotterweich, CEO of Expürtise, superfoods with the highest antioxidant content are the most beneficial. Fortunately, the National Institute on Aging has developed a unit of measurement for antioxidant content called Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) to help determine which ingredients truly deliver on their superfood status.

Looking for more info on superfoods and skincare? Be sure to check out How Superfoods are Leading to Superior Skincare.


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