Goji berry, cranberry, acai berry, pomegranate, acerola—exotic names you have most likely heard even if you’re not entirely sure what they are! Best known to you as superfruits, these fruits are reputed for their remarkable nutritional benefits!
The superfruit trend—which arrived straight from the US in the 2000s—quickly gained ground all over Europe. Now you can easily find superfruits in a wide variety of forms: raw, sliced, dried, juiced and so forth. Naturally rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they are great allies for your health! Find out what the superfruits are and what benefits they offer!
- What do we mean?
There is currently no official definition of a superfruit. Nevertheless, they are commonly associated with fruits that have an exceptional nutritional composition (high content of certain minerals, vitamins and micronutrients) with recognised health benefits, primarily due to their antioxidant properties.
Although we tend to think of superfruits as originating in exotic climes, you can easily include them in your everyday diet. In fact blueberries, apricots, blackcurrants and other more local fruits fall into the superfruit family!
Dried, they store much longer. And because they are dehydrated, they will be packed with a higher concentration of nutrients and fibre.
- What are their ‘superpowers’?
Their high antioxidant content is the main source of their health benefits. These compounds are naturally present in a number of fruits and safely interact with free radicals to protect the body. The body’s production of free radicals can be promoted by certain factors such as smoking, pollution and UV rays. In excessive quantities, they cause damage to our cells: they accelerate the skin’s ageing process, increase fatigue and are responsible for a number of diseases.
Anthocyanins in blueberries, chlorophyll in avocados, beta carotene in goji berries: there’s an antioxidant in every colour!
As you’ve probably guessed, it’s important to vary and diversify the superfruits in your diet as much as possible to mix up their benefits.
- Focus on several dried superfruits:
Raisins: Raisins are especially rich in fibre and carbohydrates, making them excellent team mates when you’re getting physical! Not to mention they are high in iron and vitamin B9 too, so ideal for staving off waves of fatigue. Raisins contain three types of antioxidants: resveratrol, catechin and anthocyanins, which is the reason raisins are purple.
Dried blueberries: Dried blueberries are also particularly high in fibre. A source of vitamins A and C, they also contribute to boosting your body’s immune defences. The antioxidant action of these dried superfruits is down to their composition of flavonoids and anthocyanins. This particular superfruit will also protect your cells from daily aggressors thanks to its vitamin E content.
Dried cranberries: Rich in flavonoids (anthocyanins, flavonols and proanthocyanins) plus resveratrol and vitamin E, dried cranberries are powerful allies in the fight against the production of free radicals.
Goji berries: The goji berry is THE number one antioxidant superfruit thanks to its high vitamin C, polyphenol and carotenoid content. Also a source of calcium and iron-rich, they help maintain healthy bones and reduce tiredness. This superfruit is also high in protein, including the eight amino acids essential to life.
- Super consumption recommendations!
Dried superfruits are destined to become your healthy snacking favourites! Enjoyed on their own, mixed in with your cereal or muesli, sprinkled over a yoghurt, blended with a smoothie or added into your favourite cake batter, there is more than one right way to look after your health! At breakfast, if you’re peckish or while playing sport, they also make the perfect on-the-go snack that you can carry around with you everywhere!
A 20g daily portion is recommended for children and 30g for teenagers and adults, or the equivalent of a handful. And don’t forget to switch up the colours!
Article written by a dietician and nutritionist at Atlantic Santé communications agency.