So what exactly makes a food, well, super? "The great effects they have on the body," says Dr. Nicholas Perricone, MD, board-certified dermatologist, skin-care expert, and author, who has been writing about superfoods for years. "Many of these foods and spices lower and/or stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels — key factors in the many diseases associated with aging," he says. "They are also superior sources of antioxidants, nature’s natural anti-inflammatories.” Perricone adds that they can also help with the waistline. “Interestingly, the vast majority of foods that delay the onset of age-related diseases in all organ systems are also excellent for their weight loss.”
Dr. Jessica Wu, board-certified dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face agrees. “For me, a superfood is one that’s been clinically proven to have a positive impact on the skin. While certain foods contain protein, fiber, etc., a superfood has science behind it that proves that it can improve and enhance the performance and condition of the skin,” she says.
Celebrity nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Solution, Kimberly Snyder, also adds that you don’t have to search far and wide for these superfoods. “Contrary to popular belief, superfoods don't have to come from across the world. For example, goji berries are great, but it’s important to remember that some of the best 'superfoods' are locally sourced and more familiar to you than you might think," says Snyder.
But can you really become a better person (physically, that is) just by eating these so-called superfoods? Actually, yes. From more supple, youthful skin to fewer breakouts, here's how you can look and feel better with simple dietary changes. Superfoods to the rescue!
Illustrations by Gabriela Alford