What’s Your Superfood?

Superfood is a popular marketing term for unclaimed food said to confer multiple health benefits, primarily due to an extraordinary nutrient density. The term is hardly ever used by medical professionals, dietitians, and nutrition researchers, most of whom openly dispute the claims of their proponents. Nonetheless, the term is often used in ads and websites by supplement companies, whose sales pitches tout the supposed health benefits attributed to specific nutrients and chemicals contained in superfoods.

superfood

For example, one ad claims that eating blueberries increases the “beneficial” antioxidants in your system, which can prevent cancer and heart disease. But it doesn’t contain any antioxidants, just a delicious sweetener, and there’s no evidence that eating blueberries improves your heart health. And while eating some blueberries may provide some of the “beneficial” antioxidants, the whole thing is sheer marketing hype. Similarly, there is no documented evidence that eating chocolates improves your heart health, and eating the wrong kind of chocolate can be bad for your health.

But another superfood that has been used as a marketing craze is oatmeal. The advertisements boast that eating one teaspoon of oats provides up to nine grams of protein, along with eight grams of “good” carbohydrates. However, there is absolutely no scientific evidence that oats are any more healthy than any other grain. Oatmeal contains almost no fiber, which means you will get little benefit from the high fiber content, and it’s made primarily of starches, so it can cause rapid weight gain and is hard on the digestive system. In addition, there is plenty of fiber in cereal, which means it’s much easier to digest, and provides better long-term results than either oatmeal or refined grains.

Finally, some companies have marketed whole grains as a superfood, touting their high nutrient content and heart-friendly properties. But the bulk of these grains, oats and beans are simply refined or processed flour. They do contain some fiber, as does pasta, but most contain very little nutrient. In fact, whole grains are often lacking in dietary fiber, which makes them a poor choice for those who want to lose weight and improve their health.

Yet another common myth is that foods high in potassium are a superfood. While potassium is present in many fruits and vegetables, there is no credible scientific evidence that eating bananas, oranges or even cooked potatoes will help reduce high blood pressure. And although it does contain b vitamins, including vitamin A,C and K, eating large amounts of these nutrients can actually raise your cholesterol level instead of lowering it.

This superfood has one thing in common: they have been hyped heavily, and there is every good reason to be skeptical. And don’t think that eating only one type of superfood will give you all of the health benefits you are looking for. There are dozens of different nutrients contained in fruits and vegetables, and most people eat more servings per day than they are aware of. Even if you follow a well balanced diet, it’s still possible to fall short on the nutrients you need. So get started with a new diet and start taking control of your health today.

Two of the most popular and talked about superfoods are acai berry and green tea. Both of these superfoods have been heavily promoted as containing amazing health benefits. One of the most talked about antioxidants is that of the acai berry, which is native to the Amazon rainforest. Acai berries have also been promoted as a natural energy booster, a weight loss aid and a colon cleanser. The acai berry is considered by so-called experts to be one of nature’s “superfoods”, and many believe it has what is necessary to fight many common diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

Another superfood that is often mentioned as nutritious and delicious is blueberries. Blueberries are naturally sweet, rich in antioxidants and have been used for years to treat eye problems, including macular degeneration, cataracts and even age spots. Blueberries are a healthy choice for drinks, desserts and just about any form of sweet treat you can think of.