Superfoods: What’s the Fuss?

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‘Superfoods’ is a term widely used to describe foods that contain levels of nutrients supposedly able to drastically improve the consumers’ health. It’s not a scientific or recognized term used by nutritionists or dieticians. It is, therefore, debatable whether the term has any real merit at all, or whether it is simply another buzz-word.
Here I will take a look at some of the ‘Superfoods’ that have fallen onto our plates and have failed to live up to the promises of rejuvenation and great health.

Acai Berries

The most obvious example is that of the Acai Berry, the fruit of a central and South American palm tree. The berry sparked significant interest in the health food world with its high antioxidant content, fatty acids, proteins and essential minerals including iron, potassium and calcium. The small fruit supposedly aids the consumers’ skin, increases immune system, improves eye sight and circulation, slows down aging and promotes weight loss. All of these incredible attributes may have hyped up this product a little too much.

Yes, the vast amount of antioxidants aids our bodies internally and has been proven by Professor Stephen Talcott (2006 Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry) to fight and destroy Leukaemia cells. A wondrous food with health benefits, obviously. However, this berry does not give all that is promised… relating to those that purchase; their one motif is ‘What will make me look good’. Yes, a ridiculous notion with the obvious benefits of this berry but quite frankly this did disappoint the more material beings.

Garlic

So, what has promised us that incredible glow? Garlic. Oh yes, it is recommended to add raw garlic to our meals every day; with additional advice to eat the garlic raw and on its own for full effects. This food is rumored to improve skin texture and moisture; giving you that healthy glow. It also contains antioxidants and many needed nutrients, along with the suggestion it improves your libido. Like the berries it gives your body benefit, however eating garlic whole and raw everyday… certainly wouldn’t increase your partners’ libido!

Seaweed

Seaweed is apparently known to increase brain power, grant a better night sleep and aid fast loss. Quite a recent addition to the Superfoods clan, the average shopping basket can now consist of sea weed snacks and salads. Despite the benefits, the seaweed’s salty crunch is an acquired taste. The disappointed here is quite simply the taste and texture of the food, no matter how much brain power you will apparently have; the seaweed was not favored.

There are various other foods in this category, such as salmon, broccoli and what grass. Despite all these foods being good for your diet, branding them as super will only increase consumption. This will bring negative impacts on the body as too much of a particular nutrient in the body will always be expelled. Thus, leaving the entire process pointless.

So granted that there are foods that clearly should feature in your diet; the question that begs is why do we need to label foods as ‘super’? There aren’t any firm proven statistics that state the foods are super and actually do what it says on the tin.

Isn’t simply maintaining a balanced diet and exercise the answer to a healthy lifestyle? The power of advertising enthrals us each time, but no matter how many times we are deemed disappointed; the greed for that something ‘super’ yanks us back for more.