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The Truth About Superfoods

Posted 657 Days Ago in: Industry News

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Whenever an industry becomes increasingly popular it would be prudent to be a little bit sceptical about everything coming your way. The growing influx of information and availability of it makes it even harder to distinguish the fact from the fiction. Health and fitness is one such industry that has exploded over the last few years as people gravitate towards their personal wellness. We’ve already seen the potentially damaging effects that diet fads can have and how the people who champion them backtrack, Tim Noakes we’re looking at you, and now we’re confronted with the most epic division in food since OCD-induced separation of peas, meat and mash: ‘superfoods’.

Whenever an industry becomes increasingly popular it would be prudent to be a little bit sceptical about everything coming your way. The growing influx of information and availability of it makes it even harder to distinguish the fact from the fiction. Health and fitness is one such industry that has exploded over the last few years as people gravitate towards their personal wellness. We’ve already seen the potentially damaging effects that diet fads can have and how the people who champion them backtrack and now we’re confronted with the most epic division in food since OCD-induced separation of peas, meat and mash: ‘superfoods’.

What Are Superfoods?

‘Superfoods’ are foods that have been identified as being high in antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins. So, foods that are healthy for you. These foods include fruits and vegetables, kale, blueberries, quinoa and salmon, among others, and are marketed as helping to prevent heart disease, cancers and other diseases. There has recently been a massive push in identifying these foods and telling people that they are essential if they want to stay healthy. The issue is that any industry that is worth millions will always try to sell you something that you may not need. In an economy where capitalism and profit rule it always helps to get the facts first.

 

This isn’t to say that these foods do not have health benefits if consumed, not at all. It is true that these foods have been scientifically studied by professionals but, simultaneously, it must be noted that the amount of nutrients required to effect change in people is different when comparing studies in a lab to what is actually part of a normal, everyday diet.

 

What also needs to be taken into account is that the word ‘super’, in itself, is what may be misleading. Most of the foods mentioned are known to be healthy and are a part of all balanced, healthy diets. Pomegranates may be exotic but it’s been known for years that luscious, colourful fruit is packed with nutrients.

 

Are Superfoods Real?

Well, are you real? Do you exist in a physical form with eyes that are currently reading this? By that logic then yes, ‘superfoods’ are very real and they’ve infiltrated their way into the consciousness of all health conscious people. What’s even more terrifying is that you may have been consuming ‘superfoods’ all your life…without even knowing it!

 

‘Superfoods’ are foods packed with nutrients. The problem with ‘superfoods’ is the vague description of how one would define a ‘superfood’ and what it means for the rest of the foods. Should you just stop eating everything else because it’s not, well, super? To answer the first question: yes, it is difficult to discern what a ‘superfood’ is and what the intentions behind marketing it. Everyone hailing ‘superfoods’ wants to be a little unique and they’ll change up their list of foods but essentially they’re foods that are packed with nutrients.

 

With regards to the other foods – this is the main problem. Dieticians and nutritionists have been tentative in recommending ‘superfoods’ because while these foods may be packed with nutrients what is most important, above all else, is that your diet is balanced and healthy. There’s no way you can be so stringent in your diet as to leave out foods that some blog didn’t call super. If you want to stay healthy, lose weight and maintain fitness then the diet you consume must be balanced. It’s also true that the nutrients in foods react better when consumed together – so no more of this OCD separation either. Eat it all together, for the greater good.

 

Conclusion

 

While consuming foods high in nutritional value is important it is just as important that these foods are consumed in conjunction with a balanced diet, like the popular Mediterranean Diet. You shouldn’t let words like super, essentially a buzzword, distract you from your health goals. Identify a diet that works for you and is line with your needs and from thereon out you’ll be well on your way to optimum nutrition and health.

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