Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years the term “Superfoods” will have hit you from all directions, and it’s all over social media and the mainstream press.
What is the power of Superfoods and what does the term “Superfoods” mean to you?
I asked a few people and these are a few of the responses that I received, how many of these equate with what you think too.
“Super is something better”
“Something that’s going to boost my health”
“Will improve my diet, and therefore give me energy”
“A boost to my health and life”
“Make me better, stronger”
Personally, I think that the term “superfood” is totally misleading and one of those great marketing terms to get us to spend more money and feel more guilty about what we already don’t do.
You will probably have heard of chia seeds, lucuma, golden berries or matcha – these are not just different sounding names but they come with great claims of improving your general health in ways that other foods cannot do. Unsurprisingly they also come with a high price mark too.
The main claim for most of these is that they are higher in certain nutrients than other foods we eat, and for things like matcha and chia this includes new antioxidants. There are numerous claims being made about them, including fighting cancers etc – but many of these have been found to be unsubstantiated.
I get very tired of hearing people trying to guilt others who don’t juice or consume large quantities of these newer, more expensive ingredients. Some people just do not have the finances to pay for all of this, and the fact is that eating a good balanced diet which is full of protein, vitamins/minerals, fibre and omega oils has been found to be no worse than anyone who consumes large amounts of these newer ingredients. A good balanced diet which then means cooking decent meals at home, can be much less expensive too and shouldn’t require any fancy gadgets (which also cost 100s of pounds).
“Superfoods” recently isn’t just covering these new ingredients but is now starting to encompass good old vegetables and fruit such as broccoli, beetroot and blueberries. There’s nothing new in what any of these foods does to us – no new vitamins etc have been found in them – it’s just that certain firms are choosing to market them under the term “superfood” to encourage people to spend more.
Channel 4 have also been running a series on Superfoods, where they look into all the research around some of these ingredients. Some have been found to be highly beneficial, but for others there’s nothing to show their high claims.
I’m sure that a lot of you will disagree with me about this, and you feel that you’re healthier for consuming these ingredients – and that’s great. It is a personal choice what we buy and eat, but I just like to have full knowledge about things before believing all of the hype and I don’t like to guilt anyone when they don’t take on what’s currently in fashion. However, I’m still needing to be fully convinced to part with my hard earned cash on some of these ingredients, and until there is convincing information I will be sticking with my rounded and balanced diet with “normal” protein, carbs (who are not the enemy unless you’re coeliac or diabetic, but that’s for another time!) fruit and vegetables.
All content is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Calm and Clear Complementary Therapies and Rima Shah are not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the Calm and Clear Complementary Therapies information. Always consult your own GP if you’re in any way concerned about your health.