How Super is Superfood really?

Bueberries, goji berries, quinoa, wheatgrass, chia seeds, pomegranate, manuka honey, coconut water, kale. Some have been around for ages and others have only appeared on our radar more recently, but they all have one thing in common; they are labelled superfood!

So what is exactly a superfood? A Superfood, according to Wikipedia, is a marketing term (!) used to describe foods with supposed health benefits. They’re believed to help boost general health, super-charge the immune system and keep illness at bay, including cancers and heart disease.

Great right? Or…. are we possibly getting a bit carried away about the effects of superfoods? Are they really that super? Kelly McCabe, British Dietetic Association spokesperson, answers: “There’s no such thing as a superfood, no one food in isolation can have a profound effect on our health, or provide all the nutrients we need. Instead, we should strive for a ‘super-diet’, which includes a wide range of these so-called superfoods.” For example, blueberries, a so-called ‘superfood’ do not actually have unusually dense nutrient content.

We get so hyped up by the media or a celebrity spokesperson, we forget that a lot of the healthiest foods are basic and can be easily found in our local supermarket for only a fraction of the price we are willing to pay for some of the superfoods.

If McCabe, who is also a cancer specialist dietician, had to choose one food, she would choose an egg! It’s the most easily digestible form of protein, and it contains every vitamin and mineral that we require, with the exception of vitamin C. “It’s a nutritionally complete food – and a normal food we’d eat as part of our everyday diet, as opposed to goji berries, wheatgrass and chia seeds.”

In summary, a few food tips to keep you feeling super healthy:

  • eat an egg!
  • eat balanced and varied foods
  • eat different brightly coloured fruit and vegetables, like tomatoes, carrots, beetroot and sweet potato
  • drink a lot of water
  • cut back on coffee, alcohol, sugar and processed food
  • and why not; add occasionally some super foods to your shopping basket too!
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Blueberries, a so-called ‘superfood’ that actually does not have unusually dense nutrient content.