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What's so super about super foods?



What's so super about super foods?
We live in an age of upgrades. We expect our broadband to be lightning fast, our TV to be high definition - and our food to be super. Search for the word "super" when doing an online grocery shop and you'll be faced with an array of super berries, super seeds and super grains.


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The selling point of superfoods is not so much their taste but the extent to which they will enhance your health if you eat them. It is not qualities that are mere add-ons, like fortified cereals, but the quality apparently comes from deep within them.




Labeled as superfoods

Labeled as superfoods

Some regular foodstuffs such as broccoli and spinach have been rebranded for their health-giving qualities. 

The volume of blueberries and cranberries sold in Britain quadrupled in the last decade, for example. However, critics warn that the description encourages us to focus on a single foodstuff at the expense of a healthy diet.



Food and medicine

Food and medicine

Cooks in the past have often doubled as herbalists who sought to soothe and strengthen. Long before "superfoods," we consumed tonics and home remedies. For example, sage was believed to improve a person's memory. Science later confirmed its memory benefits.



History of "superfood"

History of "superfood"

The word was coined during the 1940s after a Canadian newspaper referred to a particular muffin as a "superfood that contained all the known vitamins and some that had not been discovered." It took nearly another 50 years for the idea of superfoods to gain traction.

In the 1990s superfoods were fruits, mainly berries. Pomegranate was supposedly a superfruit above the rest. Today, you can find superfoods in every category, from drinks to dairy products and baked goods such as acai-berry cheesecake.



Modern superfoods

Modern superfoods

Superfood seems like the perfect health food because, gram for gram, much of what we eat these days is lacking in nutrients. The average diet in America and Europe today is energy-dense but nutrient-poor. The average diet contains lots of sugar and processed carbohydrates but is rather lacking in vitamins, minerals or fiber.



Common foods

Common foods

Superfoods should be common foods. Our desire for superfoods is symptomatic of a food system that prizes quantity over quality. Diets have often narrowed at the expense of nutritional richness. 

Superfoods might have been more common if the rest of our food supply did a better job of feeding us.




There is no "best diet"

The “best” diet is a theme: an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and plain water for thirst. 

That can be with or without seafood; with or...

Best foods don’t have labels

Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.

The "Age" of vegetables

The best vegetables are likely to be fresh and locally sourced, but flash frozen is nearly as good (as freezing delays aging). Those “fresh” vegetables that spend a long time in storage or transit are probably the least nutritious.

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Superfoods: A Primer

Superfoods: A Primer

Any food is generally promoted to a ‘superfood’ status when it has a generous amount of desirable nutrients, disease-killing abilities, and has other health benefits apart from the nutritional valu...

The First Superfood: Banana

Marketing and promotion of the first identified superfood, the banana, originated during World War I when the United Fruit Company started promoting it as being:

  1. Cheap and nutritious.
  2. Easily digested by the body.
  3. Available throughout the year everywhere.
  4. Sealed naturally.
  5. Good cooked and uncooked.

Later The American Medical Association further promoted bananas to be a staple of a child’s diet, fueling the banana diet craze.

Superfoods Are Profitable

Many natural foods are heavily marketed as Superfoods, resulting in exponential sales.

The foods are often promoted as a must-have product, that is helpful in preventing many lifestyle diseases and health problems. It is a good idea to enjoy a varied diet instead of buying in the hype.

Added Sugar vs. Natural Sugar

Added Sugar vs. Natural Sugar
  • Added sugar is unfriendly to our health. It can be found in most food products we come across. It is absorbed by the body quicker unlike natural sugar.
  • Processed food is d...

Avoid Grapes and Bananas When Cutting Down On Sugar

Bananas and grapes are delicious fruits but they contain high amounts of fiber and natural sugar (fructose). When we eat these fruits it can give us a sugar spike or commonly known as sugar rush.

You can still eat them but eat them sparingly and try other variants of fruit instead.

Low Sugar Diet and Dried Fruits

If you're opting to go on a low sugar diet, dried fruits may not be the best suitable choice for you.

Dried fruit is a great snack as long as you're aware of how much of it you are eating. It's packed with nutrients but the drying process removes the water and concentrates a lot of the sugar in a small bite.