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What's so super about super foods?

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.

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What's so super about super foods?

What's so super about super foods?

https://www.1843magazine.com/food/whats-so-super-about-super-foods

1843magazine.com

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Key Ideas

Superfoods

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

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

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"

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

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

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.

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Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.
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 without dairy; with or without eggs; with or without some meat; high or low in total fat.

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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Food Memory

Eating specific foods which were consumed in our early years can evoke powerful and emotional memories, lying dormant in our subconscious for decades. This is possible even if the food was first re...

Chocolate Cupcakes

Food memories are formed unconsciously and can create certain curious associations and preferences in our life. It adds nostalgia and emotional meaning to our recollection of the experience.


The smells and tastes of the past infuse wonder, colour and depth to our life.

Food cravings

They are an intense desire for a specific food. This desire can seem uncontrollable, and the person's hunger may not be satisfied until they get that particular food. We usually feel cr...

What causes food cravings
  • An imbalance or changes in hormones
  • Emotional issues (eating for comfort)
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Dehydration 
How to reduce cravings
  • Lower stress levels: stress promotes cravings for comfort foods.
  • Drink plenty of water: Dehydration manifests itself as hunger, so when you get a craving, drink water.
  • Get enough sleep: not getting enough sleep alters the hormonal balance.
  • Eat enough protein.
  • Avoid hunger: under-eating can make food cravings worse.