Yesterday, in class, the idea of “superfoods” was brought up, and I was very surprised to hear that they are not a “real” thing. I always try to maintain a healthy diet, but as we all know, our busy schedules can get in the way of that. However, when I am on one of my big health kicks, I tend to gravitate to some of the foods I have heard to be “superfoods” without even questioning if they were really that beneficial to my body in the way that they are framed to be. After class I began to do more research, and the answers made more sense.
In an article titled “The Science Behind Superfoods: Are They Really Super?,” written by the EUFIC (European Food Information Council) they explain the true science behind superfoods. Many superfoods have been found to have certain health benefits; whether it is lowering blood pressure, decreasing the risk of heart disease, or inhibiting cancerous cells… the list goes on. These foods have been tested on in the lab, and have shown to promote healthy benefits, so what are we missing here? If any of you have ever taken labs for a certain class, you may have realized that the lab environment is very different than the “normal” environment in which we live in everyday; everything is clean and uncontaminated. In the labs in which these foods are tested, it is the same idea. Many of the labs that are testing these foods use a very high amount of nutrients, more than what the normal consumer would be eating when they eat that same food; the EUFIC states it as “these (nutrients) are usually not realistically attainable in the context of the normal diet.” In order to obtain all the benefits these superfooods are said to have, we would have to incorporate them in our diets very often, so often that it could lead to us consuming more of the nutrients that we are told to have less of. However, “Web MD” believes that eating superfoods along with a healthy diet will help you maintain your weight, help fight disease and prolong your life.
My conclusion is that superfoods are not necessarily fake, but we don’t truly know the answer and these foods should just be incorporated in our normal diets. As my dad always says “everything in moderation,” if you just eat a balanced diet then it is not difficult to maintain your health, and incorporating these foods may help, but it should not be something you should live by or pressure yourself to do.
Here are the top superfoods that “Web MD” believes everyone should incorporate in your diet:
- tea (green or black)
Link to the EUFIC article:EUFIC Link
.”‘Superfoods’ Everyone Needs: Blueberries, Tea, Salmon, & More.” WebMD. WebMD, 16 Feb. 2007. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.
“The Science behind Superfoods: Are They Really Super?” (EUFIC). N.p., Nov. 2012. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.