There is no unified definition of what a superfood actually is, which is problematic because a lot of food producers use it as a marketing tool. Even though the EU regulates the use of this word on food labels, it’s still being misused elsewhere. Let’s take a closer look at 3 foods that don’t really qualify for the “super”.

Generally speaking, a superfood, implies something dense in essential micro-nutrients and antioxidants, and maybe more importantly, something that has healing powers. The thing is, food producers are forbidden from using this word on a label unless they can actually prove the supposed health benefits. Often there’s no actual evidence, just a lot of wishful advertising.

View this post on Instagram

#superfoods might be more common than you thought! Looking at the nutrient content #romaine lettuce surprisingly has a lot more #vitamin A, C, K, and folate than the highly touted #spirulina seaweed in its #raw form. They both have very respectable amounts of antioxidants and research also suggests they both protect against #heartdisease and #cancer. This begs the question, would romaine lettuce be just as popular as spirulina if it was imported and sold as a pill? Maybe we don't need to spend a lot of money on overpriced powdered "superfoods" to achieve good health. There are plenty of nutrient dense, #healthy, and #affordable foods you can buy at your local store – onions, garlic, eggs, liver, colourful veggies, leafy greens, and the list goes on. They just don't have big marketing teams pushing their sales. #KnowTheDifference #FoodDispute

A post shared by Jiri Kaloc (@foodfiltr) on

Agave

This plant rose to popularity as a low-glycemic-index sweetener with antioxidants. The thing is that there aren’t enough antioxidants to provide any tangible health benefits. And the relatively low glycemic index is caused by the fact that this sweetener consists primarily of fructose. As we now know about fructose, higher doses can cause substantial health issues. As a result, not only does agave not qualify to be called a superfood, it even earned a bad reputation. If you’re in the market for a sweetener, try maple syrup or raw honey, but keep in mind that overuse of any concentrated source of sugar is not a healthy thing.

Goji berries

Goji berries are basically synonymous with the word superfood. They can supposedly help with weight loss, protect against diabetes, reduce high blood pressure, and the list goes on. But if you look for evidence for any of these claims, you won’t be impressed. These berries are a good source of vitamin A and copper, and they do contain some antioxidants, but this is true for almost all berries. So if you like them, there’s nothing wrong with having them in your diet, but don’t expect any noticeable changes in your health.

Chocolate

Chocolate carries notable amounts of antioxidants and various minerals, and promising research even suggests it may lower blood pressure. The thing is lowered blood pressure doesn’t automatically equal a lower risk of heart disease. But even more importantly, this nutritional profile and studies apply to dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa. If you do enjoy the bitter taste of 70% and higher cocoa content chocolate, then go for it! But if, like most people, you just want something sweet, then know chocolate is by no means a healthy thing, let alone a superfood.

This website uses cookies

More information on processing of your personal data through cookies and more information about your rights may be found in the Information about processing of personal data through cookies and other web technologies. Below you may grant your consent to processing of your personal data also for statistics and analysis of user behaviour.