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.
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 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 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.