01 Jun Super-food or Super-marketing?
With so much emphasis on healthy eating it’s getting increasingly harder to know what foods we should or shouldn’t be eating.
These days the term ‘superfood’ is being hurled at us from every direction and its hard to stay on top of what is currently ‘essential’ for the healthy diet. Chia, Spirulina, Quinoa, Wheatgrass, Raw Cacao, Acai Berry, Goji Berry are just a few on the long list of ‘super foods’ which claim to have astonishing health and nutritional benefits.
So what is a ‘Superfood’…? A superfood is a marketing term used to sell us the idea that a certain food has more health benefits than other supermarket food and a ‘superfood’ also comes with a hefty price tag!
A ‘Superfood’ is purely hype attached to a certain food in order to sell us the idea that it is worth more than other fresh supermarket foods. Give a marketing team a regular carrot, broccoli, or beetroot and they could spin up enough hype to convince us we should be paying 10 times the price. In most cases the ‘Superfoods’ available to us do have fantastic health and nutritional benefits however our regular supermarket fruit and veg (carrots, apples, broccoli etc) have just as many. For example Goji berries cost more than 10 times what we pay for ‘regular’ berries like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and they definitely don’t have 10 times the nutritional value. Their health benefits are roughly on parr with each other. Goji berries do have a dramatically higher anti-oxidant content than most other berries. However there is only a certain amount of anti-oxidants which our bodies can absorb and use daily, and scientists say that this amount can be easily met by eating regular fruit and berries. Eating excessive amounts of anti-oxidants is no use to us at all, nor will it help you fight cancer any better than a person who just consumes the amount of anti-oxidant the body can utilise. As for vitamin C, Goji berries have the same amount of vitamin C as an orange.
Which brings me to ‘super juices’… we all know how much you can pay for one of these antioxidant loaded green juices with spirulina, goji berries, wheatgrass, acai etc… around $10 a pop. Choice magazine did some testing on a variety of ‘super’ juices and found that while they did contain health benefits they were no where near as high as what the marketing teams lead us to expect and no higher than a regular fresh fruit juice. Most of these juices only contained between 10-30% of the antioxidant capacity of a regular red delicious apple!!! Yes! Its time to reconsider the regular apple!
There is no legal definition of a ‘Superfood’ so anyone can label their food a Superfood. I think its high time we all wisened up and stop being sucked in while the ‘superfood’ brands rake in a tidy profit from us- the gullible consumer. Reconsider some of the amazing regular foods available to us- Broccoli, Peas, Garlic, blueberries, beetroot, Soy, Green Tea, Apples, Nuts, Seeds and the MANY other colourful fruit and veg.
Each time we get sold on a new idea that we ‘must’ have something new in our diet to keep cancer at bay and our health at its peak it’s only a matter of time before we come back to what we have always known- keep a well balanced diet, with a variety of good quality food and exercise.
Save your money and eat real food instead!
“A single floret of broccoli, or a spoonful of Spinach contain more folate and vitamin C than a shot of wheatgrass”