“Eat (insert latest food trend) for better health!”
The media is full of articles on miracle foods, or more commonly called ‘superfoods’, promising long lasting health. According to Wikipedia, Superfood is a "marketing term for food assumed to confer health benefits resulting from an exceptional nutrient density”. Apparently, it is forbidden to use the term in the EU since 2007 unless the claim can be proved, which is news to me as I see it being used all the time.
Here’s why I don’t particularly like this term nor do I focus on superfoods with my clients: the marketing idea behind is to persuade people that if you eat food X, you're doing everything you need to be healthy. And that is simply not true.
Putting a teaspoon of chia seeds on your white bread filled with jam or your cornflakes in the morning, thinking it’ll outweigh the amount of sugar you’re eating (and the lack of protein and fibre that would give you a better start to the day)
Putting linseeds on a small portion of green salad that looks the same every day – lettuce and tomato, lettuce and tomato and cucumber, lettuce and tomato. No colour, no variety (again, no protein or fat)
Adding goji berries in your low-fat fruit yogurt (that already has a very high amount of sugar)
Eating a handful of blueberries after a meal at McDonalds
Putting a leaf of kale in an otherwise high-sugar smoothie
Eating quinoa salad every.single.day.
The problem? The approach isn’t much different to the conventional medicine solution of giving a pill for every ill: just one thing to cure an often much more complex issue.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat superfoods. If you're interested in nutrition and you know which foods are good for you, that's great! What I am saying is that they are not a panacea and that you don’t need to eat large quantities of these foods to be healthy.
What you should be eating instead? A balanced, varied diet consisting of real foods: colourful vegetables, good quality protein, omega 3s, good fat, enough fibre, some fruit. 'Superfoods' are a nice plus, but they are not necessary. Not to mention that they are sometimes prohibitively expensive.
So save your money for something else (such as a session with a health coach that can actually help you understand what might be holding you back) and don’t get carried away by the latest “must-eat” that you read about in magazines. You would be doing yourself a much bigger favor.
This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.