Superfoods: the comic book hero of the food world

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Tired of hearing the same tired line time after time?  So am I.

Truth is, there isn’t really such thing as a SUPERfood; it’s a coined term that has been used for decades to persuade us to eat healthier.  Superfoods are considered to have more nutritional benefit than “normal” foods.  They are packed with antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals.  Today, over 100 “superfoods” out there claim to be the magic ingredient to health.  How many ads can you find similar to the above picture claiming that you can “eat this and never diet again”?  Several.   If you do happen to eat whatever that mystery food is, will it be the cure for your weight worries and woes?

NO!!!!

Superfood

We need oxygen to live but what happens when we get too much?  We get high.  You can have too much of anything; even oxygen.  It seems that collectively we have lost the definition of the word “moderation.”  For those of you wondering, the word “moderation” is still found in the English dictionary.  Merriam-webster’s definition reads:

  • Moderation, noun,
    • The avoidance of extremes in one’s actions, beliefs, or habits
      • Related words: constraint, control, discipline, restraint, self-control, austerity, frugality, sacrifice, self-mastery, rationality

Our society is always looking for the easy answers to solve everyone’s problems; nobody wants to put in the good old fashioned hard work anymore.    Can’t stand the challenge of a good workout?  No problem! Nicki Minaj leads by example showing that you can get the big round booty without a single squat.  TLC shows us everyday that surgical intervention can help you lose weight so don’t worry, keep eating those cookies.  This is the perfect time for companies to use the word “superfood” to get into your wallet.

When you see these large claims be wary.  Most of the time the bold, unrealistic claims are made by the people who make the supplements.  For example, the link here discusses the amazing benefits of garcinia cambogia.  When you actually look into it you find that the people releasing this information sell it (Trim and Cleanse).

 A few examples of some commonly known superfoods are:

  • Garcinia Cambogia
  • Goji berries
  • Acai
  • Blueberries
  • Curcumin
  • Salmon
  • Kale
  • Avocado
  • Chia, hemp, flax, pumpkin, sesame seeds

Use your brain.  If you think for a minute that by eating these superfoods you are cured or immune to diabetes and cancer you might need to consult your physician, get your head checked, and maybe do some more reading.  If it seems too good to be true it probably is.  It’s okay to be skeptical; a good scientist is always questioning the “truths” of the world.  When you hear “superfood,” take the word with a grain of salt.  Yes the “superfoods” are great options and I do highly recommended that you include them in your diet but don’t make one food the staple.  We need variety to balance our diets with the many nutrients our bodies require for optimal health.  It might be as simple as reaching for blueberries instead of Sour Patch Kids to snack on.

 Extra Reading:

http://www.history.com/news/hungry-history/the-ancient-origins-of-superfoods

http://www.eufic.org/article/en/artid/The-science-behind-superfoods/

http://time.com/2946028/seeds-chia-hemp-flax-sesame-pumpkin-nigella/

https://www.yahoo.com/food/10-superfoods-you-should-know-102476371861.html

http://www.t-nation.com/supplements/curcumin-the-next-big-superfood?src=vdiet

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