What Are Superfoods?

6 Mins
September 10, 2018

Hello! I am Bezalel Adainoo, the author of Stay Well Now. My friends call me Bez. As a professional food scientist, I have been asked many questions by people from different walks of life seeking the right information on what food to eat and how that will affect their health.

“Top 10 Superfoods…”, “Power foods for Men and Women” … I’m pretty sure you’ve come across such titles many times. Having the tag “superfood” or “power food” has become a salespoint for many foods these days. A lot of marketers, in their bid to convince customers to buy their products, label their food products as superfoods to emphasize certain health benefits of the food product. So, in this post, I will examine in full detail what superfoods are.

What does the term “superfood” mean?

The term “superfood” is not in the vocabulary of experts in the field of food and health; it is a term you would rarely hear or see trained/certified nutritionists and dieticians use. Nonetheless, in its use, superfoods are foods that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants (antioxidants are natural chemicals that remove harmful chemicals called free radicals from the body), hence possess some health-promoting benefits.

Typically, fruits that are not so common across the world such as noni, baobab, mangosteen and others are often on the list of superfoods. There are other quite common foods such as blueberries, mushrooms, salmon, raw milk, avocado, kale, cinnamon, quinoa, coconut, sweet potatoes, spinach, kiwi fruit and a host of others are tagged superfoods. Some players in the food industry use the tag to only boost their profits. And this has come as result of consumers’ increase in demand for highly nutritious foods

To be clear, having the tag “superfood” does not mean the food has some special or outstanding benefits you cannot derive from other foods. In fact, Cancer Research UK, the world’s largest cancer research charity organization, has described the use of the term superfood as a marketing tool with very little scientific backing to it.

It is important to note that many foods offer different health and nutritional benefits though they may not be on the list of superfoods.

Keynote: The term “superfood” is a marketing tool to suggest a particular food offers certain health benefits, though there may be little scientific evidence to support the claim.

Should those “superfoods” be abandoned?

Superfoods are often said to hold the key to your nutrition and wellness. But the truth is that no one food has the ability to do that. You need a variety of foods in adequate quantities and proportions to achieve good health.

Related: 6 Letters To Consider for Good Nutrition

Foods with the superfood tag do not have to be abandoned. Yes, they contain certain nutrients that allow them to boost health but they need to be included in a balanced diet for them to effectively provide the health benefits they are known for.

Keynote: Foods with the superfood tag also need to be eaten together with other foods to enjoy their full benefits.

In summary, the term superfood is only a marketing tag used to encourage the consumption of certain foods. Nonetheless, it is important to consume such foods in a balanced diet to enjoy all their healthful benefits.

Feel free to post your questions below and share this post with a friend to keep them informed.