Whenever I pick up a health and fitness magazine or even open a newspaper, I’m always interested to learn about what the next big trend is. It seems like a new trend appears each and every week! It might be water filters, special running shoes with toes, mini trampolines, or machines for making juices – hardly a week goes by without being told that there is something else we need to be doing or buying to get fit, lose weight, and be healthy.
One such recent trend is superfoods. Superfoods are an ever-growing group of fruits, vegetables, herbs and other substances that are reportedly good for your health. There are currently over 100 superfoods and that list is growing fast.
Why are superfoods so called? Well, apart from being a very snappy name, superfoods are reported to have some very significant health benefits. They are, in fact, super for you!
Is this just marketing hyperbole or media hype? No – I don’t think so.
The thing is, a lot of superfoods are just regular foods that many of us just don’t eat enough of. They’re available in supermarkets and grocery stores and have been for many years. They aren’t advertised and nor are they even that expensive. They definitely aren’t manufactured to be super – that all happens in nature.
While there are a few off-the-wall superfoods like spirulina, chia seeds, flax seeds, and matcha tea, the rest are pretty normal foods. They just so happen to contain very high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, phytochemicals, antioxidants and other healthful nutrients.
For example, did you know that oats, eggs, garlic, avocado, yams, oranges and cherries are all considered superfoods? You can’t tell me they are hyped, exotic, expensive foods! And when was the lat time you saw eggs advertised in a health and fitness magazine?
Superfoods are also nothing new. Before modern drugs were developed, all diseases were treated with foods and herbs known for their healthful and healing properties. In fact, Chinese and Indian medicine still uses many of these substances. It’s not hype to say that superfoods can help prevent and treat many common medical problems and help keep you healthy – that’s what a healthy diet should do.
So, are superfoods just hype? No – they are not. They were around before the idea of hype even existed and we are simply rediscovering these foods as we seek better ways to stay healthy. Superfoods are often hyped by the media but that’s different – if they don’t have anything to write about, they’ll just wheel out a new superfood despite the fact it has probably been for hundreds of years already. Come on media – catch up!
The only element of hype surrounding superfoods is the belief that using them can help make up for an otherwise unhealthy lifestyle or diet, e.g. this chocolate bar is good for me – it contains cranberries, or it’s okay if I smoke, I drank a glass of pomegranate and wheat grass juice. Superfoods are powerful but they cannot perform miracles…
Superfoods really are super – it’s not just marketing hype. They are foods that are very rich in important and often missing dietary nutrients and adding superfoods your diet is nothing but a very good idea.