Why ‘Superfoods’ are a trend of the past

Some foods you must include in your diet according to #FitGirlCode: “Superfoods are hot! Within two years, most of these nutritional bombs have gone from almost unknown, to just another product in drugstores and even supermarkets. As with any booming hype, whether it’s a new beauty product, diet or workout, it gets a lot of praise as well as criticism.” | Image source: FitGirlCode.Com

First of all, no food is a new discovery. It has been around within whatever section of the globe it was ‘discovered’ and used by the locals for many centuries. ​We can look at superfoods from two angles. And by the way the new trendy term is ‘ultimate superfoods’. Some in their natural state and form are packed with more essential nutrients compared to other natural foods; e.g. spinach (rich in iron, zinc  vitamins A & E and others versus cassava (low in iron, zinc, Vitamins A & E). And then there are those that have been genetically engineered/modified (GM foods) to enhance their nutrient content or to withstand drought or pollution or high in components of some sort that may not be favorable for growing in its most natural state.

I am choosing to focus on the natural ‘superfoods’. There is no official definition for ‘superfoods’. This is a term that was coined by food manufacturers. It is merely a market trend like when polka dots were in fashion, but who remembers that now? Have you noticed, ‘superfoods’ are more expensive compared to normal foods? Despite the knowledge of nutrients considered to be in a super food, no one food can support your health on its own. Even if a food is said to have ‘super healthy properties’ namely antioxidants, our bodies require much more than that.

The body requires different nutrients in varying amounts and active forms to be healthy. Foods not called ‘super foods’ say apples or bananas are equally as nutritious and inexpensive in comparison. It is true some foods are more nutrient dense than others but do not replace your daily diet for a seemingly more nutritious food just because it has been marketed as such.  Research the evidence or speak with someone who is an expert in the field and not trying to sell something. Try having a variety of foods in a healthy manner. Combining foods can result in a meal that is ‘super’ nutritious. We see that in something as simple as homemade smoothie blends.

Goji berries, blue berries, chia, hemp, turmeric, cinnamon, dragon fruit, acai berries, asparagus, pomegranate; these have all made the list of ‘superfoods’ and rightfully so since they are naturally packed with essential nutrients. But again our bodies need more for a balanced healthy lifestyle. Nutrients in foods are meant to enhance or complement other foods.

Here is a non-comprehensive list of foods rich in a variety of nutrients that you may want to introduce into your diet a bit more regularly; apples, banana, avocado, mango, legumes (beans, chick peas, lentils), beets, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, green onions, lemon grass, wild rice, turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, yogurt, tempeh, sardines, salmon, sesame seeds (benni seeds), green tea, ‘bitter leaf tea’, moringa, baobao tree fruit (monkey bread), tamarind (‘tombe’), hibiscus (sorrel, ‘shakpah’), to name a few.

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