Episode 9: Superfoods; Real or Marketing Spin?

superfoods

Welcome to Episode 9: Superfoods; Real thing or marketing spin?

In today’s episode, Nav and I discuss superfoods (real or hype) and nutrient density.  We cover:

  • Do superfoods exist?
  • What is their criteria?
  • A couple of resources to determine nutrient profiles of foods

What are Superfoods?

Purportedly they have incredible health benefits. So packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and other beneficial substances, they are thought to help protect against cancer and heart disease. They can lower cholesterol, protect the organs from toxins and improve digestive health. Some nutritionists even say they can help you live longer.

The reality is there is no such thing as ‘superfoods’. However, there are foods that are high nutrient density, low energy density and packed with goodness.

Nav mentions kale, berries and meat. This Sydney Morning Herald article lists a top 10.

The Macmillan Dictionary defines ‘superfood’ as a food that is considered to be very good for your health and that may even help some medical conditions.[1]

The Oxford Dictionary definition states a superfood is “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being”.[2]

The group Cancer Research UK says, “the term ‘superfood’ is really just a marketing tool, with little scientific basis to it”.[3]

As of 2007 the marketing of products as “superfoods” is prohibited in the European Union unless accompanied by a specific medical claim supported by credible scientific research.[4]

Conclusion:

‘Superfoods’ the term is marketing, but it is a way of describing a certain category of foods that are really good for you.

Honourable mentions:

References:

  1. http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/superfood
  2. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/ – Superfood (search)
  3. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/healthyliving/cancercontroversies/superfoods/
  4. Superfood ban comes into effect. BBC News. 2007-06-28

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Yours in good health,


Tim & Nav

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Tim Brown
Tim is passionate about fitness and health. Combining his love of Martial Arts and Fitness, Tim founded FunFit: Functional Fitness & Self Defence Centre in 2008 and from 2012 has been a student of Nutrition. Eat Real Food is Tim's vision (with help!) to better inform people about healthy food choices. With so many messages out there (often conflicting), Tim thought "wouldn't it be great if there was a site that people could go to that cut through jargon and marketing-speak and just made it easier to make healthy choices?" Enter Eat Real Food. Be warned: Tim is (in)famous for good information and bad jokes. He may also overuse parentheses.

Tim Brown

Tim is passionate about fitness and health. Combining his love of Martial Arts and Fitness, Tim founded FunFit: Functional Fitness & Self Defence Centre in 2008 and from 2012 has been a student of Nutrition. Eat Real Food is Tim's vision (with help!) to better inform people about healthy food choices. With so many messages out there (often conflicting), Tim thought "wouldn't it be great if there was a site that people could go to that cut through jargon and marketing-speak and just made it easier to make healthy choices?" Enter Eat Real Food. Be warned: Tim is (in)famous for good information and bad jokes. He may also overuse parentheses.

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