Are Superfoods Worth The HypeMarch 2019
Superfoods are often promoted as the best food for your health. It has the word super in it, so it has got to be good right!?! Well yes and no. Some superfoods are, some regular ol’ food should be considered super.
When it comes to nutrition, stop buying into marketing hype. I honestly can’t stress this enough! We are so focused on buying food in packets, we forget the basics, like fruit and veg. I get it, the packaging is so bright and shiny. I too walk through the supermarket looking at all the new things, reading the pretty packaging thinking, hot-diggity damn this sounds amazing! But when you read the ingredients list, it isn’t so super after all.
Superfoods that aren’t worth the hype
– Goji berries: WTAF is with these things. I get that they contain antioxidants, but so do other foods and they do not cost me $500.
– Activated charcoal: Activated charcoal only works on the food within the gut at the time it is taken, and is mostly shown to reduce flatulence by absorbing gases. If you want to learn more, you can read my blog here.
– Rice malt syrup: still a sugar. By using rice malt instead of honey or maple syrup or dates, you aren’t miraculously not consuming sugar.
– Coconut Aminos: use a gluten free soy sauce (often referred to as tamari). Coconut Aminos are for people who cannot eat soy.
– Matcha: contains a potent antioxidant, also tastes like grass (am I the only one who thinks this?)
– Booster supplements: you may see these packaged powders in a health food store or online, they are usually a refined version of a wholefood e.g., acai powder, pitaya powder. These are what I call booster supplements. They should not be consumed instead of real food, but enjoyed as part of a well balanced diet if your budget allows. In short; optional not a necessity!
– Gluten free food: just because a food is labelled gluten free, does not mean it is healthy. Did you know there are delicious “gluten free” cookies in the health food aisle at the supermarket. Sure they’re gluten free, but they are choc full of added sugar. I rest my case.
What should be a superfood?
OK I’m off my high horse. But you’ve got to understand, one of the biggest rebuttals I hear in my industry is that healthy food is expensive. And if you’re buying all the latest and greatest treats and potions, yep it is expensive.
Real food is a superfood. Fruit and vegetables are the most super out of them all! The amount of nutrients in fruits and vegetables is actually ridiculous. Mother Nature is so amazing, she has provided us with everything we need and when it season it is cheap (in case you missed it, I wrote a blog about it here).
My favourite superfoods
If you haven’t worked out that I think all fruit and veg is superfood by now, I’ll say it again. All fruit and vegetables are superfoods. But if I had to choose my favourites, they would be:
– Eggs; a little nutrient powerhouse that contains all the essential amino acids (protein) we need.
– Broccoli and cauliflower; these are super because they can transform into anything – rice, mash, taboui, pizza crust – but I love them because they are part of the brassica family which support our body’s detoxification
– Salmon; wild caught salmon is a lean protein, containing an abundance of healthy omega-3 fats which work to reduce inflammation, support brain health and lower blood pressure.
– Berries; full of vitamins and antioxidants, in a perfect snack-able size.
– Avocado; versatile and delicious, containing mono-unsaturated fats for heart health, fibre, plus a whole range of vitamins.
– Dark leafy greens; eat your greens! Fibre, folate, magnesium and more.
– Bone-broth: great for gut health, it also contains collagen the nutrient involved in skin and can improve skin elasticity thus reducing wrinkles (win!)
Honestly I have so many more, but I’ll leave it at that for now.
If you want to be the best super-human or super-mum you can be, keep it simple and eat more plants.
Until next time… x
Written by Jessica Worth, Nutritionist, Sydney, Mona Vale
Jess is a passionate nutritionist who clears up the confusion and overwhelm, if you’re looking for simple, relatable advice you’re in the right place.