The term “super food” has been branded about for many years now, but what does it actually mean? Is it just another health craze conjured from a cleverly disguised marketing plan to up our spending at the supermarkets and health stores?
I consider myself to have a well-balanced diet (Minus those cheeky glasses of wine and sneaky treats we all love), but I’ve never got to grips with what super foods are, what they mean and what I’m actually supposed to do about them; so, I did some research.
Super foods, are basically just really healthy foods. But they are densely packed with nutrients that are good for our health. These include things like kale, blueberries, quinoa, broccoli, Greek yoghurt and eggs. Not in one bowl, of course. But, the reason they are deemed super is because you would usually need to eat a variety of food groups together to gain such nutrients, when these foods offer it in one or two mouthfuls! Simple! And when they claim to slow down the ageing process, lift depression, boost our physical ability, and even our intelligence, what’s not to love?
This healthy eating malarkey isn’t so hard after all!
Well… until you look at it from the health professionals’ point of view. Everything doesn’t seem quite as easy as we first think.
The term super food has actually been banned from packaging in many countries unless it is supported by scientific evidence. Health experts fear that the food industry businesses exploits the fact that we are always on the lookout for the next health fad. Many of us want to believe that eating a single fruit or just one vegetable containing a certain antioxidant will zap a diseased cell. The problem is that most research on super foods tests chemicals and extracts in concentrations not found in the food in its natural state. So, science doesn’t always support the super slogans. Read more about that, here.
But, super foods are still better that fast foods, right?
Yes (Although not always as delicious after a hard week’s work).
Overall, it’s all about variety. After all, it’s the spice of life! Focusing our attention on one food group because it claims to be ‘super’ is actually no better than ignoring the healthy eating advice completely. When it comes to ensuring a balanced nutrient intake for good health, we need to increase the range of nutritious foods in our diet. The wider the range, the more food groups, the more colour and variety, the more likely you are to achieve that all important heaven of healthy lifestyle, and more time to spend enjoying your terrariums. Of course, this should include a great quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables, but don’t ignore the body’s need for meat and dairy to stay on top.
So if you want to be super human, grab some super foods, mix with a splash of different fruits and vegetables and make sure your shopping basket is brimming with a diverse choice of meals each week. There are loads of wonderful grocery stores that stock affordable, organic ingredients so you can prepare that perfect meal at home, and work on that travel blog.
Until we move onto the next health fad that is!