ByÂ Soumya Raj:
What is exactly so super about superfoods? I wouldn’t half expect my bowl of berries or my mug of green tea to wear a glistening cape as it is processed by my mortal body. Nor would I resort to sideline other foods and consume more broccoli or beans just because they seem to promise me optimal or better benefits than other dietary products and produce. Or do they, really?
The grocery stores, farmers’ markets and food industry around the world is suddenly enveloped in commotion about things we ought to eat/things that are “better” to eat/things that will defy aging process bit by bit. Some of the most common superfoods recommended by many health and lifestyle blogs/magazines are blueberries, tomatoes, oats, oranges, salmon, soy and walnuts. Ideally, a superfood is a food product which is nutrient rich and low in calories, thus giving you the maximum benefit of the food minus the threat of you gaining fat. They contain phytochemicals, flavanols and anti-oxidants, and also nutrients and minerals that our body needs but cannot synthesize by itself. Despite the so called guarantee of being the best kinds of food available for consumption, “superfoods” is not a term you will find being thrown around by dieticians and nutritionists, which is what makes the whole philosophy of these foods ambiguous. Nor is this class of mighty food recognized by science or legalized.
Albeit some of the foods in the category are agreeably packed with nutrients and minerals, superfoods are harmful when applied to food with potential drawbacks, such as seaweeds that contain natural toxins and seafood which contain latent harmful minerals such as mercury. Over consumption of such products increase a risk of cancer, liver damage and sometimes, may even prove fatal. When one carefully researches about the food to intake, one can find that foods which are not considered superfoods are also dense with nutrients such as their counterparts, which are blindly hailed. Also, most of the companies in the food industry use the term “superfoods” to successfully mislead the consumers and earn more money, for why wouldn’t anyone pay more to eat something that clearly has an “edge” over normal, mundane, regular food? The so called science surveys/researches that these companies or lifestyle and health magazines quote are often funded by themselves and the producers as a very delusional gimmick to increase company sales. One may find a section devoted to green teas in a lot of supermarkets, but one may not know that the assertion that green tea consumption has miraculous health benefits is limited, and that such claims are merely humbugs to attract the lot of us which are popularly more “health conscious”.
Superfood or not, every food created by nature has a quality which is required by our bodies in regular quantities in order for it to work. What such lofty superfoods can do, so can routine exercise and well-timed balanced diet, along with fresh fruits and vegetables. It is better to thoroughly research, be advised and question your grub before ingesting it blindly according to a trend. Knowing what we eat is the best possible way to ensure advantageous health gain. While everybody does need the same nutrients, everybody is different and would require different quantities of it. When green tea might be beneficiary for you in losing all the cellulite, it might just make your friend sleepier and drab. I would refute the old adage, “You are what you eat”, in the case of superfoods, for it in no way makes one super-healthy, and placing it on a pedestal higher than other food items in the food pyramid may do you more harm than good.