Superfoods: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

In recent years, superfoods have grown in popularity. More and more supermarkets offer an ever-increasing range of superfoods and on the internet you can find more and more recipes in which superfoods are used as an ingredient.

However, there are also doubts about superfoods. Are they that healthy? And what should you look out for when cooking with superfoods or if you want to buy superfoods?

In this article we give you the unsalted truth through The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of superfoods. But first, a short introduction…

What are superfoods and what are superfoods?

Superfood is primarily a marketing term. There is no official definition of what superfood is. However, most people agree that superfood is food that is above average good for your health. This can be done, for example, because it has a lot of good nutrients, or certain nutrients that are rare in ‘normal’ food.

Superfoods: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Superfoods can be found in all categories of food. Some examples are:

Supplements and powders: maca powder, chlorella, spirunella, lucuma and wheatgrass powder.
Seeds, seeds and nuts: chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
Fruit, berries, greetings and plants: goji berries, quinoa, avocados and blueberries.
Other superfoods: cocoa beans, kidney beans, green beans and other beans, salmon, coconut oil and cell salts.
Herbs: ginseng, ginger and turmeric.

As you can see, there is a lot of choice when it comes to the superfoods category. This list is therefore not complete.

The Good: nutrients, antioxidants and pure nutrition

Superfoods generally contain many nutrients that are good for you. Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are common. Another advantage that is often mentioned is that superfoods are ‘pure’. This means that there are often no E-numbers and that there is only one ingredient in it: the superfood itself.

Superfoods are often a good addition to an existing diet. They can also be used as a meat substitute for vegetarians or vegans. For example, nuts, beans and hemp seeds contain a lot of protein. Other superfoods contain other nutrients that are very good for you.

The Bad: expensive and not always healthy

Although the term suggests otherwise, superfood is not always healthy. For example, many (dried) berries and fruits often contain a lot of sugar. The term also creates confusion. For example, a product can be referred to as agave syrup as a superfood, while it contains 99% sugar.

In addition, the term superfood is primarily a marketing term. Although a lot of superfood (kale for example) is good to pay for, many superfoods are very expensive. For example, paying four euros for a bowl of chia seeds is the most normal thing in the world.

The Ugly: allergic reactions & lack of variation

People who use a lot of superfoods run the risk of eating less ‘normal’ fruits and vegetables. This can cause you not to receive enough vitamins and minerals or not to be varied enough. In addition, superfoods can induce allergic reactions. In particular, there are many known cases of allergic reaction about goji berries and various nuts. Also, the use of some

Final verdict: just be normal, then you’re crazy enough?

The Nutrition Centre indicates that superfoods can be a good addition to a diet, but that with a healthy lifestyle you already get enough nutrients. There are also several ‘normal’ vegetables and fruits that are at least as healthy as the superfoods. Examples include:

White cabbage

Actually, a lot of the vegetables we already eat are super healthy. In particular, kale, which actually goes over the counter as a superfood in the United States, is an example of super healthy (and super affordable) superfood.

Our verdict? Superfoods can indeed be a good addition to a healthy diet, but that goes for a lot of vegetables.

Many superfoods, like ‘normal’ fruits and vegetables, are very healthy and contain a lot of good nutrients. Fortunately, superfood doesn’t have to be expensive. Many Dutch vegetables that we have been eating for years can rightly be called superfood. ‘New’ superfoods can also be a good addition.

Learn more about healthy eating? How about a workshop ‘cooking without salt‘, an ‘olifoil workshop’or a workshop ‘cooking as a medicine’?

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