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17 November 2011 ,09:43 Not so super-foods
I've never liked the "superfood" concept. Each year it seems like there's a new "superfood", heavily hyped and promoted it's touted as the best food to prevent cancer, heart disease, boost your immune system, make you feel 10 years younger and on it goes.

Using scientific terminology, the "superfood" is touted as being bigger and better than all other foods. The one food which gives you optimum health.

Have you noticed though, the vast majority of these "superfoods" are not every day foods? They're certainly not foods I normally eat. I've never had Himalayan Goji berries for breakfast, or found wild blueberries in my local greengrocer. While I do love pomegranates, the only time I've seen an acai berry is when it's been juiced, bottled and slapped with a hefty price tag.

One of my problems with the idea of "superfoods" is it creates the impression we have to pay a lot of money to have the best health – which just isn’t true. The term "superfoods" also gives people a false expectation of the benefits from that food. As this research from the UK highlights:
 
"Some so-called "superfoods" like pomegranate juice and almonds can be good for you as part of a balanced diet, but giving them such a heroic sounding name confuses the public and can cause worse diet choices as people mistakenly believe they can "undo" the damage caused by unhealthy foods."

Plain old, normal fruit and vegies are pretty super in my book. The humble apple, oranges, pears, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, pumpkin, cabbage – they’re some of the cheapest fruit and veg around and yet they are packed full of goodness, including plenty of antioxidants.

The answer is (as always), to eat a varied diet. Include plenty of fruit and vegetables, low fat protein and wholegrains. Limit the alcohol and have the occasional treat. And remember no one food can work miracles.

About our Blogger

Kathryn Elliott
 Kathryn Elliott is an Australian based nutritionist, food writer and recipe developer.

About this Blog

A blog about food, healthy eating, seasonal ingredients and how to eat well in a busy life.

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