'Superfood' or Super Scam? The Science Behind So-Called 'Superfoods'

It used to be that when you were hungry you ate food.

[JAYDE GOBBLING DOWN]

And if you wanted to eat healthy food, you ate something considered to be a fruit, or a vegetable.

[JAYDE HOLDING AN APPLE]

But thanks to marketing companies trying to make more money, all of a sudden, ordinary foods we’d known for years were joined by “SUPERFOODS!!!!!

Suddenly a blueberry wasn’t just food, it was a SUPERFOOD!!!!

But do these fruits really have superhero-like powers?

[SCIQ INTRO]

“Superfoods” are things like kale, Brussels Sprouts, Quinoa, Blueberries, Cranberries, Mulberries, Acai, and Chia seeds

These foods do have a very high nutritional content, and are generally low in carbs, so they’re ‘good for you’ in that they have lots of essentials. They have the stuff your body can’t make by itself. Vitamins, Minerals, Enzymes, Antioxidants, Essential fatty acids, Amino acids.

But! And I must stress the but here! Those things are found in a variety of foods. For example, blueberries – s superfood – contain 14mg of vitamin C per 100g, which is super high. You do want that vitamin C, you need it, and so blueberries are great!

But oranges also have vitamin C. In fact, they have more than 3 times more than blueberries at 54g per 100g. So why is a blueberry super and an orange just average? Who knows!

Because There’s no scientific criteria for what separates a superfood from a plain ol food. So next time you see a food dressin itself up as a superhero, just ignore it.

Super food is just a marketing term. There really is no definition as to what a super food is and they dont have much benefit over any other type of food. The best thing you can possibly do is eat a balance diet.

To that end Here’s a handy checklist of phrases you can ignore:
“Immune boosting” – You cant boost your immune system through food. If you are already eating a balnce diet your immune system is already as strong as its going to be. It would be better to get more sleep.

“Detox” – A lot of food is advertised as having detoxifying properties, but thats what your liver is for. Foods dont detox

“Oxygenating” – Sometimes things like water is sold as oxygenating, but they cant oxygenate your body thats why we have lungs

“Cleansing” – is another term we often see in juices but your body cleanses itself. its designed to cleanse as it goes. and if it didn’t work we would all be dead. you shouldn’t be trying to cleanse anything other than your skin or hair.

So some of you might be thinking, well Jayde thats unfair, you’re saying I have to eat a balance diet but I dont have time to eat a balance diet, so can I just have a crap diet and then have some super food and itll cancel eachother out?

well unfortunatly thats not how it works, superfoods are high in vitamins and minerals but they are not that much higher than any other food. So eating a handful of blueberries isnt gonna cancel out your crappy diet of hotdogs and pizza that you’ve been eating earlier in the day. Its important to eat a balance diet as possible. There is no one fruit or vegetable that has everything your body needs, so a balance diet is really important.

So dont fall for these food marketing terms, there just there for you to pay more money for foods you probably wouldnt have bought anyway.

But what do you guys think?Whats your favorite fake food marketing term? let us know in the comments below

This video is presented by Jayde Lovell, Directed by Yohana Yoshe, and Edited by Sarita Liu at Youtube Space NY. Script by Emelye Lovell.

SOURCES
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/16/do-superfoods-really-exist-antioxidants
http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/superfoods/Pages/what-are-superfoods.aspx
http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/08/what-does-superfood-even-mean-anyway.html

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Produced by Jayde Lovell and Bec Susan Gill. ScIQ is a partner of the The Young Turks Network.

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