Are Superfoods Worth the Hype?

Feb 17, 2017
Tagged with: Are Superfoods Worth the Hype?

 

It’s inevitable: we love trends as humans. Trendy colors, trendy clothes, and even trendy food. Superfoods have lately been the trendiest foods around, and it seems like every year, more foods are being hailed as powerhouses of nutrition. From all the hype, you’d think that just eating these foods could help you live to be over a hundred years old, never age, and have boundless energy. Of course, that’s not the case. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t offer health benefits. So what’s the truth: are superfoods worth the hype, or not?

What is a “Superfood?”

So, what is a superfood, exactly? The term gets tossed around a lot, but many people aren’t sure what it means. Essentially, a superfood is a nutritionally-dense food, typically a fruit, vegetable, or grain. However, some nuts, oils, and fish are also classified as superfoods. There’s no official classification for superfoods, and it’s more of a buzzword to describe a group of foods than a category with strict criteria. 

Health Benefits

Many of the most revered superfoods are great sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that can help fight free radicals that cause oxidation. Oxidation has many negative effects on the human body, resulting in inflammation, disease, and early aging. Cancer, heart problems, and other health problems can’t be cured or prevented by eating superfoods, but they can do their part in improving overall health and reducing risks for health problems. Some of the most popular superfoods include blueberries and other dark berries, avocados, salmon, and kale, but there are many, many foods that have received the superfood distinction at some point.

Adding Nutrition to American Diets

One of the biggest benefits of the superfood trend is what it’s doing to the American diet. Many Americans have been moving away from fast food and other high-calorie meals, and with the superfood craze, more vegetables have become mainstream, making their way into restaurants and on grocery shelves. While food deserts are still a problem (areas with no easy access to fresh, healthy food), even smaller grocery stores in rural and indigenous areas are beginning to stock these trendy fruits and vegetables. All of this means added nutrition to American diets, a positive side effect to this food trend. 

Are they Worth the Hype?

One of the reasons superfoods sometimes feel overhyped is that label has been applied to so many foods that it begins to lose its power. Some superfoods are especially overrated, but that doesn’t mean some superfoods aren’t worth eating. Even if superfoods won’t cure cancer or extend your lifespan on their own, the hype over superfoods isn’t completely unfounded. Trends are driving food culture in a healthier direction, and these superfoods are a key part of that emerging food culture. The hype over superfoods may be overblown, but these foods offer health benefits that can help people live healthier, happier lives. Experts recommend eating a variety of fresh, healthy foods to boost your overall well-being. While it’s certainly not a requirement for good health to include superfoods in your diet, they can give you a dose of vitamins and minerals—and that’s never a bad thing.

Author: Sarah Daren