How ‘Super’ Are Superfoods?
November 2, 2016
With all the talk about omega-3s and antioxidants, it is of little wonder that 61 per cent of Britons reported buying foods because they believed that they were supposed ‘superfoods’, according to a survey conducted by YouGov.
Many consumers place false hope in superfoods, such as those that contain antioxidants that ‘fight’ cancer and the ageing process. Yet, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has found no actual health benefit. Furthermore, there is no official definition of a ‘superfood’, and the EU has banned health claims on packaging unless it is supported by scientific evidence.
Whilst the value of superfoods is still contested, what is known is that nutrition is highly complex. It is also known that exercising regularly and consuming a balanced diet that is high in fruits and vegetables can be vital for long-term health.
There is no one superfood that can compensate for unhealthy habits. In fact, the belief in superfoods can actually be harmful—the assumption that they can undo the damage caused by making unhealthy choices can encourage people to continue their unhealthy habits and increase their risk of long-term illness.
Nevertheless, certain foods do have health benefits, whether or not you consider them to be ‘super’.