Eating sensibly, in moderation and balanced all sounds a bit dull and involves for many, rethinking not just their whole diet but lifestyle as well. Eating a range of pure basic foods is not newsworthy or exciting but call something Super and everyone will want one, no matter the cost.
Hence the advent of the Superfood. Superfoods have been hailed as the nutritional must have, they will boost our immunity, banish fatigue and get the ironing sorted. The race is on to find the ultimate Superfood and to attain the label means a promise of both health and wealth. Superfoods started as a particular group of plant-based foods with a high phytonutrient content but extended to include any food with lots of nutritients or one specific nutrient, particularly the antioxidant range.
I am all for everyone eating more plant-based foods with a high nutritional density, that’s great nutrition but diets do need to be varied because the body needs a whole range of nutrients. Also anything to an extreme or imbalanced is not that good for health, and eating one super healthy thing is not going to be much compensation for a generally unhealthy diet and lifestyle.
Another more amazing Superfood seems to be discovered every week, they are the nutritional equivalent of the gold rush. Those most heavily promoted seem to come from the other side of the world and often come from delicate ecosystems such as the rainforest so sustainability and green credentials are issues.
My question is, how have we all survived this long without them as compared to the rest of the world we are some of the healthiest. For example the average lifespan in this country is over 77, in South America where many Superfoods originate it’s a good 10 years younger. Also no point in living longer if we are killing off our environment in the process.
In my opinion all food is great, its how you balance it that important and highly nutritional foods are key but you don’t need to go to the ends of the earth to find them. We are awash with Superfoods, just look around now and you will find them – blackberries, rose hips, apples, pears, elderberries. All year round there is a local supply of many native Superfoods but many are unaware of what they are never mind about the health benefits. A study done by the Backcurrant Foundation found that 30% couldn’t identify a blackcurrant and 50% had never tried one. I have to admit Blackcurrants were recently named the No 1 Superfruit but this certainly doesn’t mean if you ate nothing but them you would have super health, it just means if you can have “super” nutrition without doing in the planet.