Super foods – is there such a thing?

Of late I hear ‘eat this because it’s a super food’, or this is so good for you, because it’s got ‘super foods’ in it. And I am like what!  It’s not like the nutritional value of these foods has just been discovered. There are so many claims out there that if you eat this, or drink that it’s going to do these ‘super’ things to you!  And we end up with people over consuming this one type of food in isolation, and often in sugary drinks such as smoothies.  You have this perception that ‘oh with that claim this has got to be good for me’, but in fact what you end up consuming is an abundant amount of sugar, which is going to be a contributor to chronic inflammation and potentially suppress your immune system.

So here is my take on ‘Super food’. It’s not about taking one type of berry or vegetable and consuming it in massive doses in isolation of any other food group.   All food that is nutritionally good for you could be classed as a super food.  It is not like the nutritional value of berries, beetroot, cauliflower, broccoli or green tea has recently been discovered.

Here at Vitalise we have written many blogs on foods & diets and what foods to consume the most of e.g. A diet that is rich in fish, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts.  We have a belief in functional wholefoods, which are food groups that have a positive health benefit and a positive impact on your immune system, therefore increasing your wellbeing.

Denise last year wrote a blog on how to get the most out of the food we eat.  And below is an insert from this blog on example of best food groups for health benefits.

Tonic Health Giving Foods
Daily in the diet include yoghurt (plain full fat, no sugar), fruit, vegetables, grains like flaxseed, buckwheat, barley and wheat sprouts, turmeric

Best Digestive Foods
Any mint family, asparagus, dandelion, potatoes, brown rice, grapes, yoghurt, pawpaw, buckwheat, fennel, barley, chamomile, caraway, tarragon, sunflower seeds, turmeric

Best Foods for Fighting Fatigue
Almonds, apricots, broccoli, spinach, brown rice, sesame seeds, sprouts, bananas, figs, apples, raspberries

Best Foods for Joint Stiffness and Pain
Celery, turnip, cabbage, lemon, dandelion, oily fish, buckwheat, onions, artichokes, pears, melon, sprouted mung beans, rosemary, parsley, turmeric

Best Foods for the Skin
Carrots, watercress, parsley, celery, melons, dandelion, avocado, strawberries, oats, apricots, nettles, sage, buckwheat, turmeric

Best Foods for the Respiratory Problems
Garlic, lemons, carrots, onions, apples, figs, cabbage, asparagus, fennel, thyme, celery, watercress, mint, sage, barley, honey

Best Foods for Weight Control
All high fibre foods (such as fruits and vegetables), sprouts, pulses, brown rice, peppermint, ginger, turmeric.

So the next time you hear the claim of a ‘super food’, pause and question is this really going to do what it claims, if I am consuming this in isolation?  How has this food been traditionally consumed?  What is consuming this food in concentrated form actually doing to the food source?

And most important don’t forget any food that is whole, high in fibre and phytochemicals such as plant foods,  fish for omega’s and fruits for antioxidants is going to be great for you!

Me xx (naturopath Maree)