"I'll get the acai bowl topped with chia seeds, goji berries, spirulina, and bee pollen thanks."
Have you heard the table next to you order this at the latest hipster cafe?
Everyone has heard of these new miracle superfoods. But do they work?
What are they actually doing? And should we become victims to their long list of health benefits?
Superfoods is a word recently used to describe a growing list of naturally occurring foods that have a higher than average nutritional benefit, delivering higher amount of vitamins and minerals to the body, aiding health and reducing any health issues.
The list is growing by the day, and sadly, now companies are even jumping on the bandwagon to help sell more product. A perfect example of that is Sanitarium now branding their oats as a superfood. I'm sorry Sanitarium, but no product on this earth, that contains gluten should be, or will ever be a superfood. Apart from the fact that it delivers little to no nutritional value. It's more to do with what you serve with it/on top of it that really weighs in.
Now, I'm a big believer in superfoods, but not because of their "super" abilities, but simply because of what they actually can deliver to the body.
For example, let's look at spirulina. Just 1 tbsp of spirulina powder will give you 11% of your daily intake of iron, and 3% of your daily intake of magnesium. All of this from 1 tbsp of spirulina powder. So if you're on the lower end of iron, it might be best to look at taking a spirulina capsule, or adding a tbsp of the green super powder into your shakes or smoothies before you reach for the prescribed iron meds.
Raw Cacao: the highest source of magnesium of any food in the world. Magnesium is the #1 cause of broken sleep. Also an excellent food source to boost digestive enzymes in your gut.
There is a lot of other health promoting foods out there that don't get the superfood label, even though they are far more important in the modern day diet than goji berries, and here in lies my issue.
Pasture fed beef? Wild caught fish? Free range chicken and eggs? Without the staples, it doesn't matter how many acai bowls you eat, if you don't have a good base, the supplementary stuff won't get you where you want to be. The same goes for training and exercise. You could do 1,000 box jumps or step ups, but if you can't squat or deadlift, the rest is pointless.
So in conclusion, before you get caught up on eating all the latest superfoods, focus on getting the other 90% spot on, then begin adding in those other additions to your diet.
Get the 90% right, and the other 10% will take care of itself.