How Can Superfood Help!

February 6, 2023

What is Superfood?

Superfoods are foods that have special health benefits, like lowering cholesterol, preventing cancer, or improving performance. This is what you have been reading about, right? Let me burst your bubble. The superfood is a myth. There is no agreed-upon definition for "superfood." It is definitely not a scientific term; rather, it is a marketing term that has become a popular buzzword among the general public. So, what makes these foods so special? Nothing.

There has been no change to the fundamentals of a healthy diet. Having a varied and well-balanced diet that provides us with all of the necessary nutrients from a wide range of sources is essential to good nutrition. One food would be a true "superfood" if it contained all of the nutrients. However, these foods do not exist. For instance, kale is regarded as a superfood despite the fact that it can cause gas and other digestive issues when consumed regularly.

This is due to the high concentration of tough, insoluble fiber, indigestible plant material, and anti-nutrients found in kale, as well as the fact that it passes through your digestive system virtually unchanged. Anti-nutrients in food hinder the absorption of nutrients in your body, additionally, this "superfood" loses its "super" quality when cooked. If consumed in large quantities, it may affect thyroid function. Progoitrin, a substance in it, has the potential to hinder the synthesis of thyroid hormones and essentially prevent your thyroid from getting the iodine it needs to function. Blood sugar levels and weight can fluctuate as a result.

Why is it considered a superfood?

The fact that any whole, minimally processed food could be considered a "superfood" due to one or more of its properties, nutrients, or ingredients is one of the biggest issues with the term "superfood." Eat a wide range of foods, including animal meat, fruits, and vegetables, to improve health and athletic performance instead of focusing on a few potential superfoods. 

Superfood Chart

Regardless of whether a food is referred to as a superfood or not, the truth is that you cannot survive solely on it. There is no such thing as a superfood from a dietary point of view, it's just food. Even though some foods are thought to be better for you than others (like fresh fruit compared to juice that has sugar in it), the food or diet industry has only labeled those foods for marketing purposes and all this comes down to modern marketing. Instead of focusing on "superfoods" for specific nutrients, the key to improving overall nutrition and health is to eat a wide variety of fresh, unprocessed foods, organ and animal meat.

Meryn Aricatt
Sports Nutritionist

Meryn, with a Master’s in Sports Science, is a pivotal member of the 'Evolve' vertical at iThrive, specializing in sports nutrition. She operates under the philosophy that "Nutrition can elevate a good athlete to greatness." Beyond her role at iThrive, Meryn imparts her expertise as an instructor for both the Functional Sports Nutrition and the Functional Nutrition Certification courses at iThrive Academy. She is passionate about helping sportspersons enhance their performance, ensuring they lead healthier, happier lives through the power of sports nutrition.

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