Let’s have a new definition of superfoods, one that includes a precise description of super fruits.
Superfoods are currently described as having more nutrition, minerals, vitamins, proteins, and more health advantages than commonly eaten fruits, vegetables and herbs. Yet many websites (yes, Wikipedia is one) and news articles claimed that the term is nothing more than a marketing scheme to get people to purchase and eat these on the supposed expectation the superfood will help them realize better health.
I get it when some writers decry the use of the term, the concept it brings to the public, who unwary or unable to decide what is healthful, go ahead and buy these foods and wait for the advertised miracles of health to happen to them.
An article about superfoods in The Guardian was published in 2007. In a very readable manner it discloses why eating superfoods may not be the best choice for some people. Two prominent philosophers about food, Michael Pollan (American author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and other classics of food and cooking it) and Jeremy Spencer (at Reading University, UK) had cautionary statements to make about “superfoods”. Pollan’s quoted as stating that health is arrived at by eating whole foods, not “products that make health claims”. While Spencer makes similar arguments against prying apart and singling out individual constituents to arrive at a concept of health-giving.
Recall that this was in 2007, two years before David Wolfe’s book, entitled Superfoods was published in which he claims that “superfoods have a dozen or more unique properties”, that “super herbs have super tonic and adaptogenic properties”, and “superfoods are a class of the most potent, super-concentrated and nutrient-rich foods on the planet” p.1-3.
The take away here: any successful diet defined as one that promotes health, is also balanced in every sense. The addition of superfoods favors only a diet of very clean and whole foods eaten regularly for satiety and sustenance. Superfoods multiply the effect of a vitamin or mineral or other nutrients. If they contribute successfully to well-being and health, it’s because the body recognizes and knows what to do with them.
Likely, a fruit or vegetable that’s new will be delicious, especially if chosen by you on the basis of whether it looks appealing. And if you know how to prepare it. Remember, digestion begins with your eyes followed by the top of our alimentary canal, your tongue and taste buds.
So, the idea that superfood is a marketing label with no scientific basis–unless there’s a suspicion that our health is failing and we would do well to eat a superfood or superfruit to gain back the radiance—is an opinion which would require both factual and anecdotal data together in one test to prove. And I think scientific tests prefer data and factual bases.
That leaves you and me to decide whether superfoods have super value, or not. We have two means of making this decision—one is to read the facts. The other is to experiment with taste.