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Superfoods… do they really exist?


"I've heard that kale is a superfood, so I put it in my smoothie in the morning. It does not taste really good, but I get used to it, is it ok? 

" Smoothies seem to be the perfect vehicles for all those superfoods that we are desperately trying to incorporate into our diet. Maybe by eating more superfoods we'll be able to get some superpowers too ... I'm sorry for "breaking your bubble", but superfoods that can radically change your life do not exist - we'll come back to the question of smoothies in an upcoming article...

What is a superfood? 

The term "superfood" is generally used to indicate that a food contains a high amount of certain nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, etc. Common examples are kale, quinoa, salmon, goji berries, Greek yogurt, lentils ... the list goes on. 

I would have liked to put some reference to my definition of superfood, but the problem is that there is no clear and definitive definition of the term superfood, nor specific criteria that food must meet to get the famous title pampered superfood. The term superfood is not recognized or even used by the scientific community. It is first and foremost a marketing tool. 

Good if you eat more superfood! 

You will surely tell me: so much the better if we finally put forward nutritious food! I totally agree with the idea of eating more foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, but the problem is that in that sense, we categorize food as good or bad. It's a far too simplistic vision of nutrition that puts forward some foods and makes us forget the benefits of a multitude of other foods. Humans are omnivorous and need a variety of foods to be healthy. Every food has its place in a healthy diet, whether every day, or occasionally. Categorizing foods only according to their nutritional value, it makes us forget the impact of our food choices on the environment - think of the exotic fruits found in grocery stores 365 days a year. It also makes us forget the price of these foods - "If a kale boot costs twice as much as a boot of spinach, but the kale contains a little more vitamin K, which one chooses? What is vitamin K already? It is by asking these questions aloud that one realizes the ridiculousness of the thing. 

The superfood industry 

The food industry is always here to follow the latest trends in nutrition. It's not hard to find beet crisps, tender goji berry bars, and kale and pomegranate juice right here in the grocery store. Since the term superfood does not have a fixed definition, any brand can use it in its marketing campaign, even if the final product is not that great. At the risk of disappointing you, kale chips, it's still chips. A soft bar with goji berries, it remains a soft bar. And a juice of kale and pomegranate is definitely juice. 

What to do with the bag of 2 kg of chia seeds that you bought? 

There's nothing wrong with including superfoods in your everyday life, but like any other food, do it in moderation and do not give foods magic powers - you'll be disappointed. Instead, look at your diet as a whole instead of paying attention to individual foods or nutrients. Include more unprocessed products in your diet, mostly of plant origin. Listen to your body and find that some foods give you energy while others steal from you, some foods fill you up while others leave you hungry. By making small changes to your health goals, you will develop a "superfood"!

Contacting your nutritionist - dietitian is the first step towards achieving your goals !

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