Q: What is a superfood? I hear about them all the time. Is this a real thing or an advertising gimmick?
A: Thanks so much for the question. The idea of superfoods can be a bit confusing. Let me try to shed some light on the subject.
The term superfood is a marketing term, NOT a scientific term with a set definition. Health professionals generally will not advocate eating large quantities of any one superfood to help with a specific condition. So, to a certain extent, it is just an advertising gimmick.
HOWEVER, to my knowledge, no food with claims of being a superfood is bad for you. They are generally fruits, vegetables, or other items high in vitamins, antioxidants, or omega-3s. None of those things are bad, and in fact, I would generally recommend consuming these in greater quantities than we do now.
The catch is in focusing on one particular food. When claims are made of a “superfood” benefit, it is based on eating A LOT of that item (and may not have much science to back that up). When there is any evidence, these claims don’t always translate well into a normal diet.
The best advice – DO consume superfoods, but consume a variety in healthy quantities.
I hope that helps. Thanks for the question!
Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!