What is a Super Foods?

Advertised Super Foods
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In this article we are discussing what Super Foods are and are not.

To begin, Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a super food as: food that is rich in compounds, that are considered beneficial the a person’s health.

Webster’s examples of the types of foods is salmon, broccoli, or blueberries and the beneficial compounds is the antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids.

Wikipedia points out that the term “Superfood” is a marketing term; not used by healthcare professionals such as dietitians and nutrition scientists. But by the advertising companies!

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Modern advertisements.

Interestingly, the advertising points that are used for the campaigns, is the definition that made it into the dictionary.

The editors of the dictionary are trying the capture the context of how the word is being used in society.

This is how the advertisers shape the minds of people over time and affect the way people view things. We must remain mindful of this when we are listening to the information being presented from the big corporations.

Power Super Foods

With advertisements that started in the early 20th century, around the time of the first world war. Companies started to try and sell bananas to the American public to increase the imports of bananas.

The United Fruit Company started a very aggressive marketing strategy to convince people that bananas were good for eating every day.

They even went so far as to print informational pamphlets and promote bananas as being a cheap, nutritious, easily digestible, available everywhere, and sealed in its own germ proof package!

The Food Value of the Banana

Copy of the United Fruit Company
Pamphlets  

Shortly after the American Medical Association announced that bananas, added to child’s diet, would provide relief for celiac disease (this was before gluten was discovered the be the true cause).

The banana became accepted by mothers (in the 1950’s) as a very good food for children whether they had celiac disease or not.

There still are many programs, diets, and people that promote the bananas, as a super food and some swear that everyone should eat one every day!

The dietitians place the banana, in the category of a fruit that contains fructose (sugar) and it does contain fiber which slows it down in the digestive system and provides energy over a longer time span.

This can be used in a person diet plan; the key is to consider what you are trying to do, ask the question what is the purpose of the banana in my diet plan?

The point here, is that we must be careful with the information, that comes to us from the company advertisements . They are trying the sell their products and sometimes get a little carried away with the claims.

Just like the Banana, there are many other foods that are being advertised as super foods and if we are not careful, we can become misinformed.

What is a Perfect Food?

There is this idea floating on the internet, that there are such things as “Perfect Foods” meaning, that you could survive for long periods of time by only consuming just that one food.

Recently this information came in the form of present the potato as being one these “Perfect Foods”; because people have lived on them for long periods of time.

Historically speaking, the potato has help many people because of how easy it is to grow and there is good nutritional valve in them.

But potatoes do not have the protein, calcium, or essential fatty acids that are needed, nor other vitamins that people need to maintain all their body functions.

Potatoes need additional proteins, and veggies to the make them part of the food that people could live on for long periods of time.

The perfect food will need to have all the ingredients that are in the healthy plate of food. The break down is like this:

• 35% from vegetables

• 25% from whole grains

• 25% from healthy proteins

• 15% from fruits

There is plenty of incentive for the food industry to pursue this avenue of marketing and advertising; preparing the minds of people to accept new products with these types of claims.

There is money to be earned to the firms that get this done… how is that going to affect the products they sell the public?

Superfoods
Some foods that advertise to be Superfoods.

Just like all the foods listed on this image, what is the science or information based on that makes them good for you?

Following the fads can very easily destroy your health! Part of all this misinformation can lead the people to throwing up their hands in the air and just going with the flow of things.

That is not good either and when you have a clear mind about your dietary needs it is much easier to make the right choice.

The increase in this type of advertisement; is for good reason, the companies know that if people believe something to be healthier, they will pay more for the product!

That is why it is good idea to set some baseline conditions for yourself, and to know how your diet is going, before trying something new.

Otherwise, how are you going the know if it is working or not? Feelings can be misleading… we are affected by the opinions of others.

Think about it, when someone really likes something… they will naturally promote it to the people around them.

Just remember the take the time to see if what they are saying is going to work for you.

When to Take Supplements

With all the various information on the different foods; which ones are considered good, and which are considered bad. How do we know we are getting the right amount of nutrition?

It is important to approach this topic systematically, otherwise it can be very confusing.

Many people have been taking supplements for years; mostly with the intention to prevent health issues, that may be caused by not getting enough nutrition in their diets.

Vitamin
Sometimes it just takes one a day!

Getting a vitamin that has all the essential ingredients a person needs, and that can be easily absorbed by the body, is the key the it being effective.

Super foods may have some special benefits, but it is going the be difficult to confirm these benefits, without taking blood test on a regular basis.

Another check you can do; is ask yourself, if you are having enough energy to get through your day? That is something that comes up so many times in conversations. It is also something that fuels a 4-billion-dollar energy drink business!

If you find yourself in need of more energy, then it is possible that you are lacking something in your diet. Supplements may be an answer for you.

Purpose Diet Why to Most People Diet?

With the topic of Super Foods, how can we combine this with the purpose of our diet. Most people think of going on a diet to lose weight.

Most of the experts agree, that it is much better to approach diet change, from the lifestyle perspective, verses going on a short-term diet plan just to lose weight.

As we get older, it becomes easier to accept the fact that we must change our views on food and how it affects our eating habits.

In my case it took being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, before I made a big enough change to affect my condition.

This is a major reason for looking into all the health-related issues and searching for the answers to the issues we are facing.

Once you make the change in your diet; after a few months, it becomes the new normal.

Then you must wait for the results of the next set of tests, to see how you are doing. It is exciting when you are doing the right things, because the test will show you what you are doing is working.

Maintaining a good attitude makes life get better as you go through the process!

Medical testing stuff and chart.
Remember to get all your medical testing done.

Conclusion

Here lately there has been so much focus on the emotion of everything. People are always saying to follow your feelings!

This is a bad idea for many reasons, but mainly because the advertising that we are exposed to, is trying to manipulate your feelings and emotions!

Every training platform on marketing; promotes the same things, because that is how they get people the buy their products.

There is a better way the approach this; that is to keep your mind clear and be focused on the results, not the feeling!

Keeping the emotions out of it as much as possible, we are still going the be human and the emotional aspect is always going to be there.

With the knowledge of how the big companies are trying the control the mindset of people, to increase their profits through selling more products.

People can become equipped to resist the advertisements and ignore the false claims. All it takes is some practice.

Thanks for reading this article and I sure would like the hear your thoughts and suggestion about this subject in the comment section at the end of the post.

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24 thoughts on “What is a Super Foods?

  1. Super Foods is over advertised, it is smarter to reconsider before you capitulate to the following fix of the day and head out to purchase the current week’s super food. It may fix what distresses you have (however presumably not). Better to investigate your way of life, propensities, and diet. Look over the generally accessible solid nourishments and go for a long walk

  2. Your article is very informative and it’s obvious you did your research. There were quite a few typos in the article and it made it hard to read at times but you made the subject interesting enough that I wanted to continue till the end. Thanks for bringing this to people’s attention because there are a lot of people with lots of money trying to push foods and products on the normal person and acting like it is a fact that their product will make you better. I did find the information the banana super interesting as I didn’t know that at all. It makes sense though. All in all, a great article and great use of pictures and excellent summary.

  3. Great article on the misinformation that is put forth by those trying to sell the products they want to sell by promoting it as some miracle cure-all. I never knew about the push with the bananas and their being pushed as superfoods. It brings to mind how food changes how we view it as more information comes out. I went to nursing school and bananas are now considered a food that is one of the foods that spikes the blood sugar more than most but is still considered to be an excellent food for potassium. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Larry for your comments and your view on this topic. This topic has been coming to mind for a long time because of how much we have to decipher on a daily basis. It is easy just to not think about it but then you will pay the price later. You are correct on the blood sugar spiking but when I combine it with some protein thin it does not spike my blood sugar. I just have to eat them early in the day and make sure to do some exercise.

  4. Thank you for this post, it’s of great help as it is well detailed with reality information about foods, on what people believe and what really is, like the potatoes. Personally as I grew up my mum used to offer me bananas on a frequent basis to an extent that at my age I don’t really like them anymore, but now with the new knowledge about the real super foods  I find it easy for someone to budget for the right foods that contain nutrients required by the body.

    1. Thank you for your comments and your dietary experience. It is true that or perceptions affect the way we approach our dietary choices. Studying the information and testing the effects it has on you personally is a good method to find out what works best for you. 

  5. Thanks for this post Chad. I am a lover of super food! I knew banana has a lot of healthy benefits but this the first time I heard it called a “power super food. I dont understand, is potato a perfect food or do we need a combination of various food in the percentages you highlighted to make it a perfect meal? 

    1. Thanks for your comment and question Juliet. Potatoes are very good but they are missing some of the protein and calcium and other nutrients to fulfill all the needs from the body for long periods of time, like years! That means you need to add the proteins and others veggies to make the meal well balanced. 

  6. Perfect food must contain all the six classes of food and at the right proportions and that’s what  I call balanced diet. Moreso,  A perfect food should be able to fight against diseases and infection by boosting the body immune system  by fighting against diseases. A perfect food must contain antioxidants and vitamins but when this is unavailable I think supplements should be recommended.

    1. Thank you for your comments and suggestions. It is always a good idea to check your vitamin levels before starting to take supplements.

  7. Hi Chad Trader ,

    This is an great information about super food . I believe that it is possible to from a healthy body by keeping balanced and diet. Everyday a person should be consume 35 grams of vegetables ,15 grams of fruits and 25 grams of balanced meal per day. It is possible for a person to be healthy if he/she follow these rules. Thanks for  sharing this information with us.

    1. Thanks for your comments and your suggestions for the amount of food. Everyone has different caloric needs based on their activity level and their metabolism, but I do agree that people should carefully select their portion sizes and keep everything balanced.  

  8. It’s interesting that some of the super food we see here are some of the most ancient food that our ancestors used to consume. And how the perception differs according to where we come from. In the tropics, we have bananas everywhere and it’s not branded as super food, but just an ordinary fruit you eat after dinner. 

    But avocados are imported and people tend to regard that as a more ‘superior’ super food simply because it’s pricer. I think there’s a need to look beyond the price when it comes to seeing what is super or not. By learning about the nutrition behind it, we’ll be able to filter all the different advertisement thrown at us and make better decisions on what to consume for our health. 

    1. Thanks for your comment Cathy, that is true the marketing or advertising budgets are bigger for the more pricey items like avocados, what I find odd is that there are so many different opinions on the Bananas, it is hard to decide if it is supposed to be good or bad for you.  

      Guess comes down to the individual and their particular needs. If you are following a low carb diet then the banana is not going to be considered good, but if you eat it with some protein and at the right time of day it can be a good part of the diabetics diet.

  9. Oh gosh, this is a topic I could probably talk about forever! I was actually 100% plant-based (vegan) for two years and I had many of the “superfoods” that people talk about. Meanwhile, my digestion got so messed up eating a lot of these foods. I have learned no food is super and too much of a good thing is still too much!

    Food marketing is one of those things that really irritates me. They can make ANYTHING sound good for you. Even Lucky Charms! (I love Lucky Charms, by the way. But as a snack, not a nutritious breakfast.) 

    This a great article, and I hope it helps people think about what’s on the store shelves and to be careful about the marketing on the package!

    1. Thank you for your comment Christina, it is a very good point that people need to take into consideration that moderation is also very important to maintaining good health.

      Portion control is very hard to do, I fell for the “have all the salad you want” mentality and then not lose any weight. The best thing is to keep everything in the proper balance.

      Getting rid of the sugary foods is another thing that is very hard to do, you are right Lucky Charms are very bad for a diabetic the blood sugar will shoot through the roof! 

  10. Chad, thanks for your post on super foods. It seems like every week that there is a new super food and last week’s super food is forgotten about! The same goes for supplements. Recently in the UK one company selling eye supplements had to withdraw its claims that it could stop degenerative eye disease when a regulator got involved. At the end of the day we all need to be knowledgeable about what we put in our bodies to ensure we have a balanced diet and be cautious about hype.

    1. Thank you James for your comment and observations on this subject. It is mind-boggling how much bad information get passed to us through the advertising of the big companies.

  11. Highly informative and well researched article,i have try to research the percentage vegetable and fruits that needed to be present in a balance food, your post has really answered my questions about it, Can you please explain better how eating habits can be controlled or changed? I will surely share this post with my friends. 

    1. Thanks for your comments and the best method that I find to control your eating habits is to plan your meals a day ahead and then stick to the plan! 

      In the beginning it is very hard to do, but after a few weeks it does get easier.

      That way you train yourself to think differently about food. If we wait until it is time to eat before we give any thought to it, there is a good chance you will not make the best choice.

  12. Hello. Thank you for this post. Superfoods certainly will improve your health and energy. I don’t like to eat fruits and vegetables as much as I should but I do love them in smoothies. I eat them in freeze dried form such as “Amazing Grass” or acai powder to blend in my smoothies to get all my vitamins and they certainly improved my energy and health. Chia seed and banana pudding is also one of my favorite superfood desserts. I suggest anyone to try it if they haven’t.

    1. Thanks for your comments, what do you think about the advertising of these foods and the way it has an effect on the way people think about the term superfoods? Glad to hear that you have some experience with this term, how do you verify that the items you are saying are good are really doing anything?

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