‘Superfoods’ – caution!
A Superfood is a marketing term used to describe foods with supposed health benefits.
The term is not in common use by dieticians and nutrition scientists, many of whom dispute that particular foods have the health benefits often claimed by their advocates.
Cancer Research UK notes that superfoods are often promoted as having an ability to prevent or cure diseases, including cancer. They advise caution and state that superfoods cannot substitute for a generally healthy and balanced diet.
“No food, including those labelled ‘superfoods’, can compensate for unhealthy eating,” explains Alison Hornby, a dietician and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association (BDA).
What are ‘superfoods’?
Examples include spinach, beans, sweet potatoes, salmon, fruits, nuts, whole grains and berries — are said to be rich in nutrients. Superfoods are mostly plant-based but also some fish and dairy.
Mediterranean diet – a better way to approach healthy eating
There is good evidence that the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of some chronic diseases and increase life expectancy. This diet includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, olive oil and legumes, and less meat and dairy foods than the typical Western diet.
Aim to eat a variety of foods, as described by the Eatwell Guide, to ensure you get enough of the nutrients your body needs. Focusing on getting your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is a perfect way to start.