The Truth About Superfoods. Which Foods Are Really Super and Which Are Just a Passing Fad?

Superfoods tend to come with many super claims. Claims of boosting your immune system, protecting against heart disease and cancer, and promoting weight loss, to name a few. Are all of these types of statements true? Or, are we just victims of marketing propaganda and ingesting foods that can actually be bad for us?

What is a superfood?


According to the Oxford Dictionary, nutrient-rich food is considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.

The Origin of the Term “Superfoods”

The use of the term “Superfood” has been recorded as far back as the beginning of the 20th century. However, it is only in the last decade, that it became popular in the mainstream language. Possibly as a result of a growing public interest in healthy food.

The First Superfoods

Spinach is probably the first vegetable with a claim to this title. Sales peaked in the 1950s as a result of the popularity of Popeye, the cartoon character who gulped down tins of spinach to give him strength.

5 Myths about Superfoods Busted

1) Goji Berries

Superfoods - Goji Berries.

The Claim: Goji berries have been a traditional part of Chinese medicine for centuries. Available in dried fruit or juice form, these shriveled, red berries are alleged to boost the immune system and brain activity, protect against heart disease and cancer and improve life expectancy.

The Reality: The British Dietetic Association (BDA) argues that you would need to drink 13 servings of goji berry juice to get as many antioxidants as you’d find in one red apple.

Regardless, if you love goji berries, you can find organic goji berries on Amazon and also goji berry juice.

Organic Dried Goji Berries - Non-GMO and Vegan Goji Berries Organic, Perfect for Baking, Teas and Snacks for Adults (1 lb)
  • Flavorful Organic Goji Berries - Small but mighty, goji berries deliver bright and tangy flavors with every bite. Eat them by the handful, steep them in hot water for a goji berry tea, or add them as a topper to classics like yogurt and smoothies.
  • Tasty Treat for Guilt-Free Snacks - Craving something chewy? Our goji berries add a tart yet sweet taste to all your kitchen favorites. ?Substitute mix-ins like chocolate chips or raisins in your salads, trail mix, and gluten free snacks.
  • A Delicious Superfood - Not only are our organic goji berries packed with mouthwatering flavor, but they’re also sources of Iron and vitamin C while being low in saturated fat.
  • Sustainably Sourced Super Grade Goji Berries - Also known as the ‘wolfberry’, each goji berry is handpicked and naturally shade dried to perfection in the Tibetan plateau of the Himalayas.
  • Quality You Can Trust - Our yummy berries are certified USDA Organic, and are Non-GMO Project Verified. And as if that weren’t enough, they’re also certified Paleo, Vegan and Gluten-Free to accommodate a variety of diets and lifestyles.
Dynamic Health Organic Goji Juice Blend | With Mangosteen, Pomegranate & Noni | W/Antioxidants | Vegetarian, No Gluten | 33.8oz, 33 Serv
  • Healthy: Goji is revered for its health support due to naturally-occurring vitamins & minerals
  • Powerful: formulated w/ Mangosteen, Pomegranate, Noni & other organic juices, a nutritional goldmine
  • Choose Organic: Dynamic Health Goji Juice Blend is 100% USDA Certified organic
  • Quality: Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, BPA-Free & Kosher. No expense is spared in our products quality

2) Quinoa

Superfoods - Quinoa.

The Claim: The South American supergrain contains up to 18 percent more protein than any other grain, and amino acids to build muscle and body tissue. Naturally gluten-free, it also has a low glycemic index (GI).

The Reality: Despite the protein, quinoa contains potentially gut-irritating saponins and lectins. Some report gas and bloating after eating it, which might be because of its very high fiber content.

Regardless, if you love quinoa, you can find 100% whole grain organic quinoa on Amazon like this one from truRoots.

truRoots Organic Quinoa 100% Whole Grain Premium Quality, 4 lbs
  • Pre-Washed, Gluten Free. Organic, 100% Whole Grain
  • From farms that use best practices and time-bonored tradition.
  • Premium Quality Quinoa

3) Coconut Water

Superfoods - Coconut Water.

The Claim: Coconut water has become one of the fastest-growing soft drinks in Europe. It is said to be high in potassium and magnesium. These minerals are depleted after exercise, so coconut water is often sold as a post-workout drink.

The Reality: While coconut water is relatively low in calories (around 20kcal per 100ml), most of these come from naturally occurring sugar. One 330ml serving contains three teaspoons of sugar, half your recommended daily allowance.

Regardless, if you love coconut water, you can find refreshing coconut water on Amazon like this one from Vita Coco.

Vita Coco - Pure Coconut Water (330ml x 12) - Naturally Hydrating - Packed With Electrolytes - Gluten Free - Full Of Vitamin C & Potassium
  • 100% Natural hydration
  • Replenish, refresh, refuel
  • Bursting with naturally occurring electrolytes
  • More potassium than a banana (don't tell the monkeys) - potassium, helps keep your body properly hydrated
  • Big night out? Vita Coco is the perfect pick-me-up

4) Acai Berry

Superfoods - Acai Berry
Wikimedia Commons

The Claim: With double the antioxidants of blueberries, along with protein, fiber, essential fats, vitamins, and minerals, they are also touted as a weight-loss aid.

The Reality: The supposed weight-loss effect is unproven, and few scientific studies have tested the benefit of acai in promoting weight loss.

Regardless, if you love acai berries, you can find organic acai berry powder on Amazon like this one from Terrasoul Superfoods.

Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Acai Berry Powder, 8 Oz (Pack of 2), Freeze-Dried for Freshness, Omega Fats Boost for Smoothie Bowls, and Antioxidant-Packed Superfoods Recipes
  • Terrasoul Superfoods Acai Berry powder, 8-ounces (2 - 4 oz Packages)
  • 100% Certified Organic, Non-GMO, Raw, Gluten-Free, Vegan
  • Acai powder is loaded with antioxidants, an optimal combination of essential amino acids and is packed with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • A good source of vitamin C and contains many other micro-nutrients including ployphenols and flavonoids
  • A perfect addition to yogurt, smoothies, shakes and many other recipes

5) Wheatgrass

Superfoods - Wheatgrass.

The Claim: Loved by everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Elle Macpherson, this liquidized or powdered grass is an ingredient in juices and smoothies.

The Reality: It doesn’t even enough nutrients to count towards your five-a-day.

Regardless, if you love wheatgrass, you can find wheatgrass powder on Amazon like this one from Micro Ingredients

Micro Ingredients Sustainably US Grown, Organic Wheat Grass Powder (100% Whole-Leaf), 16 Ounce, Rich in Immune Vitamins, Fibers and Minerals, Support Digestion Function, Vegan Friendly
  • US Grown Organic Wheatgrass Superfood Powder 16 Ounce, 100% Whole-Leaf, Premium Wheat Grass Supplement Organic, Vegan Friendly.
  • Rich in Fibers, Minerals (Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium and Zinc Vitamin), Immune Vitamins (Vitamins A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Biotin), Protein, Essential Amino Acids (GLA, Arginine), Enzyme and Flavonoids, Premium Wheat Grass Powder Organic.
  • Rich in Antioxidants, Which Provides Supports to Colon, Heart and Overall Well Being.
  • No GMOs, No Additives, No Preservatives, No Artificial Colors, No Flavors, No Soy, No Fillers and No Gluten
  • Scoop included to get the measurement every time. Take it daily with or between meals by adding it to a shake or smoothie, see what the most nutrient dense food on the planet is all about.

The Real Superfoods as Ranked by the Experts

Researchers at William Paterson University, New Jersey recently produced a list of “powerhouse fruits and vegetables” ranked by the amounts of 17 critical nutrients they contain.

The superfoods are scored by their nutrient density – the content of fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin D and other nutrients, all considered important to public health. These truly deserve the title “The Real Superfoods.”

The Real Superfoods as Ranked by the Experts

6 Superfoods Trending at the Moment

As we all know, superfood trends tend to come and go. Here are the top superfoods people are talking about at the moment and why.

1) Bee Pollen

Bee Pollen.

What: The pollen collected by bees from flowers. It is rich in proteins, amino acids, folic acid and contains all of the B vitamins, including vitamin B12 which can be hard to find in vegetarian sources.

Potential Benefits: Boosts energy levels, soothes skin conditions, curbs cravings and acts as an aphrodisiac.

Use: Sprinkle bee pollen (check price on Amazon) on salads and smoothies.

Bee Pollen - Low Moisture Whole Granulars - 10 oz
  • YS Eco Bee Farms
  • Seaweed Extract, thought to have anti-oxidizing properties, aims to deeply hydrate the skin
  • Product of Medline
  • Caviar Extract, a highly nutritious marine complex, aims to protect the skin against harmful rays and al stresses

2) Maca

Wikimedia Commons

What: A root with a rich supply of nutrients, including minerals, vitamins (particularly B vitamins), fatty acids, amino acids, and sterols.

Potential Benefits: Increases energy levels, reduces stress and improves libido and general immune function.

Use: Maca powder (check price on Amazon) can be added to smoothies, juices, yogurts and fruit salads.

Healthworks Maca Powder Raw (32 Ounces / 2 Pounds) | Certified Organic Flour Use | Keto, Vegan & Non-GMO | Premium Peruvian Origin | Breakfast, Smoothies, Baking & Coffee
  • Antioxidants
  • Premium maca with a premium flavor
  • USDA certified organic
  • Superfood
  • Healthworks 100% Satisfaction Promise: Get a full refund or replacement within 30 days if you are not completely satisfied

3) Brussel Kale

Brussel Kale.

What: A combination of kale and Brussel sprouts that is produced ‘naturally’ through cross-pollination

Potential Benefits: A 100 grams of Brussel Kale is said to have double the vitamin B6 and twice the amount of vitamin C compared to its father (the brussel sprout).

Use: As part of a meal, similar to as you would with other types of vegetables from the cabbage family.

4) Sasha Inchi Seeds

Sasha Inchi Seeds.
Wikimedia Commons

What: The seeds of a plant grown in Peru.

Potential Benefits: Contains tons of healthy omega acids including 3, 6, and 9. Promotes the reduction of high cholesterol levels and excess weight gain.

Use: The seeds can be eaten whole (check price on Amazon) or you can purchase Sacha Inchi oil (check price on Amazon) to add to a smoothie.

Imlak'esh Organics, Sacha Inchi Nuts (16-Ounce Glass Jar), Protein Super-Nuts — 0 Net Carbs | Keto | Paleo | Organic | Regenerative | Protein | Gluten-Free | Non-GMO
  • SUPER SEED — Sacha Inchi is the ultimate on-the-go snack for a supercharged lifestyle. This amazing seed is packed with complete protein and healthy Omega 3 oils, making it is the perfect fuel for hikes and workouts.
  • PROTEIN AND OMEGAS — With more than 20x the Omega 3 content of wild pink salmon, Sacha Inchi is an amazing source of vegan essential fatty acids. Each handful contains an incredible 8.5g of complete protein for satisfying hunger and muscle recovery.
  • EASY TO EAT — Enjoy this toasted, lightly-salted seed by the handful, in salads, smoothies and trail mix.
  • ETHICALLY ORGANIC — Imlak’esh Sacha Inchi is ethically sourced from small family farms in pristine rainforest regions. Certified Organic, Ethically Sourced, Fair Trade, Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Kosher.
  • GLASS PACKAGING — Our jars keep foods fresh, are super reusable, easily recycled, and better for the environment.
Sacha inchi oil organic from peru by incaliving
  • ORGANIC RAW| 100% cold pressed extra virgin sacha inchi oil, air transported from the Amazon Rainforest of Peru to your table! This is a 3,000 year old superfood full of the perfect balance of Omega 3,6&9
  • GREAT FATS| easy and light in flavor, our Sacha inchi is perfect to add to salad dressings, on top of cooked meals or even taking it straight out of the bottle. Each serving yields 6,700mg of Omega 3
  • VEGAN OMEGAS| Paleo and keto friendly, this oil promotes the reforestation of the rainforest and is grown sustainably so future generations can enjoy it too.
  • GREAT FOR SKIN| Unlike other oils, Sacha inchi absorbs rather quickly into your skin, leaving it nice and smooth while also hydrating it with their natural antioxidants vitamins A & E, this allows the oil to preserve fresh without any additional chemicals or preservatives.
  • SMOOTH TASTE| unlike other sacha inchi oils, ours has a very mild taste and great to flavor some salads or meals

5) Salsify


What: A white root vegetable which goes by the name “oyster plant.”

Potential Benefits: Low in calories, high in fiber and helps keep weight and belly fat down.

Use: The root can be used like a potato – try mash, roast or bake. While the shoots and flower buds can be added to salads.

6) Kelp


What: A seaweed which is rich in minerals – iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron.

Potential Benefits: Regulates metabolism, promotes healthy skin and hair and helps the functioning of the thyroid gland.

Use: In salads and stir-fry dishes or add kelp powder (check price on Amazon) to smoothies.

Starwest Botanicals Organic Kelp Powder, 16 Ounce (Pack of 1)
  • Latin/Botanical Name: Ascophyllum nodosum
  • Origin: Canada
  • Certified Organic by QAI - In accordance with the USDA National Organic Program Guidelines
  • Kosher Certified by Kosher Certification Services
  • cGMP Compliant (current Good Manufacturing Practices)

The truth about superfoods. Pin It For Later!

The truth about superfoods: Which foods are really super?


Looking for the secrets to living a long and healthy life could be as simple as following the same lifestyle as your parents and grandparents. They grew up at a time when food fads weren’t as prevalent as they are today yet they were healthy enough to raise a family. Please share the truth about superfoods with your friends and family.

Last update on 2024-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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