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Superfood – what’s behind it?

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With the fitness and health trend, the term “superfood” has become established. This refers to foods that are supposed to have a health-promoting effect due to their particularly high density of trace elements, minerals and vitamins. How much there really is to it and which foods are actually beneficial for body and mind, you can find out here.

Is superfood really super?

The term superfood has emerged in recent years and means food, which should have a particularly positive effect on our health. What counts as a superfood or not is not that clear, because the term is neither clearly defined nor protected. It is rather a marketing term, in order to be able to sell food with the new super label better. Strengthening of the immune system, more beautiful and firmer skin or better concentration – the promises that often accompany superfoods sound sometimes interesting and sometimes completely exaggerated. Which foods really bring positive effects for body and mind and why you can save a lot of money if you do not follow every superfood recommendation, we show you now.

Homegrown alternatives are often the better choice

Some of the promising superfoods like goji berries, matcha or chia seeds come from far away to be marketed here with the wildest promises of healing, while quality as well as hygiene standards of cultivation and production are almost not controlled, so that residues of harmful substances are no exception. This is not only bad for the environment and health, but also for one’s own wallet, because those who want to take the miracle cures have to put up with high prices – and often without any scientific proof of the product’s extraordinary effect. If you still want to give your health a boost, you can use local alternatives for most of the products. Here we introduce you to a few “superfoods” and show you which foods you can safely do without.

Exotic or local - the choice is yours

Let’s start with two of the most popular superfoods: Acai berries and goji berries. Both are also marketed in powder or capsule form, for example. While the acai berry grows in certain Amazonian regions, the goji berry is at home in China. Thus, both have a very high transport distance. Fortunately, we have better varieties on our doorstep: whether blueberries, currants, strawberries or raspberries, our native berries are in no way inferior to the two exotic fruits from far away. Some of the fruits growing here even have a higher antioxidant content, such as blackberries. Another example of the superfluous embarkation of superfoods are chia seeds originating in Mexico. These are rich in fiber and protein, however flax seeds can be processed and prepared in the same way, and with the same fiber and even higher protein content. Another classic superfood is quinoa. The grain is grown mainly in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. Quinoa contains a lot of protein and also iron, of the latter 3g per 100g. However, our good old millet can top it. This even comes to three times the iron content and is also not very demanding in cultivation, so that it can also be planted in Germany.

Empty promises of a cure

All in all, it can be stated that the consumption of foods with a high density of vitamins, trace elements, antioxidants, secondary plant substances and minerals is definitely recommended. However, one should not be misled by concrete health promises such as lower high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, as there is often a lack of scientific evidence for such statements and instead they are based on individual, unverified experience reports.

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