In recent years there has been an explosion of foods that have been marketed to the consumer as superfoods. These are often fruits and vegetables and are said to contain certain vitamins, minerals or antioxidants that when eaten are beneficial to our health. Some of the foods that have been given this label are blueberries, pomegranate, goji berries, kale, spinach, garlic, green tea, wheat grass and chocolate. It is said that a diet rich in super foods will have benefits to us for our long term well being, however often the nutrients found in these foods need to be eaten in huge quantities to make any difference at all and often the scientific basis for these claims is not very robust. That is not to say that studies do not show that some foods for example garlic do have health benefits, research has shown that regular eating of garlic can lower blood pressure and with many of these foods they do contain certain properties that when eaten regularly could be good for us.
The European Union does not allow the marketing of a product using the term super food unless it is accompanied by credible scientific research.
The questions raised are can we only eat a diet that contains only super foods and do all other foods such as milk, eggs, meat also have super food properties? How often is the term super food attributed to a food as a marketing tool and do we as consumers look deep enough into the science of these claims?