Are ‘Superfoods’ a real thing…or is the term just a marketing ploy?



The results are in and the conclusion is clear: people all over the globe are officially sold on superfoods.

The global superfoods market was estimated at £125 billion last year – and is expected to climb to around £180 billion by 2027, according to Statista.com.

What are Superfoods?

Exotic berries, organic green powders, bags of seeds…just some of the products that people are willing to spend a small fortune on in the hope of improving their health, and looking and feeling better.

But sceptics argue that the term ‘superfood’ is used too freely by some marketers, particularly because it is not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the FDA has not run tests to measure the superiority of one health food to another.

So, who to trust? How do you know whether what’s passing your lips is super or just a plain food/drink?

In this article, we’ll look at both sides of the argument – then leave it up to you to decide.

What The Superfood Sceptics Say…

Those who accuse marketers of slapping superfood labels onto too many foods just to increase sales point to a lack of evidence supporting the benefits of those products.

This was the argument in an article published by The Daily Universe, an online newspaper run by Brigham Young University in Utah, USA.

The article states: “A growing number of foods labelled ‘superfoods’ are said to fight cancer and ageing. However, there is little quantifiable evidence to support these claims, leaving consumers to wonder if they are truly getting super health benefits or just paying for super overpriced food.”

Another claim made by superfood sceptics is that some foods are simply overhyped, and this may be the case. 

For example, goji berries are hailed for their amazing health benefits, yet the British Dietetic Association argues that you must drink at least 13 servings of goji berry juice to get as many antioxidants as you’d get by eating a large red apple.

What Defines a Superfood?

There’s a mountain of evidence that a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, and low in processed junk foods, supports the healthy functioning of the body and lowers your risk of developing killer diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

But are certain foods better than others? Are they so much better that they can be classed as superfoods? 

We believe so – because the scientific proof is there. And when cold-pressed into juice form they become even more potent because you can consume their vital nutrients in higher amounts.

We’re going to look closely at six specific fruits and vegetables, which have such powerful health benefits that they fall firmly into the ‘superfood’ category. Of course, we’ll back these claims up with supporting evidence and scientific studies.

The Top 6 Superfoods That'll Boost Your Diet

1. Antioxidants Aplenty In Blueberries!

These little circles of goodness are not only bursting with flavour, but they are jam-packed with antioxidants and flavonoids. By protecting your body’s cells against free radicals, many experts believe that antioxidants help prevent premature ageing, and protect us against cancer, heart disease, and possibly depression.

Blueberries are also good sources of manganese and vitamins K1 and C, helping to support the immune system.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) tested developed over 100 foods for their antioxidant content and compiled their authoritative top 20 list. Wild blueberries were second only to small red beans.  

2. Celery – The Secret To A Healthy Gut

If only everyone knew how powerful celery juice is for cleansing the body and supporting a healthy functioning gut.

Celery is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory. However, there are only so many celery sticks you can eat in a day. But by cold-pressing this superfood veg, like we do here at PRESS, it means you extract all the goodness in juice form…and can flood your body with all the beneficial nutrients.

Celery juice is particularly effective for digestive disorders as it helps kill pathogens and reduces inflammation in the digestive tract. 

One study done in 2017 by two Iranian scientists looked at the antioxidant activity of celery and pinpointed the important presence of numerous beneficial and powerful compounds.

The scientists referred to previous research which showed that celery can prevent cardiovascular disease, jaundice, liver diseases, urinary tract obstruction, gout, and rheumatic disorders.

However, one paragraph of note for anyone suffering gut issues reads: “Experimental studies show that celery has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, its essential oils have antibacterial effects.”

You can check out our popular Daily Celery Juice by clicking here.

3. Rescue Your Liver With Red Apples

American health guru Anthony William, known as the Medical Medium, has sold millions of copies of his natural healing books worldwide. His teachings are all centred around proper nutrition and detoxifying the body.

On the front cover of his book Liver Rescue is a red apple. That’s because Anthony William claims that apples are one of the most healing foods on the planet

In this article, he writes: “Eating two apples or more a day can aid in the prevention of colon, liver, breast, prostate, and lung cancer, and can also dramatically decrease the risk of a stroke.

“Apples are critical food for the liver and have many undiscovered properties that support liver health.”

If you’re dealing with any chronic health issues, we’d highly recommend checking out the book Liver Rescue. It’s mind-blowing.

4. Show Your Gut Some Love With Papaya

In a world filled with fast food, takeaway meals, and highly-processed products on our supermarket shelves, it’s important to take extra good care of your gut.

While celery juice is king in this department, papaya is a superfood fruit which also looks after your gut. 

Papaya contains an enzyme called papain which aids digestion, and is also high in fibre which keeps your digestive tract running smoothly. One study done on rats and published in the Journal of Academy of Medical Sciences of Bosnia & Herzegovina showed that this tropical fruit helped decrease oxidative stress in the liver, stomach, and kidneys.

5. Beetroot – To Improve Sporting Performance

Beetroot makes the grade in our superfoods list because of its richness in natural chemicals called nitrates. Your body changes nitrates into nitric oxide, which helps blood flow and blood pressure.

Interestingly, beet juice is becoming an increasingly-popular drink for runners and top-class athletes to improve their performance. Some research shows that as well as improving blood flow, beet juice may boost stamina too.

In this article published on the Runner’s World website, athlete Ashley Mateo tells how she absolutely smashed her personal best in the New York Half Marathon after drinking beet shots beforehand.

Meanwhile, drinking beet juice for seven days also resulted in faster sprint times, according to this study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.

6. Broccoli…and Brussels Sprouts…

Broccoli has long been studied for its cancer-fighting properties, and positive research has shown that it definitely merits being considering a superfood veggie.

It turns out that another cruciferous vegetable – the one you overlook for the pigs in blankets at Christmas – has powerful protective benefits.

Research by experts at Harvard University in the US has linked a compound called I3C found in Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables to one of the body’s most potent tumour-suppressing genes.

The study says that the compound is involved in a complex chemical chain reaction that supports the body to suppress tumours.  

Maybe next Christmas those Brussels sprouts on your plate will get the love they deserve.

 

REFERENCES

A review of the antioxidant activity of celery

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871295/

Antioxidant and immunostimulant effect of carica papaya linn. Aqueous extract in acrylamide intoxicated rats.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3508853/

Dietary nitrate improves sprint performance and cognitive function during prolonger intermittent exercise

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25846114/

Broccoli and Brussels sprouts: cancer foes

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2019/05/beth-israel-researchers-uncover-anti-cancer-drug-mechanism-in-broccoli/

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