Superfoods are NOT the answer to healthy aging.
We’ve all heard the buzzword “superfoods”, but did you know that the food industry uses this term to influence your buying habits?
If you’re on social media or use the internet in any way, you’ve probably seen the posts and ads for superfoods.
In case you’re unfamiliar with this hackneyed term, superfoods are defined as certain foods having exceptional health benefits.
AARP even published an article titled Health on the Shelf: 14 Superfood Staples praising the nutritional benefits of superfoods.
Supposedly, these foods are rich in certain nutrients that promote healthy aging.
But is it true? Are superfoods a better source of nutrition than other whole foods?
Do they promote healthy aging?
Do superfoods really pack a better nutritional punch than other whole foods?
Superfoods are good for you – your immune system will thank you if you include them in your diet.
But, after digging a little deeper than page one of Google, I’ve concluded that there is absolutely no evidence that so-called “superfoods” are better for you than any other nutrient-dense whole food.
In fact, when comparing superfoods to other nutritious fruits and vegetables, they are not extraordinary and are not any more instrumental in slowing down the aging process.
Take blueberries for example.
This is one superfruit intensively advertised as a powerhouse for its exceptional health benefits.
Just take a look at the products (and prices) that I found on Amazon with blueberries that are also labeled Superfood.
(These are links to our Amazon Affiliate account. If you click over and buy, we will get a small commission that helps us continue to get out the Rebel Retirement message. Your price doesn’t change..)
Don’t get me wrong. Blueberries are indeed good for you.
However, after doing my research, I conclude that their claim to fame is overrated and their health benefits exaggerated.
That’s because strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries all offer similar nutritional benefits such as vitamin C and phytochemicals that reduce inflammation.
The moderate nutrient density of blueberries simply does not compare to many other vegetables and fruits.
It’s simply hype!
Let’s dig a little deeper into the superfoods industry.
Evidently, the term superfoods started in the late 1940s.
A Canadian newspaper used it to refer to the supposed nutritional qualities of a muffin.
It wasn’t until the late 20th and early 21st centuries that the term “superfood” became a popular sales pitch for selling specific foods items.
Dietary supplements, foods with selected food additives, and self-help diet books use the term promising enhancement and longevity to health.
Think green tea, dried blueberries, and sweet potato chips labeled Superfoods.
The pitch works. Boomers consistently purchase food items labeled “superfoods” even though there is no evidence that they are better for your health.
The superfoods industry is highly profitable. Revenue from global market sales reached over $130 billion dollars in 2014!
And baby boomers help fuel a large percentage of that market.
Is it worth paying extra for products labeled superfoods?
Like many active baby boomers I hike, bike, work-out, practice yoga, cross-country ski, etc.
Plus, I want to remain healthy and stay in shape as the years go by.
However, as a rebel retiree, I am mindful of what is waste and what holds value. (Read This is What Retirement Could Look like if You’re Not an Ass to learn more)
Paying more for a product at a “special market” for foods classified as “Superfoods” doesn’t make sense.
The foods on the list are commonly promoted as superfoods that support healthy aging.
- Nuts and Seeds
- Berries – predominately blueberries
- Olive oil
- Green Tea
- Sweet Potatoes
All of the foods on the list are nutritionally sound.
They offer excellent sources of much-needed vitamins and minerals.
And, I keep them in my arsenal for healthful eating.
However, I am mindful that they provide no additional benefit to healthy aging than other nutrient-rich whole foods such as carrots, bell peppers, or apples.
Superfoods is a trendy marketing buzzword that shouldn’t influence our buying habits.
If you’re a retired health-conscious baby boomer, especially one on a budget, take your pick from just about any fruit and vegetable in the produce department and get the same anti-aging benefits as you would with “superfoods”.
Here’s to your health!
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- Health Benefits of Cucumbers – Weird Things Retirees Do With Them if They Have Too Many
- [Free Food in Retirement] 6 Benefits of Planting a Vegetable Garden
Do you think Superfoods are real or hyped? Leave us a comment below.