I remember when the term superfoods first emerged. At first, it was associated with colorful packaging with labels full of compelling buzzwords that tried showing us we cannot live without that exact supplement. After a while, the hype decreased, but the trend remains.
In fact, superfoods are foods that allegedly promote exceptional health improvements as a result of great nutrient density. Since 2007, the term is not allowed to be used inside the EU unless the product has credible scientific research behind it. So, is it really just a marketing term or is there some truth behind it?
Each food is packed with nutrients, one way or another. Indeed, junk foods contain mostly sugar and saturated fats, which makes it less healthy. All food is different. But that doesn't change the fact that it contains nutrients, some of them more, some less, some none. Everything can be »super«.
Simplicity is one of the things we at AYATANA value most. We believe dishes can be prepared quickly, without to much hassle, all while still be rich in taste, nutritional value and health benefits. We love using local and seasonal produce for our dishes. Trust local farmers, ask them about the way they treat the produce and so on. It is a lovely way to connect with the community and actually find »living« food.
Look at your grandma
Yeah, this has been an overused term for a while, but there is some truth to it. For instance, my grand grandmother loved eating fermented foods. Sauerkraut, pickles, turnip, beets, apple cider vinegar, sourdough bread and so on. She didn't have a chance to enjoy mangos, avocados, spirulina, MSM, ashwagandha and similar things. Yet, she made it to 101 years and remained taking care of her garden with homegrown produce until the age of 95.
You don't necessarily need expensive products that cost a ton. You don't need to purchase unknown stuff that doesn't have its origin clear. Sadly, a lot of »superfood« products on the market aren't as authentic, pure, and as beneficial as they are marketed to be.
Be clever with your nutrition
If you are iron deficient, no superfood supplement will magically cure your deficiency. You have to look at the bigger picture, at your nutrition as a whole. How stressed are you? Do you meet your daily micronutrient needs? If you are iron deficient, do you consume enough vitamin C for it to be absorbed? And so on. I'd recommend using some kind of a nutrient tracker and a blood test to get the overview of your health. Only then it would be wise to start thinking about implementing different foods into your diet, according to those results. And before spending tons of money on »superfoods« from the other side of the world with a name you can't pronounce, do your research and see what kind of local foods are also rich in nutrients that your body is lacking. And if you find a superfood that complements your lifestyle and nutritional needs, go for it! You know your body best. Just don’t buy into trend.
Written by Masha