Never sure what foods are superfoods or complete fakes?

What is a Superfood?

The first thing to understand is what a superfood is. It’s a word that is thrown around a lot in the media, with all sorts of benefits regularly promoted. Superfoods aren’t recognised by authorities as anything specific. However, it is commonly thought of as a food that has many elements that are good for your health. These may include antioxidants, vitamins, fibre, or others.

Superfood myths

So, let’s talk about which superfoods are super fake! There are a few culprits which often pop up on super food lists, when they really aren’t all that super.

  • Acai

There is a reason that so many people believe acai is a superfood. There was a study done that suggested eating acai could increase the antioxidants in your bloodstream. However, it was a highly flawed study and the results could not be relied upon. This is due to the small number of participants and large amounts of acai consumed – much more than you would usually eat in a serving.

The other main factor about acai is that it is a highly bitter fruit. Therefore, when you order an acai bowl, it comes packed with added sugars to cover the flavour. So rather than getting an uptake in antioxidants, you’re setting yourself up for a sugar crash.

  • Coconut Oil

While coconut oil hit the peak of its popularity around 2 years ago, many still consider it a superfood. Those following a keto diet especially will use it to replace many other cooking ingredients. Some people even put it in coffee.

However, coconut oil is made up of 90% saturated fat. While a limited amount of saturated fats in your diet are fine, you need to beware of eating too much. One study determined that eating coconut oil significantly raised the amount of LDL cholesterol in participants. This can lead to blocked arteries and heart disease.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Much like many of the other items on this list, the benefits of apple cider vinegar are not backed up by solid research. People believe that it can help with your immune system and boost your metabolism. However, there is little to no evidence to support these theories.

There are even some claims that apple cider vinegar wreaks havoc on your teeth. As it contains acetic acid and the PH is about 3, consuming it too often can dissolve your tooth enamel.

  • Goji Berries

While goji berries are a fruit and are certainly safe to eat, there is no real evidence that they provide any extra benefits. There have been many studies done, claiming to have found benefits. But, much like the acai study mentioned, these were tiny and unreliable.

None of these foods is quite as healthy as they claim to be, and in some cases are more harmful than helpful. As part of a balanced diet, you can certainly eat acai or goji berries but beware of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar.