Marketing fairy tales for adults. Nutritionist reflects on the phenomenon of superfoods


Critical thinking should be applied to everything in life, especially to trends. Irrational collective fascination with certain things, especially under the influence of advertising, at best empties pockets, at worst – causes physically harm.

The latter, of course, does not apply to the phenomenon of so-called “superfoods”. These are just foods that have a fairly high concentration of nutrients, but by no means magical power. They are “supplements” from the culinary world, so to speak. Oleksandr Kushch, a sports medicine doctor, family doctor, participant of the “Consume Sensibly” initiative, tells about them in detail from an objective point of view in his new material, published on November 20 on the website.

In short, a superfood is a nutritious and supposedly extremely healthy product, often of plant origin. But even Wikipedia notes that it is a marketing term. Quinoa is just a species native to South America, quite equivalent in its properties to millet. Chia, or Spanish sage, is a foreign equivalent of the Ukrainian flax seed, and goji berries can easily be replaced in our region by more familiar berries: blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, and so on.

However, some people like to think that all these products can give some extraordinary charge of vitality that is different from simple satiety – like in the old cartoon about the sailor Popeye, who instantly became as strong as a bull seconds after swallowing the contents of a can of spinach…

However, there is a category of products that have the obvious effect of mobilizing physical strength. Nothing new and unexpected: it’s our usual caffeinated food and drinks. But, as with all carriers of “super-qualities”, it is necessary to treat them with increased responsibility and not to exceed the recommended daily doses.

“The properties and effects on the body of products such as coffee and energy drinks have been studied in detail by reputable organizations, in contrast to exotic superfoods. … With superfoods, everything is not so well established and reliable: the daily intake of products of this kind is not determined in most cases, although it should be, given the high concentration of active substances, the excess of which may not benefit the body, but vice versa”, – sums up the expert.

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