Superfoods Need-to-Knows: Truths, Myths, and Everything in Between

Back in the old days, we would group our grocery list items as healthy or unhealthy. Today we have something people like to call super healthy. The very adjective suggests that a single vegetable is capable of healing everything and making you feel as if you are Clark Kent, just leaving the phone booth in a cape to save the world. But how super are superfoods exactly?

Do you love nuts? How about other types of seeds?

They are surrounded by a bunch of myths, but surely there is some truth to them. In this article, we’ll try to discover what are the great things about superfoods and what are the ones exaggerated by the media, celebrities, nutritionists, and even whole industries racing their way to find the next big thing to include in their products.

The problem with grouping the foods

It seems like every time you google “superfoods” you get a different result. The problem is that there is no single universally applied definition of superfoods, so we’re not exactly sure what the criteria are. This makes the very term misused to the point where even some unhealthy foods filled with sugar are marked as superfoods just because they contain some of the useful nutrients.

Should you focus on specific food groups?

One of the main problems with people getting all hyped up about superfoods is that they decide to focus on a few specific foods, thus ignoring other foods that could be equally nutritious. Variety in the diet is essential for maintaining your weight and optimal health.

Besides, eating too much or too little of one nutrient can never be good for you, even when that nutrient is considered to be healthy. That’s pretty much why fad elimination diets, like the “cabbage soup diet,” completely miss the mark. On the other hand, you have another type of diet, like Paleo, which eliminates only specific ingredients that can be harmful to your health and including various superfoods like coconut oil and salmon. A basic meal plan for eating Paleo will give you some hints if you don’t want to do further research.

Catchy headlines and super sales

Let’s face it: this is a billion-dollar industry we’re talking about. And consumers are willing to pay more when they hear about a new magical food packed with nutrients that can make their life better.

Take chia seeds, for example. Their estimated value was $66.5 million in 2018, and it is expected to grow steadily to $88.1 million by 2024. It’s not that this super ingredient doesn’t have the nutritional value to back up its popularity, but it’s clear that being lauded as a “miracle food” titles by the media definitely helped the growth.

What does the science say?

Not everything about superfoods is a scam. In fact, much of it is true, and there are many claims backed by science. All the attempts to define superfoods come down to one characteristic, and that is them being “nutrient-dense”. Here are some nutrients often found in superfoods, along with their superpowers:

  • Antioxidants: These molecules protect the cells from destructive free radicals, which come from sources such as alcohol and cigarette smoke. Too many of the free radicals may result in oxidative stress and cell damage, which can cause diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
  • Nitrate: This super ingredient is found in abundance in beetroot. The body converts it into nitric oxide, which further helps lower the blood pressure and minimize the risk of blood clotting.
  • Dietary fiber: Many of the superfoods contain high amounts of dietary fiber, which provides several benefits such as lowered cholesterol levels and appetite control.
  • Vitamins: Higher levels of vitamins in superfoods can boost cellular function and improve various health aspects, depending on which vitamin we’re talking about.
  • Minerals: Enhanced levels of minerals promote heart function, nervous system health, and muscle contraction.

A list of superfoods worth the hype

Now that we’ve got that clear, let’s go over a few foods labeled “super” that should definitely find a place on your plate.

  • Avocado: The millennials’ favorite is inevitable when it comes to superfoods. Avocado is packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, which are essential for absorbing vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  • Kale: The fiber-rich vegetable is also full of vitamins A and C. These nutrients can do wonders for your skin and slow down aging.
  • Blueberries: One of the first fruits crowned with the superfood title, blueberries are jam-packed with antioxidants and rich with fiber and vitamin C.
  • Turmeric: The “superspice” contains curcumin, a compound linked with many health benefits, including osteoarthritis, heart disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s.
  • Chia seeds: Did you know that chia seeds are richer in Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon? They’re also an excellent source of protein and fiber.
Have you tried blueberries yet?


The buzz around superfoods is here to stay. You can either join the party or watch from a distance. Either way, don’t allow yourself to be fooled by flashy news headlines and sales pitches. Instead, do your research and don’t be too exclusive in your diet.

53 thoughts on “Superfoods Need-to-Knows: Truths, Myths, and Everything in Between”

  1. This was a great read. Eating healthy and making the most of superfoods is a lot more involved than most people think. I particularly loved the section on combinations.

  2. Great advice! Superfoods can definitely enhance your diet – and are great for certain conditions, but must also be part of a well rounded diet.

  3. Great list. Blueberries are my favorite by far here. We pick them in the summer and then freeze them.

  4. I try to get as much of these superfoods in our diet. Eating them would be better than popping pills/supplements in my mouth. Avocados are in season in my area and I still have a lot of fresh turmeric that I will make into tea!

  5. Very informative post! I love that you broke this down. My son pretty much only eats blueberries so I’m glad they’re so good for him haha!

  6. I’ve learned to look past the hype and really learn about each one. A lot of the time it’s pure opinion and not necessarily great for you.

  7. I hate it when labels like this get thrown around! I’m with you, avocados, blueberries and turmeric will always be on my menus!

  8. i think you need to post the recipe to the chai seed parfait (?) that you have pictured. it is very enticing and i want to know more!


  9. I’m a big fan of doing research on foods when I hear about them. Let’s face it, people want to sell things and the media wants us to watch them. You can’t take any of it at face value.

  10. There are definitely some real superfoods out there, but I agree, it’s important to do your homework. People love to call anything new a superfood just to sell products.

  11. A balanced diet with lots of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables is best. Superfoods are helpful but not essential.

  12. I honestly do get sucked into the buzz about super foods. LIke right now, I’m super excited to hear the chia seeds are even better than salmon for some things. That’s crazy exciting!

  13. I try to incorporate a lot of antioxidants and fibres into my diet, to keep me feeling at my best. It’s important to know what it is that you’re putting into your body, though!

  14. I always try to keep as much of this food stocked up as I can. They make for perfect snacks and meal fillers.

  15. So true that we often forget that it is a billion-dollar industry we’re talking about. But I´m a fan of chia and turmeric anyway – they have so many healthy benefits!

  16. I love all the ‘worth the hype’ superfoods! Unfortunate we can never find blueberries where I live but avocado, turmeric and chia seeds are staple foods at my home.

  17. My father grew up on a farm and my mom was a nutritionist so, eating healthy, balanced, free from pesticides foods was my diet. If we keep it simple, and eat to live instead of live to eat, we will all be fine.

  18. Avocado is my favorite superfood of all. Totally worth all of the hype. I learned about some new ones thanks to your lists!

  19. I don’t believe a lot of what I read anymore when it comes to superfoods… but I do incorporate the good-for-you foods into my diet!

  20. These are all some really great foods to incorporate into you diet. I love most of these anyway!

  21. I love different kinds of nuts, and other fruits. Good thing we have avocado plants at home and don’t need to buy them expensively.

  22. There is some really good advice here. sometimes the truths can be hard to find so great info here xx

  23. This is such good info, thanks! I’ve always wondered about superfoods and what is true and what isn’t!

  24. Great information and guide to choosing the best food to include in our diets. My Right now I have to do careful menu planning and limit foods that are high in Vitamin K. I will do more research and see if these are allowed in my diet.

  25. This is a ton of great info here. It can be overwhelming when you start looking into so-called “superfoods”. The thing is, everything should be done in moderation. Get in what you can, and that’s it.

  26. The fact about Chia seed’s value going up is interesting. It’s been gaining popularity steadily with various usage. The first time I’ve seen it on a drink though got me feeling weird lol.

  27. Superfoods are awesome!! I always eat blueberries and spinach in my morning smoothies. Avocado is another favorite of mine, along with almonds!

  28. thanks for narrowing these down for us. i am always skeptical of superfoods and the latest fad diet. but i appreciate you sharing about turmeric. might have to try it.

  29. I thought about trying Paleo, maybe it could work for me. I eat a lot of these true super foods. I wish I liked Avocado and Chia seeds. I tried chia pudding once and ONLY once. LOL

  30. It is so hard to figure out the facts from the hype, isn’t it? This was a good list though! And generally the items I think of as superfoods. Thank you for the definitions. They were great info that was communicated succinctly.

Comments are closed.