by Reza Bakhtali
A new ‘superfood’ comes along every x months. The list of products with almost supernatural health claims keeps growing. Four popular products reviewed.
Ⓒ 123rf / Olga Yastremska
A fresh shot of wheatgrass, pressed with a special slow juicer, you can get it in most (expensive) hipster neighborhoods. Wheatgrass refers to young shoots of common wheat. The leaf green in particular is said to be very healthy. What seems? Wheatgrass is about comparable in nutrients to leafy greens such as spinach; there is a little more vitamin E in it, you will also find iron and phosphorus, but the same amount of spinach contains much more potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C. That is much cheaper than those – grab it – € 3 per shot wheatgrass.
To make chocolate you basically need roasted cocoa beans. Cocoa beans contain many flavonoids (a type of anti-oxidant), half of which is lost during the roasting process. Anti-oxidants have a beneficial effect on our cells and tissue because they counteract free radicals. Raw, bitter chocolate from unroasted cocoa beans therefore contains more flavonoids. At the same time, raw chocolate still contains saturated fat and sugar. See for example here and here. You could argue that raw chocolate is slightly less unhealthy than regular chocolate, but for flavonoids you can also take apples or cranberries from your own country; much healthier and more sustainable.
No one will deny that blueberries are healthy, but other fruits are often just as healthy. 100 grams of blueberries contain about 11 mg of vitamin C; an equal amount of strawberries contains about 60 mg of vitamin C. Although a banana contains more sugars than strawberries and blueberries, it is full of potassium and also contains more protein. Trendy goji berries are also no healthier than other berries. Incidentally, blueberries are brought all the way from South America out of season (June to September). Extremely harmful to the environment.
Ⓒ 123rf / Phonlawat chaicheevinlikit
At one point, avocado restaurants were even started up … That’s how popular the fruit is, which contains a lot of healthy, unsaturated fats and fiber, but also an average of 360 kilocalories each. Seven avocados a week is worth it, especially if you don’t exercise. Full planes are flown in from countries such as Mexico, Chile and South Africa. Forests are also being cut down to create avocado plantations and it takes so much water to grow the trees that the water supply is endangered in some places. In Mexico, drug cartels have also entered the booming business by extorting growers.
Superfoods = Marketing
Actually, you can assume that if someone does something a superfood calls it pure marketing. The most striking example was the moment we all suddenly hit the bald had to: while we Dutch have been eating kale for years – only in season … Because it is full of vitamin C. While Brussels sprouts contain even more vitamin C. But yes, try to hype that.
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