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18 August 2017

Superfoods list – from blueberries to broccoli here are the foods supposed to have the greatest health benefits

WE’VE all heard of superfoods, but how much do you know about the supposed health benefits of eating them?

Here’s everything you need to know about the trendy food group, including our guide to the top “superfoods.”

Superfoods, including long-term favourite blueberries, are a trendy food group which allegedly have major health benefits
Getty – Contributor

What are superfoods?

There’s no real definition behind what a superfood is, but the concept has become increasingly trendy in recent years.

The term is often used to refer to foods which are rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.

Some people believe that superfoods can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.

However, scientists and dietary experts note that no one food, no matter how rich in antioxidants, can offset the damage of a bad diet.

The NHS guide to the trendy foods notes that the term superfood has been banned on packaging unless it’s supported by scientific evidence.

Instead, many experts prefer to talk about “super diets”, with an emphasis on a balance of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods.

Even so, some people still play up the benefits of superfoods, with the antioxidant level of foods measured using the ORAC scale.

The scale was used to rate superfoods before scientists scrapped the measure because there was a lack of evidence relating to how healthy high-ORAC foods really are.

Broccoli is among the top superfoods, but how much truth is there to the health claims behind the vegetable?
Getty – Contributor

What are some of the top “superfoods”?

There’s no definitive guide to the ultimate superfoods, but there are some contenders which keep cropping up.

These are some of the most-touted superfoods, and what the NHS says about how good they really are for you…

Blueberries

The original superfood, blueberries are a good source of vitamins and antioxidants.

While they are brilliant as one of your five-a-day, dietitians agree that the evidence of any other big health benefits is inconclusive.

Kale

Another hyped-up superfood, kale is packed full of nutrients, including a shedload of bone-boosting vitamin K.

As healthy as kale is, the real trick to keeping well is eating the leaves as part of a varied diet.

Goji berries

These shrivelled little berries are supposedly capable of boosting life expectancy and brain activity – and has even been claimed to protect against heart disease and cancer.

But no serious studies have ever reinforced these claims, leading dietitians to recommend getting a range of fruits and veg rather than relying on Goji berries alone.

Shrivelled goji berries are more expensive than most other fruits – but no healthier
Getty – Contributor

Green tea

A traditional medicine, green tea is touted as being richer in antioxidants than other type of tea.

The truth is that evidence about the tea’s health benefits are inconclusive, and it shouldn’t really be viewed any differently to a mug of English Breakfast.

Broccoli

Now a bizarrely trendy vegetable, broccoli lovers reckon the vegetable can fight cancer, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

More research is needed before these claims can be taken seriously, but broc is undoubtedly nutritious – and a great choice as part of a balanced diet.

Garlic

Cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, colds and even cancer: garlic lovers say the vampire-repellent onion has it all.

But current evidence suggests that garlic supplements aren’t likely to have any marked effect on your health – although it’s obviously great as a flavouring.

Wheatgrass

Allegedly, wheatgrass is more nutritious than any other vegetable, and can build red blood cells and improve circulation.

But the evidence suggests that wheatgrass is no better for you than any other one of your five-a-day, and should be viewed as any other vegetable would be.

Wheatgrass is often consumed as a shot, with fans claiming it’s healthier than all other vegetables
Photolibrary RM – Getty

When is Superfoods: The Real Story on Channel 4?

Superfoods: The Real Story airs at 8.30pm on Monday, August 21.

The show follows Kate Quilton on her quest to find the truth behind the trendiest food trends on the globe.

Cancer Myth 2: Superfoods prevent cancer


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