” Having so many nutrients and flavor in such a small plant really puts microgreens into the superfood category for me.”

Brad Leone, Chef

The Pros and Cons of Superfoods

advantages and disadvantages of superfoods

Superfoods (sometimes also called power foods) is a marketing term that refers to the health benefits of certain foods. Those foods often contain plenty of vitamins and nutrients that are quite helpful for our body and our brain.

Superfoods have become quite popular over the past years. However, despite the fact that superfoods have several advantages, they also imply some downsides.

In this article, the pros and cons of superfoods are examined in detail.

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Advantages of Superfoods

  1. Better overall feeling
  2. Ability to concentrate may improve
  3. Increase in physical strengths
  4. Reduction of adverse effects of free radicals
  5. Lower probability for certain diseases
  6. Increase in life expectancy
  7. Can be helpful for certain diets
  8. Mitigation of the obesity problem
  9. Better immune system
  10. Superfoods may slow down aging
  11. Improvements in knowledge regarding nutrition

Better overall feeling

One important advantage of superfoods is that you will feel much better overall. Many people might not have noticed it yet, but our nutrition has a vast influence on our overall well-being.

For instance, if you only eat fast food and other unhealthy food, chances are that you will be rather tired and unmotivated all day long.

However, if you are aware of how important your diet really is, you might rather avoid those unhealthy foods and use superfoods instead.

By doing so, you will have much more power in your daily life. Especially if you are currently eating rather unhealthily, try to switch to a healthier lifestyle for a few days.

You will be surprised how much better you will feel after just a few days and will likely continue to eat healthily in order to sustain this good feeling in your daily life.

Ability to concentrate may improve

Superfoods may also improve your ability to focus on certain important topics. For instance, if you work in a demanding job where you have to execute many tasks in a short period of time and cannot afford any mistakes, superfoods can help you to stay focused and motivated, especially in difficult times when it seems like you will never be able to finish your work in time.

Thus, superfoods are a great way to support and motivate yourself in stressful periods of your life.

Increase in physical strengths

Superfoods are not only good for our mental state, but they are also quite beneficial for our physical strengths. Our body only works properly if it gets plenty of precious nutrients, vitamins and other components. Since a mix of different superfoods will develop all of those substances to your body, your physical strength is also likely to increase over time.

Moreover, you will likely feel much fitter by relying on superfoods instead of unhealthy fast food, which gives you a higher level of motivation to achieve your goals in life.

Reduction of adverse effects of free radicals

Free radicals are a great problem for our health. Among others, they contribute to serious diseases like cancer. Thus, in order to lower the chance for those diseases, using superfoods can be a great way to do so since they often contain large amounts of antioxidants that are known to mitigate the adverse effects of free radicals on our body.

Therefore, through the consumption of antioxidants from superfoods, everyone of us can significantly lower the probability to be hit by a serious disease.

Lower probability for certain diseases

Since superfoods are known to contain a variety of beneficial components, they can vastly lower the chance for a variety of diseases.

Especially if you not only consume one sort of superfood but combine the different ones, chances are that your body and your brain will stay healthy and powerful, which will vastly improve your quality of life.

Increase in life expectancy

Since the chances for serious diseases can be lowered through the use of superfoods, also the overall average life expectancy tends to increase for people who consume those superfoods.

Especially for people who previously consumed large amounts of junk food, the switch to superfoods can have significant positive effects on their life expectancy, which may increase many years due to this switch to a healthy diet.

Can be helpful for certain diets

Superfoods may also be suitable if you want to engage in certain diets. For instance, if you want to become vegetarian or even vegan, superfoods are a great way to assure all the supply with all vitamins and nutrients needs to stay healthy.

Since most of the superfoods come from plants anyway, they are perfect supplements for all kinds of vegetarian or vegan diets.

Mitigation of the obesity problem

Obesity is a great problem in our nowadays society, especially in our rich Western world. Billions of people around the world suffer from overweight and its implied adverse health consequences.

Superfoods can solve this problem to a certain extent since they often only contain low amounts of calories, which is quite beneficial if you want to use weight.

Thus, by avoiding fast food and other food items that are rich in calories and by switching to superfoods instead, people may be able to lose plenty of weight in a rather short period of time.

Better immune system

Superfoods may also contribute to a better overall immune system. In our daily life, we all get in touch with all sorts of bacteria and other organisms which may potentially be able to harm our health.

However, our immune system often does a great job to defend our body from diseases. The stronger our immune system, the lower the chances to get sick.

Since superfoods contain plenty of components that are known to strengthen our immune system, consuming those foods may be a great way to stay healthy and lower the chances to get sick.

Superfoods may slow down aging

Our nutrition also has a significant effect on our aging. People who only consume low-quality food will look much older on average compared to people who really care about their diet and avoid consuming fast food and other low-quality food items.

Thus, if you want to keep your looks and look young for a longer period of time, you should take good care of your body and eat plenty of superfoods.

Improvements in knowledge regarding nutrition

A switch in diets also often increases the knowledge of people regarding their nutrition. For instance, if you switch from a rather unhealthy diet to a superfood diet, chances are that you will inform yourself in order to figure out what to buy, how to cook it and so on.

All this will lead to a state where you will be able to acquire plenty of knowledge regarding your diet. This knowledge will be quite helpful for your later life since you will tend to eat healthier, even if you might want to switch away from superfood at one point in time.

Disadvantages of Superfood

  1. Unrealistic expectations
  2. Incorrect treatment of serious diseases
  3. Superfoods cannot replace a doctor
  4. Too much of those superfoods may even hurt your health
  5. Superfoods can be expensive
  6. Limited variety of products
  7. Currently hyped
  8. Flawed promises from companies
  9. Superfoods are not a magic pill
  10. Superfoods are a long-term game
  11. Superfood lifestyle may be time-consuming
  12. Superfood labels can be misused

Unrealistic expectations

As we can see from the previous argumentation, superfoods have plenty of advantages and can improve our overall quality of life. However, superfoods can also have serious disadvantages. For instance, one problem of superfoods is that people often have quite unrealistic expectations regarding the power of those foods.

Yes, superfoods can improve our overall health level, yet they will not heal your body from one day to another. Eating healthy is a long-term process and the true effects will take many weeks or even months to develop.

Moreover, even though superfoods can lower the chances for certain diseases, there is no guarantee that you will stay healthy forever and you may still suffer from serious diseases over the course of your life, especially when you get older.

Incorrect treatment of serious diseases

Another danger of superfoods is that people may use them as a tool to cure their diseases. Although superfoods can have positive health effects, some serious diseases require further treatment and relying on superfoods alone will often not be sufficient to cure those diseases.

Thus, if people think they can cure those diseases solely by relying on superfoods, many people may die sooner or later due to a lack of proper medical treatment.

Superfoods cannot replace a doctor

Superfoods also cannot replace the consultation with a doctor. Especially if you suffer from serious diseases, you should always attend a doctor and ask him or her for advice in order to maximize your healing chances.

Relying on the consumption of superfoods without consulting a doctor is dangerous and may lead to serious trouble and adverse long-term health effects. Thus, always consult a doctor if you suffer from serious diseases since superfoods will likely not do the job!

Too much of those superfoods may even hurt your health

As with many things in life, the consumption of excessive amounts of superfoods can even hurt your health rather than to improve it. Superfoods are a great way to move your diet in the right direction and you should try to use superfoods as a component of your diet.

However, solely relying on just one sort of superfoods can hurt your health. Instead, try to consume as many different superfoods as possible in order to ensure the optimal supply with vitamins and nutrients in order to improve your overall health level.

Superfoods can be expensive

Superfoods have become quite popular over the past years. As with many things, the popularity of superfoods also increased the demand and therefore the prices for it.

Thus, if you want to heavily rely on superfoods for your diet, chances are that you will have to spend significant amounts of money every month. Keep this in mind, especially if you are at a budget and do not have too much money for food right now.

Limited variety of products

Although the variety of superfood products increased significantly over the past years, there is still a quite confined selection of superfoods, especially in conventional grocery stores.

Thus, you may have difficulties to find all the superfoods you want to buy in just a single store. Instead, you might have to attend specialized organic superfood stores since they often have a much broader selection of superfoods you can choose from.

Currently hyped

Another issue with superfoods is that they are currently hyped. This alone is not a bad thing. However, it can be problematic since many people will tell you all kinds of myths related to superfoods and many of them will just be not true.

Especially when it comes to curing diseases, plenty of myths are spread across the general public, which can be quite dangerous since people might rely solely on superfoods to cure serious diseases, which is often not a good idea at all.

Flawed promises from companies

Companies always try to exploit the latest trends in order to maximize their profits. This is also true when it comes to superfoods. Many food companies try to make their products look quite healthy and make flawed promises regarding the health level of those food items.

In many cases, those foods aren’t that healthy and you should take great care and inform yourself before buying certain foods that look good on paper, but aren’t too good for your health at all.

Superfoods are not a magic pill

People also often search for the magic pill which can solve all their problems. The same is true when it comes to superfoods. Many people take it way to far and expect miracles from the consumption of those food items.

Although superfoods can reduce the risk for certain health issues, they are not a magic pill to solve problems and people should not solely rely on those foods but rather take additional actions in order to move their overall lifestyle in a healthier direction.

Superfoods are a long-term game

Many people also live in the illusion that they only have to consume superfoods for a certain period of time before switching back to an unhealthy diet.

However, the positive effects of superfoods will vanish straight after you abandon the consumption of it. Thus, if you want to stay healthy in the long run, you will also have to engage in a healthy diet basically forever.

Superfood lifestyle may be time-consuming

Since you will struggle to get all the superfoods you want from a single store, it might be quite time-consuming to attend several different stores in order to ensure your supply with those foods.

This is especially true for regions where superfoods are not popular yet since shops in those areas will often have a quite limited selection of superfoods available for you.

Superfood labels can be misused

The term superfood is not clearly defined and therefore, many companies may advertise their products to be made out of superfoods while those products may just be common food products and may not have any health benefits at all.

Thus, if you are in a grocery store, make sure that those products are actually healthy by looking at the ingredients instead of just relying on the promises and labels of food producers.

Top 10 List of Superfoods you should know

  1. Nuts
  2. Fish
  3. Whole grains
  4. Berries
  5. Tomatoes
  6. Beans
  7. Cruciferous veggies
  8. Yogurt
  9. Plant oils
  10. Leafy greens

Nuts

Source of plant proteins and unsaturated fats, which are known to decrease the risk of heart diseases.

Fish

Contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which are crucial for the healthy development of our body and our brain.

Whole grains

Whole grains like quinoa or bulgur contain high amounts of fiber, vitamin B and other beneficial compounds, which may protect our body against diabetes and heart diseases.

Berries

Contain plenty of antioxidants, which are pretty helpful to lower the risk for heart conditions and cancer since they can protect against free radicals.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain plenty of lycopene, which can help to prevent certain kinds of cancer.

Beans

Beans contain high amounts of folate, fiber and protein. They are known to decrease the risk of heart diseases.

Cruciferous veggies

Vegetables like cauliflower or broccoli contain phytochemicals that are known to lower the chance for cancer.

Yogurt

Yogurt contains natural probiotics that are beneficial for our digestive system. Since many of our diseases come from an unhealthy gut system, the consumption of yogurt can be an easy way to improve your overall health level.

Plant oils

Plant oils like olive oil contain plenty of unsaturated fatty acids, which can reduce the risk of heart conditions.

Leafy greens

Leafy greens like spinach contain significant amounts of fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals which are known to lower the chance for certain types of cancer.

Top 10 Superfood Pros & Cons – Summary List

Superfood ProsSuperfood Cons
Better feelingUnrealistic expectations
More powerMisleading claims
Higher mental capacitiesSuperfoods are no magic pill
Better ability to focusFlawed beliefs
Decreased risk for serious diseasesNot sufficient to cure serious health issues
Increase in life expectancyMay be time-consuming
Increase in knowledge regarding nutritionHigh prices for superfoods
Superfoods may slow down agingLimited variety of superfood products
Stronger immune systemMay even hurt your health
Mitigation of obesityLong-term game

Conclusion

Superfoods have become quite popular over the past decade and may continue to play an important role in the future since people become increasingly aware of what they want to eat.

Even though superfoods have many important advantages, there are also some problems related to them.

Thus, before relying on a superfood diet, check out all the pros and cons in order to evaluate whether superfoods are the right way to go for you or not.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfood

https://www.livescience.com/34693-superfoods.html

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/true-superfoods

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/10-superfoods-to-boost-a-healthy-diet-2018082914463

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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