The panacea for our health or a fiasco?

They are the superheroes of the world of nutrition, the panacea that prevents and heals all diseases and has, according to many argue. We are talking about superfoods, a bombastic and attractive label that hangs on some fruits, vegetables, algae, cereals or drinks, and that pretends to indicate that we are facing an extraordinary source of health thanks to its unique contribution, for example, of vitamins or minerals. Among them, there would be products such as cocoa, blueberries, quinoa, Andean maca or chia seeds.

But what do the specialists think about it? The answers are framed in a diffuse gray area in which the experts, without refuting the undeniable benefits they contain, also point out what is the true role they should occupy in the diet. Which, by the way, “would have to be shared with the rest of the traditional products, since those known as superfoods are poor or even lack essential nutrients,” says Sara Martinez, professor of Nutrition at the European University of Madrid.

If with this affirmation the specialist already sows the doubt on the superiority that is attributed to them, with the following one it puts in check: “Although they enjoy a rich composition in the denominated functional ingredients, that favor the good march of the organism, the certain thing is that neither heal nor save lives.

Nor Bárbara Romano, dietitian-nutritionist Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, defends the supremacy of these products and is cautious when praising their properties. In addition, he argues that “the concept in itself can confuse the consumer to make him believe that just by eating a lot of one of these items your health will improve, which could lead to reduce or eliminate from the menus other foods equally beneficial, with the deficiencies that would bring”.

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Meanwhile, Laia Gomez, dietitian-nutritionist Alimmenta Clínica Barcelona, noted in the consultation a widespread phenomenon:  “Many people think that just add these products to their meals to offset imbalances causing poor diet. And It is not like this”.

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