Taking the SUPER Out of Superfoods

Updated: Oct 21


Marketing is a powerful tool that can influence people for better or for worse. It can feel overwhelming to be a consumer in the face of clever marketing campaigns. Bright and shiny packaging and campaigns with flashy buzzwords can make it difficult to separate fact from fiction, and it seems as though every year, there is a “new superfood” making headlines (and making your food shop cost more), but what does it mean?





What is a superfood?

Here’s the hard truth: the term superfood is a made-up term. It’s a marketing strategy to promote food trends and sell products. There is no definition, no evidence, and no science behind the term superfood. While it is typically given to foods with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but there are no guidelines or criteria for classifying food as a superfood. That’s not to say that many foods that are marketed with the term aren’t nutritious or can be beneficial to your health, like kale, chia seeds, broccoli, and beetroot.

Labelling foods with superfood can give a “health-halo effect”, where we assume that a product is nutritious, when it may not deserve the title, such as: “Superfood Kale Crisps” or “Chocolate Chia Superfood Cookies”. These may be no less indulgent, but likely less satisfying than your typical crisps or cookies and can lead to over-eating them because they “feel” healthier. There’s no backlash to labelling foods as a superfood, and some brands show little to no accountability when they use the buzzword claim.


Our take: The way we see it, there are three important things to remember:


1. Eating foods labelled superfood can be a part of a healthy diet – as long as it’s not the only thing you eat. Eat a variety of nutritious foods to make sure you get all the nutrients you need.


2. Eating one or two superfoods won’t counteract an unhealthy diet.


3. There is no single food to rule them all, and no single food that is the secret to good health.


But there are super nutritious foods, which can positively impact your health and wellbeing. At Sproutd, we’ve taken every effort to be transparent to our customers, because you are at the heart of every decision we make. We want to make a product that adds value to your life, and one that we feel comfortable eating and sharing with our friends and family. That’s why we’ve thrown out the labels.

While we think our products are pretty… super, you won’t find us calling them superfoods, and we challenge you to rethink the superfood title.


Here’s why sprouts are super nutritious:


  • Increased nutrients: The nutrient profile of seeds changes during sprouting, making healthy food even healthier. In most cases, the vitamin, mineral, and protein content of sprouts are higher than their unsprouted counterparts!


  • Better digestion: Sprouting can also change the fibre content of seeds, grains, and legumes. Fibre is a key part of a healthy gut as it helps move things along... and it makes you feel fuller, for longer. Not only does sprouting result in higher fibre content, but it decreases antinutrients, making it easier for your gut to absorb nutrients from your food!


  • Heart health: in several animals and some small human studies, consuming broccoli sprouts has shown promise improving blood cholesterol levels. While it is still early days, this is a promising step towards a healthier heart!



These blog posts are not intended to replace the advice or personalised information from a health professional. If you have further questions or require personalised advice, please seek guidance from your doctor or dietitian.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28370158

http://www.ifrj.upm.edu.my/23%20(01)%202016/(38).pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3435786/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22325157

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4484045/

https://www.bupa.co.uk/newsroom/ourviews/how-to-include-more-superfoods-in-your-diet

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/superfoods/

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