The Most Overrated Superfoods: Are They Doing More Harm Than Good?

a spoon of kefir

Superfoods are always a hot topic, as many of these foods which we regularly eat are believed to provide us with a whole host of health benefits that positively impact us in many ways. While many articles and guides out there providing information about these foods are accurate, there are just as many, if not more inaccurate sources as well.

Every year there is some superfood craze that happens, usually revolving around some forgotten, yet common food. More often than not there is some truth behind its health benefits, however they are greatly exaggerated to sell as many as these hot commodities as possible.

Ultimately when it comes to maintaining the best health as far as our diet is concerned, both the quality of the food and consistency are key. While foods such as kale, quinoa, raspberries and other foods commonly referred to as superfoods are extremely beneficial to our health, eating them sparingly alongside a diet that consists mainly of donuts and bagels isn’t going to do us much benefit.

Here are some foods which are routinely found on superfood lists’ which aren’t so super in themselves.

  1. Red Wine

Red wine is commonly found on these lists not because the drink is necessarily healthy, but because it is extremely popular and peaks the interest of many of us out there. It does have some benefits in that it is rich in antioxidants, however like virtually any other food out there we consume, quality makes all the difference.

pouring red wine The process of aging the wine properly is one which is time consuming, and in turn costly. This means that many wines out there aren’t fermented properly, with cheaper wines containing more sugar and more sulfates than alternatives.

Let’s be honest here, people aren’t drinking red wine for its health benefits, as you can get them from eating the grapes themselves. They are doing so because they enjoy drinking red wine, which there is nothing wrong with doing when done so in moderation. If you’re one of the many people out there that enjoys a nice glass of red wine with their dinner, make sure to be more choosey with your selection in the best interest of your health.

  1. Kefir

This is your typical superfood that everyone craves about one season, which then falls into obscurity the next. Kefir can be a healthy food, however there are many downfalls to this item which tend to turn many of us away.

The first thing you need to know about kefir is that it is a type of fermented cow’s milk, which means that it is an acquired taste to put it nicely. The reason why this food is considered to be healthy is because it contains so many types of probiotics, or beneficial bacteria which are essential to a healthy digestive system.

Due to the unpleasant natural taste of kefir, many kefir products contain a tremendous amount of added sugars and other sweeteners which are used to mask the taste. The type of pasteurization used in the process of creating the kefir can greatly affect the culture as well, meaning that you may not be getting as much of a benefit in eating that food as you think you are.

If you are someone who really enjoys their kefir, then you should expect to spend a little bit more in order to get the highest quality product. Look for the ones which contain the least amount of sweetener, preservatives, and any other types of additives which can affect the type of bacteria present in the food.

  1. Kombucha

This superfood makes the list because it one of the newest “cure-all” substances surrounded by wild claims that it can cure all different types of health ailments from a simple cold all the way to serious bacterial infections.

3 bottle of kombucha This is because like any other popular myth, it is based partially in truth. This type of beverage is a fermented tea, which does in fact contain a variety of beneficial bacteria that affects our health.  The problem here is that this is another huge industry as well, it too being flooded with products.

This in turn leads to strains of teas out there which not only haven’t been proven to provide humans with any health benefits, have shown the potential to be harmful as well. This is because there is no standardized method for making this tea, which means that you can make yourself sick by ingesting it.

Also you need to consider that this can happen no matter where you are sourcing the tea from, so even if you are buying the expensive stuff you are putting yourself at risk. There just are plenty of better alternatives out there, anything with vinegar or other fermented food will do the trick.

  1. Bone Broth

This is another old school “cure-all” that everyone is familiar with from the days of going over to grandma and grandpa’s house for lunch. Your grandparents probably did this because they grew up during the great depression, and bones were a cheap way to add some flavor to a broth.

Today however we are seeing the reemergence of this trend because of the perpetuation of the belief that these bones contribute a great amount of minerals and other micronutrients to the dish. While these bone broths do provide us with some benefits, there are some concerns we should be aware of as well.

The first thing to consider like with all the other items on this list, is the quality of the food in question. Depending on where the bones are sourced from, it can potentially mean something like heavy metal contamination – a major contributor to nervous system issues. Instead of worrying about potential contamination of your broth, you can make your own which is easier to do, and will be more nutritious as well.

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