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By Iryna via Flickr

5 superfoods: should we rave or should we chase?

Superfoods or ‘functional foods’, as they’re frequently called in scientific literature, are supposedly super-concentrated and nutrient-rich foods on the planet. Here is a list of 5 raved superfoods, but are they actually good for you or is this a way in which health companies rip you off?

Camu Berry

By Srapo via Flickr

By Srapo via Flickr

Camu berry is the highest source of vitamin C on the planet, according to the Health Science Academy. They claim that those super berries enhance immunity and energy, as well as rebuild tissue and purify blood. Camu berries also considered as one of the best natural anti- depressants and eye- nourishments. The Huffingtonpost outlines though that ‘the research on camu camu is still limited’ so there is no scientific evidence to these claims.

Bee Products

By Mohammed Zaki via Flickr

By Mohammed Zaki via Flickr

Bee pollen and honey have been on shopping lists of all the raving health junkies for a while now. So maybe this is the time for us to start stocking up our cupboards? Organic honey is full of probiotics, antioxidants and minerals. Bee pollen is said to contain nearly all B vitamins and all essential amino acids, creating a complete protein out of this product. Also, the Health Sciences Academy considers it “the most complete food found in nature”! But WedMd says: “At this point, medical research has not shown that bee pollen is effective for any of these health concerns… and if you have pollen allergies, you may get more than you bargained for. Bee pollen can cause a serious allergic reaction –  including shortness of breath, hives, swelling, and anaphylaxis.”

Spirulina

By Summer Yarbrough via Flickr

By Summer Yarbrough via Flickr

This one might not look particularly appetising but it is said to be a secret health weapon. Not only it is supposed to have all of the essential amino acids but it is also a world’s highest source of complete protein (could contain up to 71%), says Health Sciences Academy. But Boots and WebMD claim: ‘Spirulina is rich in protein but you would have to consume a considerable amount of tablets for your body to get enough protein. Other forms of protein, found in animal sources, pulses, nuts, and grains, are better, less costly, alternatives’.

Cacao (raw chocolate)

By Benurse89 via Flickr

By Benurse89 via Flickr

I’m sure the word ‘chocolate’ on this list is bound to make all of you happy. But wait for it, this isn’t all I’m going to say about this product. It is the richest antioxidant on the planet. It improves cardiovascular health, builds strong bones, elevates your mood, increases energy and is even said to be a natural aphrodisiac, but this is not all! It also increases longevity. God does exist! But Alison Hornby, a dietitian and the British Dietetic Association Spokesperson, told NHS: ‘A range of health benefits from the consumption of cocoa products have been investigated, particularly in relation to cardiovascular disease, with early results showing promise. But chocolate is an energy-dense food (it combines sugar and fat) that could contribute to weight gain and a higher risk of heart disease. As an occasional treat, chocolate can be part of a healthy diet. Eaten too frequently, it is an unhealthy choice’.

Goji berries (wolfberries)

By Ricette Italia via Flickr

By Ricette Italia via Flickr

Those guys have been used in Chinese medicine for over 5000 years. They are considered as strength-building, longevity and potency-improving little guys. But dietician Alison Hornby says: “Various goji berry products are sold as health foods, but the evidence of their health benefits so far comes from scientific studies using purified extracts of the fruit at much higher concentrations than the products contain. As these products tend to be relatively costly, it makes sense to stick to eating a range of fruits and vegetables rather than spending your money on this one item with no proven health benefits”.

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