The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre strongly supports the comments made by Professor Tim Crowe from Deakin University. His comments were published recently in the Geelong Advertiser - grab an apple and read on............
'IT’S no toss up! Superfoods are super silly, so save your money and munch on an ordinary apple instead.
Deakin scientists have debunked claims acai and goji berries can prevent cancer, and that wheatgrass and other “super juices” will radically improve your health.
Researchers from the university’s School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences say expensive goji berries have no more vitamin C than oranges, so-called super juices have fewer antioxidants than apples, and skolling wheatgrass juice is no better for you than eating a bit of broccoli with your dinner.
Nutrition scientist and dietitian Tim Crowe said the suggestion that one 30ml “shot” of wheatgrass was nutritionally equivalent to 1kg of vegetables was “complete and utter nonsense”.
Speaking at Deakin’s Geelong waterfront campus last night, Associate Professor Crowe said “superfood” was an overused marketing term with no legal definition and absolutely no meaning among nutrition scientists.
There had been no human studies conducted to back up claims acai berries had anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, or that goji berries had anti-ageing properties and could improve vision and fertility, he said.
“Beware of exorbitant health claims made about miracle exotic foods that have little scientific evidence to support them. Such claims are typically associated with expensive boutique foods,” Prof Crowe said.
“There’s no such thing as a superfood. We should be thinking super diets instead. Rather than focusing on the effect of a single nutrient or heavily marketed and hyped superfood, you are much better to focus on the total effect of food on your health.”
He told the Geelong Advertiser consumers should be aware they were being ripped off when they bought expensive foods and juices claiming to have “super” health benefits.
“The real super foods are ones you find every day in the fruit and vegie section of the supermarket, foods like apples and oranges,” Prof Crowe said.
A diet rich in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy, cabbage and radishes, offered potent cancer protection while oats were low in fat, high in fibre and a good source of protein and B-group vitamins, he said.
Nuts, seeds, tea, fish, fresh berries, soy, tomatoes and yoghurt were also good for health, Prof Crowe said.
The good news was that a plate of fish with vegies for dinner, followed by a few squares of dark chocolate for sweets, was about as super as food was, he said.
Super rip offs:
- So called ‘super’ juices
- Goji berries
- Acai berries
- Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli & cauliflower
- Nuts and seeds
- Tea (black and green)
- Dark chocolate