In one of my articles talking about the benefits of coconut drinking vinegars, a reader wrote to me and said that she wanted to learn about superfoods that may not be so super. She said that it seems like every month there is a new super food being touted that is better and more powerful than the one highlighted before.
That got me thinking, heck yes, girl! It’s true that there are always a whole parade of new supplements or ingredients or herbs that are popping up in health food stores left and right that have claims they can fix everything from weight gain to anxiety. Every health blog you read seems to be talking about what new foods are trending, and there always seems to be more than 20 new trends at a time.
This isn’t a bad thing, per say. It means that there are so many great options out there that you can nourish yourself with (why even bother eating junk food any more?!). But it can still leave a lot of us confused. Not to mention that not all of the latest and greatest supplements and ingredients really live up to their claims.
So that left me with a new mission. What super-foods are not so super? The universe must’ve been aligned when I was thinking of this topic because my gal pal over at WCIU called just days after I thought of writing about the topic (all because of the inspiration from one of our readers – yay). She said she was just at Whole Foods and saw this new supplement but kept on hearing controversial opinions on it. Long story short my latest news segment is on Super-foods that aren’t so super! You can see the segment below, and as always I’m adding the highlights in text below.
SuperFoods That Aren’t So Super:
Soy: Soy has always been a long debated superfood. It’s extremely popular in vegan products as a protein option. It’s in tofu, edamame, protein powders and even as a milk substitute. Many people love it because of it’s amino acid and protein quantity, but it may also have some downsides. Soy acts as a phytoestrogen meaning that it can alter estrogen hormone levels in your body. Some studies have linked this to breast cancer in women. Even though I use tofu in some of my recipes, I make sure that it is organic, minimally processed, and I use it in moderation. I also like to add fermented soy into my diet (if I’m going to add it) in the form of tempeh and miso. Because the soy is fermented vs. processed, you will get probiotics and other health benefits.
Related Article: Why You Should Be Eating More Fermented Foods
Garcinia Cambogia: This is a tropical fruit that is touted as a major weight loss warrior supplement! How it works is that it is supposed to help your body’s ability to block fat storage, and it may also suppress your appetite. When consumed it blocks a specific type of enzyme that your body utilizes to create fat. It is also said to help raise your natural levels of serotonin (the happy hormone) so that you become less hungry. I did some digging and found an article in the Journal of Obesity that discusses a study done on a group of subjects and those who took this supplement only lost 2 pounds more than those who didn’t.
Because there aren’t a lot of studies, it’s hard to say if this tropical fruit works or not. Other concerns that some doctors have is that when this fruit is used in supplements, it’s hard to tell the quality of the supplement and what other types of ingredients are used in the pills. Some experts also say that it all depends on how you take it and the quantity of GC that you are taking. Pretty tedious if you ask me! My personal opinion is that you can keep weight off with optimal nutrition and exercise. This might be worthwhile to do additional research in the future, though!
MCT Oil: If you are a bullet proof coffee fan, then you probably already know about MCT oil. MCT stands for medium chain triglyceride which is a fatty acid. MCT oil is in the saturated fat family, and the jury is still out if this is a “good” or “bad” fat. A lot of health experts say MCT oil is great for you because medium chain triglycerides are easy to break down and digest so that we can use them for energy and to regulate metabolic functions.
Did you also know that MCT oil is a partially man-made fat? It is created by processing palm and coconut oil in a lab. I’m not saying that this is good or bad, but just additional information to know. Other benefits of using MCT includes helping absorption disorders if you have celiac disease or digestive issues.
Where things can get tricky is when you start to take TOO much MCT. Because it is a fat, and a saturated fat at that. There might still be a risk of increasing bad cholesterol which could lead to heart issues down the road. Since there is still a great debate on saturated vs. unsaturated fats, my personal opinion is to take it in moderation, if you will at all!
Related Article: Eat More Fat! A Complete Guide To Healthy fats
Bentonite Clay: I love using bentonite clay in my face masks, but did you know that people consume it internally as a cleanse?! This is how it works. Bentonite clay comes from the earth and when it is mixed with water it becomes activated with negative ions. This is great when used as a face mask because the activated properties of the mask pull out toxins from our skin. The same type of thought process is applied when used internally. By blending bentonite clay with water, letting it sit, and then consuming it, people believe that the negative ions pull out toxins from our intestines.
The reality is that often times bentonite clay is not processed and created in facilities that make it food grade quality, so it can come with some additional harmful ingredients if used internally. It can also have heavy metals like alluminum in the mix which you obviously don’t want to swallow! And, because it binds with properties, it could potentially bind with nutrients in your system instead of allowing your body to absorb them.
So even though these are just four superfoods that may not completely live up to their claims, there are tons more out there to explore. If there are any specific types of herbs, plants, or ingredients that you want to learn more about please always feel free to tell me in the comments or give me a holler on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook! We always love writing about what our readers want to learn more about!