There is no scientific definition of a superfood. Foods that have slipped into this category are acai, cacao powder and goji berries and they have done so because it is believed that they contain higher than usual levels of much-needed vitamins and minerals and also anti-oxidants. Five years ago foods that made up this list included Kale, salmon and blueberries. As our consumption of these superfoods increased more and more exotic sounding superfoods have emerged and in our masses, we have rushed and bought them too. We are easily influenced by the name of a product and of course, a buzzword like “superfoods” would get us to stand to attention. But just how super are these foods. This week I will be completing a series of blogs where I’ll break down the top 5 common “superfoods”
Let us start off with – Acai
It sounds exotic, it is expensive, its sold in tablet form it must be good right?? Let us compare the exotic acai fruit with the common blueberry.
Composition per Cup (340g)
- Calories – 84
- Carbohydrates – 21g (4g dietary fibre and 15g sugar)
- Protein – 1g
- Vitamin C- 30% of RDI
- Vitamin E – 8%
- Rich in Manganese – 20% of the RDI
- Calories – 125
- Fat – 2.4g
- Carbohydrates – 28.8g (4g dietary fibre 20.8g)
- Protein – 0.8g
- B12, B6 thiamine and riboflavin – 12.5% of RDI
- Vitamin C – 25% of RDI
- Folate – 12.5% of RDI
So the blueberry is lower in sugar which contributes greatly to the calorie content it contains no fat, it is higher in protein contributes 30% of your RDI of vitamin C, the same quantity of broccoli would give you 506% of your RDI. They contain 8% of our RDI of vitamin E per 340g, Every gram of almonds contributes 1% of your RDI of Vitamin E. Blueberries also contain 20% of manganese. Although at a glance this does seem beneficial know that mussels contain 340% of our RDI per 85g.
As for the Acai berry, it appears to come out on top for the presence of B vitamins – B12, B6, Riboflavin and Thiamine but did you know that you can contribute greatly to your RDI of these by consuming a fortified breakfast cereal or fortified milk? They do not contain as much vitamin C as the blueberry and folate can also be found in those fortified cereals.
So in the battle of the berries, it appears that the blueberry has come out on top but even so it is by no means “super”. There is a variety of vitamins and one mineral in a sufficient quantity to be considered but by eating a balanced diet these RDA’s could be achieved without the dent in your purses.