The Internet celebrity food that Pamela is eating at the top of the fitness industry, stop using it as a weight loss secret

Girls who practice with Pamela should also pay attention to Pamela's healthy recipes.

The chia seeds and raw cocoa that Pamela often eats are called "Superfoods" and are "comparable to their peers" with superheroes.

▲ Picture from: Keep

Not only that, "first-generation Internet celebrities" avocados, blueberries, "evergreens" acai berries, kale, the familiar wolfberry, green tea, ganoderma lucidum, and then to the niche track's moringa, noni fruit… Superfood camp increasingly rich.

Super food has been popular in the European and American food industry for a long time, and it has gradually become known to the Chinese people in recent years. It has appeared on the dining table of supermodels and fitness crowds, and has been on Instagram and Xiaohongshu, but this concept has always been controversial——

Is it super nutrition or super marketing?

superfood is just one kind of food

Where do superfoods come from?

Harvard's TH Chan School believes that it came not from scientists and nutritionists, but from United Fruit's marketing of bananas before and after World War I. In their claims, bananas are nutritious and even treat celiac disease, but the current treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet.

To this day, there are still no scientifically rigorous standards for superfoods. In 2007, the European Union banned the marketing of products as "superfoods" unless there was a health claim backed by credible scientific research.

Generally speaking, superfoods are considered to be "foods with higher nutritional value than ordinary foods," providing a variety of important nutrients, including essential nutrients that cannot be produced in the human body, to benefit individual health and prevent chronic diseases.

But the broad definition makes "super" itself ambiguous, and no one can tell exactly what the boundary between it and ordinary is.

▲ Classification of super foods. Image from: Super Nutrients

At least it is certain that "super" is not omnipotent. Some superfoods may indeed have higher nutrient content than similar foods, but this does not mean that a single food can meet all the nutritional needs of the human body, much less that All diseases are eliminated.

Just like chia seeds, they have higher calcium content, more dietary fiber than oatmeal, and protein comparable to soybeans and meat. They have antioxidant effects and contain Omega-3 fatty acids that cannot be synthesized by the human body. Acid reduces the absorption and utilization of calcium, which is why it contains more calcium but is not as good as milk .

However, superfoods are highly related to nutrition and health, and there is enough commercial power to flood in.

There are superfood brands such as Sunfood, Super Nutrients, OMG Superfoods, and Creative Nature abroad.

Because superfoods are regional and focus on origin, Sunfood's cooperative farms are spread all over the world , from South America, the Middle East, West Africa to the Philippine Islands; so that "no one is left out of healthy snacks anymore", a major feature of Creative Nature products is that they do not . Contains 14 major allergens including gluten and dairy .

▲ Picture from: Creative Nature

There are also local superfood brands such as SO ACAI and Soileta in China.

SO ACAI was established in 2017 as a healthy snack restaurant with superfoods at its core, and has since offered popular products such as smoothie bowls and plant-based milk coffee. During the epidemic, SO ACAI often shared popular science and recipe videos. In the process of creating content, it was observed that people's attention to health was on the rise, so they naturally transformed in-store light food into packaged food and developed online business.

▲ Picture from: SO ACAI

When niche markets mature, big companies won't miss the opportunity to step in.

In April 2020, Nestlé launched the "nesQino" personalized healthy drink program, which includes superfood sachets and basic sachets made with quick-freezing and drying technology for people to quickly DIY hot and cold drinks; in 2018, the healthy snack brand Health Warrior was approved by PepsiCo . Acquisition , its signature product is Chia Seed Cereal Bars.

▲ image description. Image from: nestle

According to Mordor Intelligence research data , the global superfood market will be valued at US$152.71 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach US$214.95 billion in 2027, of which North America is the largest market and the Asia-Pacific region is the fastest growing market.

▲ Image from: Mordor Intelligence

It's one thing that superfoods are nutritious, and the other way around.

Businesses often claim that chia seeds have weight loss benefits, but nothing has been proven in a 12-week clinical trial.

The import volume of avocados in China was only 31.8 tons in 2011, and reached 43,900 tons in 2018. It is inseparable from the phrases such as "forest cream from the southern hemisphere" and the refined lifestyle it implies.

In 1991, the U.S. Department of Agriculture endorsed the antioxidant power of blueberries, stating that antioxidants reduce the number of harmful free radicals in the body. But after confirming that not all antioxidant functions are related to free radical activity, they deleted the database . Sales were only slightly affected, and until 2016, blueberry production continued to grow every year.

In the final analysis, super food is just a kind of food, don't be superstitious about its "super".

SO ACAI founders Maggie and TaoTao told Aifaner that the primary feature of superfoods is that they are nutrient dense. While acknowledging the nutrition of superfoods, they should not be deified:

Many people are obsessed with the benefits of superfoods. In fact, they are a type of food with high nutrient density. They are part of the diet and a way to supplement nutrients. It is as normal as eating white rice. No need to cook deliberately, you can take 3-5 grams or 1-2 tablespoons each time and sprinkle it on any food, such as water, juice, yogurt, toast, etc.

Master of Food Science and Engineering, UP Master @Luzhu Xiaochang also pointed out that superfoods should be part of a balanced diet and serve as icing on the cake instead of helping them out.

"Eat food, mainly plants, not too much"

"Around 1995, processed foods rich in unnatural ingredients contributed to disease, obesity and general ill health in many people."

This is the background that superfood brand Sunfood claims to be founded on.

The relationship between highly processed foods with artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, preservatives, etc., and health is not entirely cause and effect, but it does have a correlation. From 1998 to 2009, the number of mentions of the term "obese" in The New York Times tripled .

▲ Macaroni and cheese with artificial food coloring.

Healthy, clean, nutritious, natural, additive-free… These are also keywords that today's superfood brands will emphasize.

This represents a quest for whole foods and a wariness of highly processed foods.

Superfoods aren't "all natural" either. What superfood brands do is to select good ingredients, good craftsmanship, and to reduce unnecessary processing and preserve nutrients to a greater extent.

▲ Picture from: clevelandclinic

Take flaxseed as an example, it is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, but Omega-3 fatty acids are easily affected by temperature. At the same time, flax seeds need to be cooked and ground for consumption, because raw flax seeds are slightly toxic, and the shell is hard and difficult to absorb without grinding.

Combining these characteristics, SO ACAI's flax meal uses a custom process, and it is matured at a low temperature below 50 degrees, which is different from the more than 100 degrees of many commercially available products.

The negative examples of overprocessing abound. "Super juices" made from acai, noni and pomegranate may have a lot of added sugar ; freshly brewed green tea contains a variety of antioxidants, but bottled green tea is often brewed with low-quality tea and lots of sugar.

Diet author Michael Pollan points out in his book "In Defense of Food": Eat food, plant-based, and not too much.

But aren't we all food?

In Michael Pollan's view , food refers to natural foods like apples and cauliflower, not processed foods like cola, potato chips, and white bread. Although his attitude is slightly radical, it does not prevent appropriate reference.

A similar point of view is that many superfoods are all around us, and we should pursue seasonal and local ingredients, rather than clinging to certain Internet celebrity superfoods, such as @Arielle, an Australian registered dietitian and blogger of Xiaohongshu. said :

Be safe and honest, eat organic fresh local food in season, eat less processed food, and eat five different vegetables and fruits every day. It's good to add some superfoods to this foundation, there's no need to put the cart before the horse and pay high prices for so-called processed superfoods.

Moreover, superfoods are "discovered" rather than "invented", and there may be more and more local superfoods.

Maggie told Ai Faner: "Maybe with some changes in eating habits, more and more different superfoods will be discovered. In the past two years, domestic Hericium erinaceus and Ganoderma lucidum are particularly popular abroad."

Another interesting example is that blueberries often topped superfood lists a few years ago, but studies have shown that blueberry nutrients are also present in berries such as strawberries and cranberries. Experimental psychologist Barbara Shukitt-Hale believes that blueberries originally topped the list purely because it was being studied more frequently.

In addition, those foods that do not have the title of "super" are equally nutritious and open to our exploration.

Dietitian Megan Ware says we can incorporate superfoods into a variety of healthy diets if we can, but don't overspend or search too far for the humble apple or carrot.

Aside from the controversial crown of "super", in a larger framework, superfoods are an entry point for us to understand healthy eating, allowing us to consciously pay attention to the nutritional value of the food we eat.

▲ Picture from: "Diet Men and Women"

Superfoods do not often appear in our accustomed diet system, and with a little middle-class temperament, many people consider things other than milk tea and coffee after eating and drinking. If you want to try it, of course, there is no problem. If you lack interest, they are not irreplaceable.

Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in seed foods such as pumpkin seeds, not only chia seeds to supplement; spinach, like kale, is a dark green leafy vegetable.

In addition, nutritionist Gu Zhongyi pointed out that although avocados are indeed very special among fruits, it is a healthy choice to use avocados instead of fatty meat or sauces with more sugar and salt, but eating more soy products, fruits and nuts can be completely replaced. For the nutrition of avocado, there is no need to over-respect a single food, and a diversified diet is more worthy of promotion.

With or without superfoods, an ideal diet should be plant-based and include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy animal products.

Health is a marketing label and a real need

"You are what you eat" is a popular saying in the West. In the 1960s, it was embraced by hippies and used as a slogan for healthy eating; we have also had the idea of ​​"medicine and food come together" since ancient times.

Sometimes beliefs about diet are so strong. The most common behavior of "eating" is not only for food and taste, but also a pursuit of health.

As early as 1936, Fortune magazine wrote : "Eating not for enjoyment, but for health, is undoubtedly a fundamental characteristic of America's origin: the fear of getting sick. There is such a rush to believe that, by a certain way of eating, A joyful and energetic life.” This statement applies today as well.

The 2020 "Generation Z Nutrition Consumption Trend Report" shows that there are not many Gen Z who are "satisfied with their nutritional status", but Gen Z is willing to invest in health. Urban permanent residents spend an average of more than 1,000 yuan per year on health and wellness, of which 83.7% are 18 to 35 years old.

Whole-wheat bread, whole grain biscuits, sugar-free drinks, ginseng staying up late, water… More "born for health" foods have been discovered or invented, and superfoods are one of them. .

According to Huaying Capital , newly established packaged food brands in recent years are inseparable from the labels of high protein, gluten-free, dairy-free and low-carb. Almost all categories are facing a healthy industrial upgrade.

At the same time, the requirements for food are escalating. From losing weight, to improving sleep, boosting mood, preventing chronic diseases, and improving immunity, "diet therapy" is always an easy-to-use and persistent method.

▲ Picture from:

Health is a marketing label and a real need. The two are inextricably linked and cyclical like chicken and egg. But what does the grand concept of health mean?

In TaoTao's view, there are two main points to achieve health, one is to have a balanced nutrition and intake of various types of nutrients; the other is to find a way of eating that suits you:

It is customary to eat rice in China, but not everyone adapts to this way of eating. You can try to record your physical condition, such as what you eat every day, what food is acceptable, what food is uncomfortable, and then choose the way that suits you according to your body's response. We are no longer like the past, everyone eats rice and I eat it too Rice, or if everyone eats bread, I also eat bread.

▲ Picture from: "Diet Men and Women"

For TaoTao, breakfast may choose avocado with oatmeal, or millet porridge with chia seeds, lunch and dinner are basically solved at home, prefer light taste and often eat deep-sea fish. In hot summer, she used to make a glass of smoothie with oatmeal, bran and protein powder.

There is no shortage of people who stick to a healthy diet as happy as drinking milk tea, but in most cases, junk food is an important reward for nervous system approval, and eating healthy is a long-term habit that comes with more control and self The restraint reminds people of the phrase "Such great temptations, we can only restrain them with good virtues" in "The Narrow Gate".

▲ Picture from: nytimes

However, physical health is not only affected by dietary habits, and it is impossible to sit back and relax only through certain foods.

Dylan MacKay, Ph.D. in human nutrition, believes that people often overestimate the immediate effects of what they eat while underestimating their long-term effects. In addition, there are many factors that affect health, and diet is only one of them. Environment, physical activity and genes all play a role.

Keep your mouth shut and open your legs, it's only a six-character mantra, but it's also worth mentioning again.

The so-called health, is such a need to do things personally.

Li Ruoqiuhuang, to exorcise evil. Working email: [email protected]

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