Are Quinoa, Chia Seeds, and Other "Superfoods" a Scam? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-05-2013, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Mother Jones writes: 

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You've likely heard about superfoods—you know, pricey, often exotic ingredients such 

 

as açaí berries, goji berries, and chia seeds that cycle quickly in and out of the foodie spotlight. Their marketers would have you believe that these foods are key to preventing modern scourges, from heart disease to brain deterioration to cancer.

So do the health claims about superfoods withstand scientific scrutiny? And are they worth their hefty price tags?

Read the article here: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/05/are-superfoods-quinoa-chia-goji-good-for-you


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Old 06-07-2013, 09:39 AM
 
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I've begun to incorporate chia seeds into my diet. Not because they're a superfood-cure-all but because they do have some nutrients and benefits that I need. I'm desperately low on iron, and it's only dropping as this pregnancy progresses. I've had ridiculous constipation so far, so I need the fiber. And the omega-3's are an added bonus. And I try to get these benefits from other food sources as well. I'm not betting the house on any one thing.

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Old 06-07-2013, 10:40 AM
 
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Chia seeds are awesome. I don't care about the "superfood" value - they hit the same happy spot for me as tapioca, and are undeniably healthier than that.

 

I think I'm going to try to grow my own, and avoid the "superfood" cost premium.


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Old 06-07-2013, 01:35 PM
 
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Superfood super industry bums me out. greensad.gif so many of those can be cultivated in the U.S, so the whole deal of importing it is unfortunate in so many ways: preventable job deficit, pollution, inadvertently destroying entire cultures by making their main food sources unaffordable, and fat pockets getting fatter.

Quinoa, millet and amaranth are pretty widely growable. Even berries and greens!
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:16 PM
 
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They do say that only about 1% of the plants growing in the Amazonian forest have been explored for their health and medical benefits and that locals believe every ailment has a natural cure. While I disagree with how trendy superfoods or any exotic food items for that matter impact the lives of the locals (e.g. traveling in Colombia and Bolivia, you can barely find a good cup of coffee, mostly instant Nescafe... because all good coffee is exported and it's at such a high price point that locals can't afford it anymore), I do believe that some of them have great health benefits and they should be explored, and when possible harvested in other parts of the world with similar climates. Ultimately, that's how tomatoes, potatoes and corn became staple foods in Europe and they've only been grown there for a few centuries. 

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Old 06-07-2013, 02:20 PM
 
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I don't believe in the concept of superfoods as such. I eat lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and I get what I need from that. I do think it's a bit strange that the author of this article harps on about how wonderful it is that quinoa is a complete protein. It is a decades-old myth that most plant-based sources of protein are "incomplete." A lot of seemingly reputable sources are still propagating that myth, but I wish people would do a bit more research before repeating it.

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