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Five inexpensive superfoods that didn't pay off



In contrast to exotic superfoods, it is increasingly being said that there are ordinary low-priced products that are not so popular, but no less effective. Honey, turmeric, seasonal vegetables have already been elevated to the rank of “affordable superfoods”. It is believed that they are not less vitamins and antioxidants, they protect against cancer, diabetes, heart disease, improve metabolism. Is it so?

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Honey is considered almost a panacea for all diseases, writes You have probably heard more than once that it strengthens the immune system, improves the quality of sleep and even burns fat. So useful that even diabetics can use it. Is it true? In fact, there is a fly in the ointment in a barrel of honey. Honey is a combination of simple carbohydrates: glucose, fructose, and the di-carbohydrate sucrose. Its action is similar to that of sugar. After its use, the level of glucose in the blood quickly increases, so honey is strictly prohibited in diabetes. Just like sugar, honey increases the risk of obesity and accelerates the aging process due to collagen glycation.

You should not expect that cookies, in which honey is indicated as a sweetener, are less harmful. Nutritionists put it on a par with syrups and molasses, advising to reduce their consumption. Although honey contains some vitamins, it is difficult to recommend it as a source. As for the fat burning effect, there are no studies that would confirm it. Nevertheless, honey does help in the treatment of wounds and burns - the components contained in it kill dangerous microbes and promote the growth of healthy tissue.


You may have added it to poultry dishes - it is part of the popular curry seasoning. It is a powder that is obtained from the dried root of the turmeric plant, a close relative of ginger. Stories about the healing properties of this seasoning sound convincing - it was used four thousand years ago in Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric is believed to protect against cancer, skin disease, and depression. Meanwhile, studies have not confirmed the effectiveness of turmeric against all these diseases. Often they were carried out not on people, but on animals. And those in which people did participate included a minimum number of people. There were only 45 participants in a study that found turmeric reduced symptoms of arthritis.

The situation with testing the effectiveness of turmeric against depression is similar - there were only 60 in it. Works related to the anticancer effect of turmeric were generally carried out only in vitro. A recent survey of global studies has shown that turmeric has a very low bioavailability. That is, it enters the blood in minimal quantities and has almost no effect. The reason turmeric got into Ayurvedic medicine is not because it has magical properties, but because there were simply no other drugs at that time.


It’s hard to imagine that Sherlock Holmes would eat instant oatmeal. Sir preferred this coarse porridge, cooked according to the rules. And rightly so. Porridge is one of the few cereals that really lives up to expectations at low cost. First, it can be eaten by everyone - it is allowed even with gastritis. Secondly, in people who eat oatmeal, the risk of cancer is automatically reduced by 5% and by almost 10% the risk of heart disease.

What can not be said about other cereals. “A spoon for dad, a spoon for mom” semolina porridge does not bode well. Semolina is almost the only cereal that does not contain healthy fiber, but a lot of simple carbohydrates. Perhaps, as a child, your parents added jam to it - after that it turns into a real glycemic bomb. Rice porridge is no better. The white rice it is made from increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. In addition, compared to unpeeled dark rice, it is practically empty in terms of vitamin value. Buckwheat and barley porridge are closer to the “oatmeal” ideal - both of them contain a lot of coarse fiber, and they have a low glycemic index.

Linseed oil

Can't afford salmon three times a week? It doesn't matter - include flaxseed oil or flax seeds in your diet. They contain exactly the same essential omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the heart and nervous system. Is it so? In fact, no, omega-3s are a family of fatty acids with different lengths of carbon atoms (from 18 to 22). From salmon you get the most valuable (long) omega-3 in a “pure” form, immediately and in full. From linseed oil and flax seeds - only the ancestor of omega-3 - alpha-linolenic acid (18 carbon atoms). To the state of valuable, long omega-3, it is processed and “finished” by liver cells, but in very small quantities and very slowly. On average, "transformation" occurs only with 10-15% of what is eaten. Everything else is simply burned or consumed in other ways. The speed of this process depends on the genes that you received from your parents, your state of health, nutrition. This means that flaxseed oil, as well as other plant sources such as walnuts, will not be a complete replacement for oily sea fish, which contains omega-3s in finished form. Nevertheless, unrefined flaxseed oil is still very useful. Studies show that those who use it regularly reduce the level of "bad" cholesterol, the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.

“The most simple vegetables”

They usually mean carrots, beets, cabbage and potatoes. It is these foods that are recommended as side dishes or ingredients in vegetable stews if you cannot buy ancient grains like quinoa. Can they be called superfoods? Yes and no. All these products are really useful, but they are still not enough. World dietary recommendations advise eating vegetables of various groups every day: dark green, for example, all kinds of fresh herbs; red and orange, including tomatoes and peppers; starchy - potatoes and corn; legumes and others, in particular eggplant. In addition, many people often cook “basic” vegetables incorrectly. Fried potatoes and boiled carrots are not superfoods, but sources of simple carbohydrates, in which almost all useful substances have been destroyed during processing. Carrots are useful only fresh, and potatoes - when boiled or baked.

super super super food

There is no food in nature that burns fat and immediately helps with everything from impotence to toothache. Chia seeds are expensive, honey is cheaper, but don't expect them to heal your heart, liver and kidneys, strengthen your muscles and bones if you generally eat sausage and move little. It's time to admit: marketers came up with superfoods, and you believed in them. The only way to get effective components for your health, such as vitamins and antioxidants, is to eat a healthy diet in general. The more variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, dairy products, fish in your diet, the more bonuses you get.

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