Superfood: These foods are overrated

These foods are overrated

Local foods like blueberries are carbon-friendly superfoods.

© Natalia Lisovskaya/

Some foods are traded as superfoods. In doing so, they do not keep what they promise, explains TV doctor Doc Esser.

Goji berries, chia seeds, golden chlorella and co .: Many foods carry the promising addition of “superfood”. They are considered to be particularly healthy. But the TV doctor Heinz-Wilhelm “Doc” Esser (47) warns in his book “Health Food Rock ‘n’ Roll” (Gräfe and Unzer) against always believing the name. In an interview with the news agency spot on news, he explains which foods are not that “great” and which alternatives are available.

The term “superfood” is on everyone’s lips. This includes goji berries or chia seeds. Which foods deserve to be called “superfoods” and why?

Doc Esser: The term superfoods stands for seemingly true miracle foods, I simply consider it to be a well-designed marketing campaign. Sauerkraut and beetroot just don’t sound as sexy as goji berries or chia seeds. There is not one study that shows that so-called superfoods have a healthier and higher added value in our diet than our domestic superfoods.

Which “superfoods” are not that great and why?

Eater: Acai berries, goji berries, chia seeds, the noni fruit of the Indian mulberry tree and other exotic plants are certainly among the best-known superfoods. For global marketing, the fruits are often treated with toxic pesticides, the working conditions of the harvest workers are catastrophic and the CO2 balance due to the long journey is unacceptable.

In addition, we still lack, for example, the knowledge about the interaction of these exotic species with our therapeutic measures for a wide variety of diseases. Surely only a few people know that the drug for thinning the blood, Marcumar, which is often used in medicine, can lead to severe bleeding when consumed at the same time as goji berries.

You criticize so-called “superfood” because of the high CO2 balance. Is there any “superfood” made in Germany?

Esser: There are a lot of local “superfoods” that are part of our everyday menu and maybe that’s why they don’t sound that exciting. Sauerkraut – or generally fermented cabbage -, flax seeds, blueberries, raspberries, nuts and all kinds of legumes are absolute “superfoods made in Germany”. My tip: make sure you shop seasonally and regionally or, if possible, plant your own.

Can you overdo it with “superfood”?

Esser: As with everything in life: it’s all in the mix! Too much and one-sided is never healthy. My aim is to raise awareness of one’s own diet and thus improve health and quality of life. Many long-term illnesses are caused by a wrong lifestyle and it is not that difficult to eat healthily. In my new book I show that it can even be really tasty.

In your book you write: “From a purely health point of view, we would have to bathe in beans and Co. several times a day. There is no healthier anti-aging food.” Which foods help with anti-aging and why?

Esser: Anti-aging foods are natural products that contain many phytochemicals. We know about 5,000 to 10,000 phytochemicals in our food. They have the great advantage that they have an antioxidant effect and thus take care of the harmful free radicals in our body. They can also be anti-inflammatory, counteract arteriosclerosis and they protect us, for example, from cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. Here I especially recommend all types of cabbage, legumes and nuts.


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