One could just as easily include green tea, coffee, dark chocolate, yogurt, and olives to the superfood list for a variety of reasons mentioned above.
Criticism of the nomenclature
As healthful as superfoods might be, the use of the term is largely a marketing tool. Scientists do not use the term. For example, a search for "superfood" on PubMed, the repository of most peer-reviewed biomedical journal articles, yields fewer than a dozen results. And several of these studies actually warn of dangers of superfoods, such as arsenic and pesticide residue in imported foods. [Infographic: Pesticides Lurk in Fruits & Veggies]
The first general criticism of the use of the term "superfood" is that, while the food itself might be healthful, the processing might not be. For example, green tea has several antioxidants. But green tea sold in the United States is generally cut with inferior teas and brewed with copious amounts of sugar. The Japanese and Chinese generally do not drink green tea with sugar. Many kinds of super-juices — acai berry, noni fruit, pomegranate — can be high in added sugar.
Similarly, many whole grains are processed in a way to be more palatable and less healthful. For example, instant whole-grain oats are as unhealthy as overly processed white bread in that they quickly spike sugar levels in the bloodstream once consumed, promoting insulin-resistance, obesity and diabetes, according to research by David Ludwig at Harvard University.
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