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'Overblown' claims, scant research rip capes off superfoods

Posted January 31

Superfood is a term thrown around quite often, and it sounds like something that would be super great to add to your diet.

Some people claim superfoods can promote weight loss, make you look younger or even provide almost magical healing powers. But is it just super hype?

Consumer Reports says it's important to know what foods can or can't do for your health. In reality, some superfoods aren't super at all.

Take apple cider vinegar, which, according to the hype, lowers cholesterol, helps with weight loss and fights heartburn if you drink it regularly. Consumer Reports says that's just wrong.

"These claims are overblown, and in some cases, overdoing it on apple cider vinegar has been shown to damage the esophagus," Consumer Reports Health Editor Trisha Calvo said.

There are plenty of other foods that may be more super hype than super food, too.

Bone broth, also known as stock, has been touted as a way to fight inflammation and make skin look younger.

Coconut oil claims to prevent Alzheimer's. Turmeric, the vibrant yellow spice, is said to be powerful enough to destroy tumors.

Consumer Reports says a lot more research is needed to prove any of the claims.

"Anytime something is promoted as a miracle cure, watch out," Calvo said. "Some of these foods do have health benefits, but eating a lot of them all the time isn't going to give you superpowers."

A better way to stay fit is to enjoy a healthier diet the tried and true way. Eat whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables and lean proteins.

One food Consumer Reports says not to give up on is trendy kale, which is packed with healthy nutrients. Others in the same boat include Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage.

And a claim that does hold up: Ginger has been found to be an effective remedy for nausea. If you've got a headache, drink a tall glass of water before reaching for a pill.

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  • John Archer Jan 31, 8:18 p.m.
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    Good grief, how is this news? Just eat more vegies, folks. Real food IS superfood.