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What is a superfood? Well, it is something that is featured in a gossip magazine because a celebrity swears by it, it has some nutritional value and then marketers go crazy trying to sell it to everyone really quickly before the fashion passes.

The virtues of the superfood are usually because they are laden with vitamin C which is often the selling point, "Even more vitamin C than a thousand oranges!", they contain anti-oxidants and some kind of essential trace elements.

The dictionary even has an entry for superfood too.  It defines superfood as, "a food considered especially nutritious or otherwise beneficial to health and well-being."

Oranges are a superfood. So are apples. Strawberries too.

But since they have become commonplace, they lack the exotic appeal.  But 100 years ago a Caribbean orange and banana would have been headline news. Now, people don't think twice about buying and eating them.

The problem with how superfoods are portrayed to the consumer is that they are presented as a remedy, almost as if they have magical curative powers for our ailments of modern living.

Take the humble goji berry for example. Also known as the wolfberry this is a routine berry from China that forms a staple part of the diet for many people, often added to soups and stews. On its own, it is rather bland tasting and uneventful. They are preserved by drying.

Then suddenly in late 2006 they were acclaimed as a superfood and the sales on this berry in the West rocketed. And it really rocketed too. The goji berry has more vitamin C content than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots and more iron than steak. They were amazing!

But, they were just a passing fashion, a novelty sold at great price and of no benefit to anyone already on a balanced diet.

So, what will be the next superfood?  Watch out, and remember to engage your scepticism before you pay out a lot of money for what is likely to be a fad.

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