Cracking the superfood code

They say you are what you eat, so wouldn’t it be helpful if we actually understood what we’re putting in our mouths?! 

Recently, St Helen’s Farm carried out research into the nation’s attitudes towards and understanding of superfoods and we found that Brits are super confused, with millions wrongly believing that chocolate, bread and pizza fall into this category. 

We found that only a third of those surveyed could confidently say whether a food item was considered a superfood and one in 20 even believe fizzy drinks count. Curry (6%), cake (6%) and even beer (6%) also cropped up. Yet less than half were aware that spinach and kale fit into the superfood group and just 10% considered goats’ milk. 

Leading nutritionist Amanda Hamilton said: “Although the term superfood isn’t commonly used by experts as there’s no standard criteria that defines it, it is increasingly used by consumers so it has become a label worth understanding. The fact is, the term superfood is here to stay so better to help people understand which beneficial foods fall into this category and which shouldn’t.”

When we asked those we surveyed what they thought made a superfood super, more than a third think ‘good fats’ play a part and, while 62% also think antioxidants are a key nutrient in superfoods, 42% admitted they didn’t know what these are. Almost half of those we asked believe minerals are another component and a quarter think they should be low in calories. 58% believed superfoods to be full of vitamins, 38% said they were a good source of energy and a third said the freshness of food makes it more or less likely to be a superfood. 

Amanda clarified: “For me to call something a superfood I’d be looking for something with exceptional levels of nutrient density, or some kind of added benefit that’s hard to get in other ways. From my point of view, something like goats’ milk should have the superfood label as it is gentler on the tummy for many people and you don’t miss out on the vital calcium, vitamins and minerals that you expect from milk. I introduced it for my daughter who had trouble with cows’ milk and now we all just love the taste.”

Amanda added that “superfoods should help solve nutrition challenges, not add to them. If those special foods can be locally sourced, all the better.” There’s no wonder then, that so many people are choosing to upgrade to goats’ milk. 

50 Foods Brits believe are superfoods: 

  1. Spinach
  2. Kale      
  3. Berries  
  4. Broccoli
  5. Whole grains     
  6. Quinoa
  7. Almonds           
  8. Walnuts            
  9. Fish      
  10. Oats     
  11. Brussels sprouts
  12. Cabbage           
  13. Tomatoes         
  14. Cauliflower       
  15. Hazelnuts         
  16. Kidney beans    
  17. Pecans  
  18. Olives   
  19. Almond milk      
  20. Peas     
  21. Barley   
  22. Coconut milk     
  23. Yogurt
  24. Soya milk          
  25. Radishes           
  26. Oat milk            
  27. Rye       
  28. Wheat  
  29. Turnip  
  30. Rice      
  31. Cow’s milk        
  32. Goat’s milk        
  33. Cheese
  34. Pasta
  35. Chocolate         
  36. Bread   
  37. Pizza     
  38. Salted peanuts  
  39. Burgers
  40. Curry    
  41. Butter
  42. Ice cream          
  43. Wine    
  44. Kebabs
  45. Chips    
  46. Cake     
  47. Chinese
  48. Biscuits
  49. Beer     
  50. Doughnuts