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7 superfoods you should avoid

health and fitness Updated: Sep 11, 2014 16:54 IST
Deekshita Baruah
Deekshita Baruah
Hindustan Times
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It's true that smarter food choices can add years to your life. Superfoods, for that matter promise superior health. However, not all superfoods are worth your money. And everybody reminding you to adopt it just to shed those extra kilos is a buzzkill!

Dr Nandita Iyer, nutrition advisor and food writer says, "Superfoods won't change lives drastically and eating it alone won't make much difference to overall health. It is imperative to have a balanced diet and choose the best quality food items. A clean and balanced lifestyle is the key."

We have people going crazy about superfoods, but what we forget is that it's no magic bullet.

Dr Ishi Khosla, leading health counsellor and nutritionist says, "People do all sorts of things. The latest craze is to have wine for its rich antioxidant properties. Now, we all know that excess of wine is bad for health. The same is the case with superfoods."

The nutritionist suggests we create the perfect balance and have everything in moderation, but we believe certain superfoods should be avoided for overall health benefit.

Also read: Antioxidants-laden vinegar, the next superfood

Here is a list of superfoods that you can easily avoid for the lack of nutritional values.

Wheatgrass: A good source of vitamins and minerals, and all 8 amino acids, wheatgrass builds RBC, improves blood circulation and fights against inflammation.

Why you should avoid it: It is just a myth that one shot of wheatgrass is as powerful as a kilo of nutritional vegetables. We say, there is no reason to have this disgusting drink as it can lead to diarrhea, allergic reactions, nausea and headache.

Raw milk: People claim that high quality raw milk has a mountain of benefits when compared to pasteurized milk. It is known to fight cancer, prevent asthma and allergies. However, many have argued its ill-effects.

Why you should avoid it: Raw milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli, and listeria which can lead to numerous foodborne illnesses. Abdominal pains, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and headache are few of the side-effects. Too painful, we say.

Also read: A guide to superfoods

Sea Salt: Supermarket aisles now stock up packaged sea salt. Do we need more proof for its increasing popularity? Guess not! It is true that sea salt essentially contains a number of trace minerals that can help build your immune system, aid weight loss and control muscle spasms. But this superfood has a list of cons.

Why you should avoid it: Just like regular salt, sea salt contains high amount of sodium. High intake of sea salt can put you at the risk of developing high blood pressure which will eventually lead to a number of heart-related diseases. Not a comforting thought.

Coconut oil: We knew coconut oil has arrived when it became the substitute for butter in vegan baking, pun intended. This superfood has been touted to fight Alzheimer disease, help reduce abdominal obesity and stave off illness.

Why you should avoid it: High on saturated fats and other cholesterol promoting compounds, this superfood may lead to heart problems. If you absolutely need to have it then we would suggest that you pick up the virgin/refined coconut oil for moderate consumption.

Spirulina: Often touted as the miracle plant, spirulina is said to help prevent cancer, improve the immune system, keep eyes healthy and help inactivate the human immunodeficiency virus associated with HIV.

Why you should avoid it: Spirulina can cause slight fever owing to the body's need to burn the protein from the intake, dizziness, thirst, slight skin rashes and constipation. But that happens in rare cases. Moderation is the key here.

Quinoa: Undoubtedly one of the most popular superfoods at present, quinoa is loaded with antioxidants, minerals, fibre and essential amino acid.

Why you should avoid it: Eating too much of quinoa can cause achy joints, an overgrowth of gut irritating compounds, fatigue, stomach pain and weight gain. Now, that's asking for too much trouble.

Goji berry: Currently, Goji berry is high on the hype factor. This superfood is said to boost brain activity and fight cancer. Fitness freaks swear by it.

Why you should avoid it: This berry can cause kidney problems and interfere with your blood pressure and diabetes medicines too. Also avoid the berries if you have pollen allergy.