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6 Superfood Myths You Shouldn't Believe

Indian activist and civil rights leader Mahatma Gandhi said it best: "It is health that is real wealth." When you are healthy, you'll experience a more satisfying and more fulfilling life while avoiding the stress of chronic disease. While the right superfoods can help you achieve good health, there's a lot of bad information about these beneficial foods that you shouldn't believe.

#1) Acai Berry Juice Will Protect You From Illness

Although it's loaded in antioxidants, neither acai berry juice nor any other superfood will make you immune to infectious disease or illness. According to Mayo Clinic, this tropical fruit contains high levels of free radical-fighting antioxidants. This is important because antioxidants are responsible for protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. And while studies have shown that diets high in antioxidants protect against early aging, it won't protect you from illness.

#2) Fresh Superfoods Offer the Highest Nutritional Value

Fresh superfoods aren't necessarily better than packaged, preserved or dehydrated superfoods. In many cases, they offer less nutritional value. Superfood fruits, for example, offer the highest nutritional value when harvested during the peak time of year for the respective fruit. Food companies harvest superfood fruits when they are ripe, after which they'll package them for resale. Even if it's not considered fresh, the fruit still offers an exceptional level of nutrition. The bottom line is that you shouldn't overlook packaged or dehydrated superfoods as they may prove more beneficial than fresh superfoods of the same type.

#3) All Algae Superfoods Are the Same

Think all algae superfoods are the same? Think again. When comparing the differences of chlorella vs spirulina, you'll see that the former contains higher concentrations of beta carotene and nucleic acid whereas the latter contains higher concentrations of vitamin B12 and phytochemicals. Because of these nutritional nuances, chlorella is most effective at easing digestive distress, and spirulina is effective at boosting the immune system. Rather than choosing just one superfood algae, though, consider adding both of them to your diet for maximum benefit.

#4) Juiced Kale Will Detoxify You

Kale is a delicious and beneficial leafy green vegetable that's often juiced into beverages for the purpose of detoxification. According to a study cited by Los Angeles Times, people who consume kale on a regular basis have younger-looking brains than their counterparts who consume little or no kale. But whether you eat in a salad of drink it as a juiced beverage, kale isn't going to flush toxins from your body.

#5) All Fish Offer the Same Nutritional Value

Certain types of fish can certainly be classified as a superfood, but not all varieties offer the same health benefits. Swordfish and tuna, for instance, contain significantly higher levels of mercury than smaller varieties like grouper, tilapia and salmon. Furthermore, the way in which fish is harvested will affect its nutritional value. Wild-caught fish is almost always better than farm-raised fish of the same variety. Farm-raised fish are often kept in small pens and fed low-quality food, resulting in a lower nutritional value than wild-caught fish.

#6) Breakfast Cereal Is a Superfood

Consumed by more than 289 million Americans, cereal is one of the country's most popular breakfast foods. And if you look at the nutritional label on common brands, you'd assume that it's good for your health. The problem is that most cold cereals consist primarily of three ingredients: sugar, refined grains and preservatives. If you're going to eat cold cereal, choose a variety with less than 6 grams of sugar.

Superfoods are real foods that offer real health benefits, but you shouldn't believe everything you read or hear about them. As explained here, there are many misconceptions surrounding these foods.

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