There is a lot of buzz around so-called “superfoods” these days. One day it’s coconut, the next it’s goji berries. Some people know what the touted health benefits of their favourite fad food are, some just have a vague idea that “it’s supposed to be super good for me.” It is incredible to me how many well-meaning people feel comfortable making claims about these foods with little to no good evidence.
Now don’t get me wrong – I love experimenting with new ingredients just as much as the next girl, and I do a lot of the time. Most of the foods that get a “superfood” label are whole plant-based foods that pack an impressive nutritional punch. What bothers me is unsubstantiated claims, and the notion that these healthy whole foods are any better for you than other healthy whole foods (like broccoli). If incorporating the newest “superfood” inspires you to experiment with making healthy whole-food meals (like it often does for me), then by all means – go for it! I’m not a total “superfood” hater, I just think it’s irresponsible to make claims about these foods that aren’t backed up by evidence.
In this recipe I’ve included three popular “superfoods” – coconut, goji berries, and cacao nibs – and one (significantly less sexy) food that I actually feel confident calling a superfood – whole grain oats. One cup of dry oats contains 8g of fiber. The recommended amount for an adult is 21-38g. Most adults get about 14g (1). I think it’s safe to say we should all probably focus on increasing our dietary fiber intake before getting too concerned with whether goji berries can lower blood pressure or decrease arthritis pain (just two of the many over-hyped claims made about this little red berry).
The reason I say oatmeal is a superfood is that the insoluble fiber in oats lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels which, if high, can contribute to heart disease. It does this by binding bile and cholesterol in your gut, so your body can’t reabsorb it. For a good, plain-language explanation of how this works, click here. For a fast, delicious and heart-healthy breakfast, read on!
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 Tbsp coconut flakes
- 2 Tbsp almonds
- 1 Tbsp goji berries
- 1 Tbsp cacao nibs
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 banana
- Mix all ingredients except bananas in jar and leave in fridge to set overnight.
- In the morning, top with sliced banana.