Interview with Silke Neumann about Superfoods
Exploring the Concept of ‘Superfoods’: A Conversation with Nutritionist Silke Neumann
In today’s discussion, I delve into the realm of ‘superfruits’ with our nutritionist, Silke. We explore whether these fruits truly live up to their ‘super’ reputation and discuss their potential relevance for managing endometriosis.
Interview with Silke Neumann, Certified Nutritionist, about Superfoods
Dr. Nadine Rohloff: Welcome! Today, I am joined by Silke, our nutritionist, to delve into the realm of “exotic superfruits” and their connection to endometriosis. We are here to unravel the question: Is it essential to exclusively opt for superfoods? Silke, our seasoned nutritionist and a valuable contributor to the endometriosis app, has been a longstanding member of our team. Her wealth of expertise encompasses everything related to food.
Before we dive deeper, Silke, could you provide a brief explanation of what superfruits are?
Silke Neumann: Superfruits are fruits hyped up through clever marketing, claiming to be exceptionally rich in beneficial elements like vitamins, minerals, and secondary plant substances. Often, the marketing suggests that these concentrations are unique to a specific fruit.
Dr. Nadine Rohloff: Interestingly, these tend to be exotic fruits from distant regions. Could you share a few examples?
Superfruits are fruits renowned for their perceived health benefits.
Among local options are cranberries, blackcurrants, sour cherries, sea buckthorn, and blueberries.
It is worth nothing that dried or industrially processed fruits generally have fewer vitamins compared to their fresh counterparts.
Cranberries are utilized in natural medicine for addressing urinary tract infections.
Silke Neumann: For instance, the cranberry from North America is readily available, and it is not particularly exotic. Essentially, it is the North American counterpart to our native cranberry. Cranberries are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals and are also employed in natural medicine to address urinary tract infections. However, the European cranberry offers the same benefits, making it a cheaper and equally effective alternative. There is often a regional substitute for almost every superfruit.
Dr. med. Nadine Rohloff: It is amusing that in this country, one hears so little about the cranberry.
Silke Neumann: Yes, the term ‘cranberry’ does sound a bit old-fashioned, like something from grandma’s era.
Because vitamin C is water-soluble, dried fruits contain less vitamin C than their fresh counterparts.
Dr. Nadine Rohloff: The goji berry always seems quite exotic, does it not?
Silke Neumann: Indeed, it hails from China, and while I am uncertain about its cultivation practices there, it is likely not as organic as it would be in the EU. I would exercise caution in that regard. Despite having a relatively high vitamin C content, it is often sold in dried form in Europe, diminishing its vitamin C concentration.
Dr. med. Nadine Rohloff: Since vitamin C is water-soluble, the dried goji berry does not fare as well.
Silke Neumann: Exactly. However, you can market it. But consider this – the blackcurrant, especially in its fresh form, already boasts more vitamin C than a fresh goji berry. When comparing the two, it makes more sense to enjoy currants from the garden than importing goji berries from China.
We have previously highlighted sour cherries as having anti-inflammatory properties, making them effective in managing endometriosis.
Silke Neumann, Certified Dietician and Nutritionist
Dr. Nadine Rohloff: Let us focus on regional superfruits. Can you mention a few that might be more practical and cost-effective compared to their exotic counterparts?
Silke Neumann: Sour cherries! We have highlighted them as anti-inflammatory, particularly effective for endometriosis. Sour cherries possess these proven anti-inflammatory properties and pack a punch of vitamins, minerals, and secondary plant substances beneficial for the entire body, beyond addressing endometriosis. Instead of importing acai berries from China, you can simply enjoy sour cherries from the local tree.
Sea buckthorn is another example.
Dr. Nadine Rohloff: Absolutely.
Silke Neumann: Sea buckthorn is, in fact, a superfood found in northern Germany. It is just not marketed as such.
Dr. Nadine Rohloff: How about blueberries? I am quite a fan.
Silke Neumann: Blueberries are fantastic too, with their intense dark blue color and rich secondary plant compounds, the pigments. These compounds have positive health effects. Domestic fruit often offer as much, if not more, than imported superfruits.
Dr. Nadine Rohloff: To sum it up, while superfruits may be beneficial, there are also regional alternatives that are just as healthy, if not better. They are locally available, cost less, and can be easily fund in supermarkets.
Silke Neumann: Especially when you buy them in unprocessed form. Fresh sour cherries or blueberries from the store retain the entire fruit, not processed or dried into juice or powder. Consider that the interaction of all the fruit’s components, including the fiber from the peel, contributes to its overall impact. Opting for the whole fruit ensures you are not missing out on any vital elements. Choosing juice means losing some substances, including the fiber from the skin and pulp, and the heating process can lead to vitamin loss. It is always better to consume the fruit in its natural, whole form.
Prepare fresh smoothies at home instead of opting for store-bought products.
Dr. Nadine Rohloff: What about smoothies? If you simply blend fresh berries?
Silke Neumann: It is good, as long as you leave the peel on, If I peel an apple for a smoothie, I lose some fiber. If I include the whole apple, peel and all (minus the core, of course), then it is a complete product. You can enjoy that as a smoothie. However, it is crucial not to opt for store-bought smoothies, even if they are refrigerated – they are just not as fresh. Make them at home. It is akin to biting into the apple yourself. In fact, it is often healthier to snack on the whole fruit or create a fruit salad instead of blending everything. Unless, of course, you have recently had dental surgery and cannot bite; in that case, a smoothie might be a practical solution.
Dr. Nadine Rohloff: And they are delicious too! Almost a sweet substitute for chocolate.
Thank you very much for emphasizing the importance of regional fruits. Until next time. Appreciate it!
Silke Neumann: You are welcome!
- Interview with Silke Neumann about Superfoods - 19. November 2023
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