If you’re into living a healthy lifestyle – you know, trading the couch for a run, and potato chips for salad – you’ve probably heard of superfoods. These foods are basically the celebs of the culinary world. They’re supposed to make you feel and look amazing and are often considered to be miracle workers. In general, a superfood is supposed to be really good for you because it has antioxidants and other nutritional benefits. Some popular superfoods include salmon, quinoa, and blueberries – foods that are most likely part of your regular breakfast, lunch or dinner routine if you’re trying to stay fit. Some say they’re all about hype and that these foods might not do that much for you and you should focus on eating a healthy diet instead. But whether or not superfoods are all that they’re cracked up to be, some of them aren’t all that appetizing. Here are 11 superfoods that are actually pretty gross.
Oh, kale. Is there any vegetable that’s more popular than this one? While this green veg has been around for a while, it was only around 2013 that it started popping up literally everywhere. Celebs drink green juice like it’s going out of style and us regular folk have gotten into the kale eating spirit too. But let’s be honest here: kale is pretty gross. It’s bitter and has a very harsh taste, and it’s also impossible to prepare. Sure, you can massage raw kale leaves with dressing for your salad but who has that kind of time or willpower? You want to eat dinner, not work your arms. Sorry kale, you’re not all that super after all.
10 Bee Pollen
Health-conscious women have probably been making breakfast or post-workout smoothies for decades, but smoothies are having a real moment right now. What’s even more popular? The smoothie bowl – aka a thicker breakfast that you eat with a spoon. You put a ton of toppings before you dig in. One superfood that is often on a healthy smoothie bowl is bee pollen. According to experts, bee pollen is super high in protein. However, is there anything more off-putting than eating food meant for a bee? Can’t we just put some berries on our smoothie bowl?
The gluten-free craze has had everyone quinoa-crazy, but millet is another gluten-free whole grain that has gained lots of popularity. It’s easy to cook and all you have to do is throw it in a pot with some water, salt and pepper, and you’ve got a healthy carb to enjoy as a dinner side or lunchtime salad. But here’s the thing about millet: it’s used in bird seeds. Yup. If you don’t want to eat a bee’s food, you probably don’t want to eat bird food either. Maybe stick to quinoa if you want to get in some good carbs.
8 Hemp Seeds
Nope, hemp is not a drug: it’s a superfood that vegans love to add to their smoothies for a protein boost. Hemp seeds also contain lots of Omega-6s and Omega-3s. But you might want to look for some vegetarian protein elsewhere if you care about taste because hemp seeds are super grassy. They don’t taste good at all -- think grass -- and will basically ruin anything you add them to. Sure, you could cover it up with some honey or sugar but that defeats the point of a healthy breakfast. This is one superfood that’s not worth adding to your diet.
If you don’t have a dairy allergy, then maybe you’ve heard of kefir. If you’re thinking about enjoying kefir for your 3 p.m. snack with blueberries, think again. Kefir is made of yeast and bacteria. Yes, actually. No matter how healthy this food is, or how much of a supposed superfood it is, that fact is hard to wrap your head around. If eating bacteria doesn’t turn your stomach, then the super tangy taste will. You can get your probiotics from regular yogurt or a pill. You don’t have to subject yourself to kefir.
6 Chia Seeds
These tiny black or white seeds seem pretty innocent. They can be turned into pudding that you can enjoy to power your morning at work or as the perfect afternoon or evening snack. However, there’s one irritating thing about chia seeds, and that’s the texture. They turn anything they’re added to (usually non-dairy milk like almond or coconut milk) into a super lumpy concoction. Healthy eating is hard enough when you’re tempted by that leftover office birthday cake in the fridge, or those chips on the counter – don’t make it worse for yourself by eating chia seeds.
If you think of hippies when you think of sprouts, you’re not far off. You can grow sprouts in your home and they’re usually eaten like any other veggie. Here’s the truth about sprouts, though: they’re pretty icky. You can get seriously sick from eating them according to experts because they come into contact with unclean water, bugs, etc. Can you say disgusting? If you want to skip the sprouts in favor of some normal vegetables, no one would blame you. It doesn’t matter if something is a so-called superfood if you could get ill from it.
4 Dandelion Greens
Eating lettuce gets pretty boring after a while and if you’re looking for super healthy veggies, you might be tempted to look beyond the typical kale or broccoli for something more interesting. Dandelion greens are a superfood that aren’t talked about very much. They have tons of Vitamin A and fiber – but that’s definitely not a reason to add them to your diet, because you’ll find these health benefits in a lot of other vegetables too. If you eat this superfood, you’ll feel like you’re literally eating a plant or, worse, a weed. Yes, dandelion greens are basically weeds. Not hungry anymore, are you?
If you’re thinking about algae right now, you’re totally on the right track. Spirulina is a new superfood that is literally made of algae. So it makes sense that it’s incredibly fish-tasting. Like hemp and chia seeds, it’s got a lot of protein, but so what? A lot of foods have protein and you don’t have to gross yourself out when you eat them. You should probably cross this one off your superfood list, especially if you’re squeamish. The bright green colour won’t help much either. You can take your chances and add it to a smoothie but you might not want to.
2 Brussel Sprouts And Broccoli
These two are basically the most loathed green vegetables in the entire universe, so it makes sense to group them together. While we’ve always been told by our moms to eat our broccoli, it’s only in recent years that these two veggies have been considered part of the superfood category. If enough people hate something, there’s probably a good reason behind it. Both these foods are typically boiled and that cooking method makes them taste bitter and gross. There’s nothing wrong with good old lettuce, green peppers, or zucchini if you’re looking for a healthy green vegetable to add to your routine.
Seaweed should be kept where it belongs: in, well, the sea. It shouldn’t be on our dinner or snack plates. Lots of people are enjoying seaweed as a salty alternative to fatty potato chips, but that salty flavour is difficult to swallow since it’s so reminiscent of the ocean. If you have a craving for salt, you might want to just give in and have some chips or French fries every once in a while instead of subjecting your taste buds to seaweed. You deserve better. Healthy eating should never be all that painful, and like the above superfoods, seaweed just isn’t worth it.