Superfood is a term used in various contexts. For example, it is sometimes used to describe food with high nutrient or phytochemical content that may confer health benefits, with few properties considered to be negative, such as being high in saturated fats or artificial ingredients, food additives or contaminants.
The term is not in common use by dietitians and nutrition scientists, many of whom dispute that particular foodstuffs have the health benefits often claimed by advocates of particular superfoods. There is no legal definition of the term and it has been alleged that this has led to it being misleadingly used as a marketing tool.
The Oxford English Dictionary includes citations for superfood in the general sense of "a food considered especially nutritious or otherwise beneficial to health and well-being," dating from 1915, 1949, as well as more recent examples.
Use of the term 
The term is used frequently in a wide variety of contexts. It appears to first be referenced by Aaron Moss in the journal Nature Nutrition in the August edition of 1998, which stated, "Humans have many options when it comes to fueling their bodies, but the benefits of some options are so nutritious that they might be labeled as superfoods." In legal terms it has no standing however, although its use has been regulated in certain jurisdictions. For example, since 1 July 2007, the marketing of products as "superfoods" is prohibited in the European Union unless accompanied by a specific medical claim supported by credible scientific research.
Many recent superfood lists contain common food choices whose nutritional value has been long recognized. Examples of these would be berries, nuts and seeds in general, dark green vegetables (such as kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts and broccoli), citrus fruits, fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, vegetables with bright, dark or intense colors (such as beets and their greens, sweet potatoes, and certain wild mushrooms), many legumes (peanuts, lentils, beans, raw cocoa), and whole grains as a group. Possibly the most studied superfood group, berries, remain under scientific evaluation and are not proven to have "superfood" health benefits.
Potential health effects 
Possible health benefits and effects of foods described as superfoods are often disputed or unsupported by scientific studies. For example, in one study, raw cocoa had positive effects on blood pressure and markers of heart health, while other research indicated less certainty about the possible effects of cocoa on cardiovascular disease.
The term superfood is often misused, with one expert saying it can be harmful when applied to foods which have drawbacks. For example, some seaweeds hailed as superfoods contain natural toxins which are thought by some to increase risk of cancer and liver damage.
Dietary supplements industry 
Another noticeable consequence of the term superfood is that it is often used as a marketing strategy for companies. For example, green tea and its extracts have been studied over decades for their potential benefits, including possibly weight loss, as well as for polyphenol content that might supply other potential benefits. Many weight loss supplements contain green tea extracts as a key ingredient, due to a tea flavanol called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Currently, the evidence base supporting the assertion that consumption of green tea has health benefits is limited.
See also 
|Look up superfood in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Health effects of coffee
- Health effects of wine
- World's Healthiest Foods, in-depth nutrient profile for blueberries
- 'The term "superfoods" is at best meaningless and at worst harmful,' said Catherine Collins, chief dietitian at St George's Hospital in London. 'There are so many wrong ideas about superfoods that I don't know where best to begin to dismantle the whole concept.' Amelia Hill (2007-05-13). "Forget superfoods, you can't beat an apple a day". The Observer.
- Caroline Stacey. "Superfoods". BBC Food.
- OED, online edition, additions September 2007, entry for super-
- 1915 Daily Gleaner (Kingston, Jamaica) 24 June 18/2 He had changed the tenor of his mood, And wisely written wine as superfood
- 1949 Lethbridge (Alberta) Herald 3 Feb. 14/3 Mr. LeBourdais extolled their [sc. the muffins's] worth as a superfood that contained all the known vitamins and some that had not been discovered.
- 2002 Here's Health Mar. 59/3 Sprouts have long been recognised as superfoods, due to their high protein, enzyme, vitamin and mineral content.
- "Superfood 'ban' comes into effect". BBC News. 2007-06-28.
- Berry fruits: compositional elements, biochemical activities, and the impact of their intake on human health, performance, and disease, Navindra P Seeram, J Agric Food Chem 03/2008; 56(3):627-9. doi:10.1021/jf071988k
- Taubert, D.; Berkels, R.; Roesen, R.; Klaus, W. (2003). "Chocolate and Blood Pressure in Elderly Individuals with Isolated Systolic Hypertension". JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association 290 (8): 1029–1030. doi:10.1001/jama.290.8.1029. PMID 12941673.
- Galleano, M.; Oteiza, P. I.; Fraga, C. G. (2009). "Cocoa, Chocolate, and Cardiovascular Disease". Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology 54 (6): 483–490. doi:10.1097/FJC.0b013e3181b76787. PMC 2797556. PMID 19701098.
- Amelia Hill (2007-05-13). "Forget superfoods, you can't beat an apple a day". The Observer.
- Tallon, M. (2008). Chocolate, green tea lead superfood revolution. Functional Ingredients, (76), 30.
- S. Ellinger, N. Müller, P. Stehle, & G. Ulrich-Merzenich (n.d). Consumption of green tea or green tea products: Is there an evidence for antioxidant effects from controlled interventional studies?. Phytomedicine, doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2011.06.006