What are Superfoods?
There seems to be a new trend on the food spectrum; to include superfoods in our diet. While this food trend may be recent, these foods are in fact around forever. But thankfully, at present, health seems to be high on the agenda. And with that people look for the best forms of food they can get. Therefore these superfoods have become increasingly popular. What are they? What do they do? Most importantly are they worth it?
Superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that are packed with large amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are nutrient dense foods. They are said to reduce the risk of chronic disease, and help to prolong life. That is impressive!
What foods are super?
There are a huge number of superfoods but the most popular of late include some of the following. Gogi berries, acai berries, chia seeds, maca powder, cacao powder, bee polen, manuka honey, kelp and coconut oil, to name but a few.
But what do they do?
Acai berries. These are one of the most nutritious foods in the world. They are packed with antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids. They help promote cardiovascular and digestive health.
Add them to smoothies, yogurts, cereals etc. Below is an acai berry smoothie bowl I had in Bali. Bali is well up on the food trends and is full of amazing cafés that serve super quality nutritious foods. Post here on Bali.
Add these red beauty berries to anything from porridge to salads to yogurt.
Chia Seeds are very high in omega 3 fatty acids and so are great if you don’t eat fish. They are also high in fibre, protein, calcium, iron and antioxidants. They reduce inflammation, control blood sugar levels, support digestive system and heart health.
Add to salads, smoothies, yogurt, cereal or make a delicious chia pudding for breakfast as below. Recipe here.
Maca is rich in vitamin B, C and E, along with calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and amino acids. Maca is said to increase energy. It is also known for increasing stamina. Many athletes take maca for peak performance. If you find yourself tired continuously, it may be an idea to try maca. Many people take maca for skin issues, for some people it helps to clear acne and blemishes. If you find yourself dealing with anxiety, stress or depression, maca may help alleviate these symptoms.
Add a small quantity to start out with and gradually build up. Add to your shakes or smoothies. Increase quantity as you get used to it.
Raw cacao (not cocoa) is a rich source of iron, fibre, calcium, zinc, potassium, sulphur and antioxidants which all remain intact when used in its raw state. It is a rich antioxidant that promotes cardiovascular health, improve circulation and blood pressure. Cacao helps defend the body form free radicals, these are the evils that bring about the aging process. Cacao increases mood and the feeling of elation!
Add to any sweet dessert such as these healthy brownies. Recipe here.
So now that we know what they are, are they worth the price tag. Superfoods are foods that are highly nutritious. What then is a fillet of salmon that is high in protein, omega 3 and low in saturated fat. Or some strawberries that are full of vitamin C, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. These foods too are super in their nutritional status. And so they too could be referred to as a superfood.
Therefore in my opinion the concept of superfoods is just a marketing ploy, pulling at our emotions, making us feel we need these food to be super healthy. I am all for incorporating these superfoods into my diet, but I certainty don’t feel that they must be included to be healthy. Incorporating plenty of veg and fruit high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is as good as it gets, with half the price tag! Our grandparents certainly survived without these superfoods. And so too can we.
So I’ll let you decide for yourself if you feel they are worth it. If you haven’t tried any of these before maybe give one a go. I would personally opt for the chia seeds. Which can be purchased from Aldi at a great price. All of the rest of the products can be purchased from any health food shop.
Have a great day
The Wholesome Nut