Superfoods – are they really worth spending money on?
The term 'superfood' is thrown around often these days, and really, what does it actually mean?
Superfoods are defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “nutrient rich foods that are considered to be especially beneficial for health and wellbeing”.
These foods are considered to be beneficial as they are nutritionally dense. The World Health Organisation defines this as containing a high proportion of nutrient content (such as fruits and vegetables). This is in contrast to energy dense foods, which contain a lot of calories but not a lot of nutrients (such as alcohol and sugar).
Did you know that there are plenty of superfoods that you’re eating everyday?
The best known superfoods are:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Dark Chocolate
I could go on, but as you can see, there are plenty of everyday foods that easily qualify as a superfood.
Then you have the ‘cool’ superfoods, that are exotic, and of course, expensive.
- Spirulina (algae)
- Cacao (cold pressed cocoa beans)
- Chia seeds (seeds from the chia herb)
- Maca (a root vegetable, the powder is used as a supplement)
- Goji berries (Chinese berries)
- Acai (Amazonian berries)
- Camu camu (another berry, this time from the Andean swamps - true)
Now these foods are exceptionally high in various nutrients such as iron, antioxidants, amino acids and Vitamin B12, and if your diet is already very ‘clean’ (very little energy dense foods) then the addition of these foods can be worthwhile. It’ll take your health and cancer prevention strategies to the next level.
However, if your diet includes a fair bit of sugar, take away, white foods (bread, rice, pasta, flour), etc, then your money would be better spent on the items in the first list rather than nibbling on Goji berries, and thinking that’s making a difference.
In my free recipe eBook, I do use some of the exotic superfoods. I use these for my own breakfast smoothies and little snacks like Bliss Balls, and I love them.
So my message here is, I would love to see people improving what they eat on every level, and while I absolutely encourage you to eat the more exotic superfoods that’ve been discussed above, there are so many amazing and affordable superfoods already familiar to you and probably in your kitchen already - so enjoy them!