Superfoods: Health Food or Waste of Money?
Superfoods: a benefit or a waste of money?
Nowadays more and more attention is paid to healthy food. New products with impressive performance regularly appear on store shelves. You may have already heard the term superfood. This is a product containing extremely valuable vitamins and useful substances.
What is superfood?
In general, superfood can hardly be attributed to a separate food group, so it is rather a marketing term for products more or less beneficial to health. These products are a cross between food and nutritional supplement. Most often they are of plant origin and can improve the quality of the diet. These are, for example, dried berries and seeds, roots and leaves, powders and extracts rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibers, phytochemicals and various kinds of useful acids.
What is the difference from dietary supplements?
Supplements are developed in sterile laboratories. While superfoods have been growing on their own for several thousand years. They were able to draw attention to themselves on the wave of universal passion for a healthy lifestyle. They were noticed not only by healthy lifestyle enthusiasts, athletes or vegetarians, but, of course, by marketers.
Why did superfoods become popular?
For the first time raw foodists and vegans started talking about superfoods: they tried to find products that could replace food of animal origin. Then the famous nutritionist, promoter of the raw food movement, David Wolfe, discovered cocoa beans, spirulina algae, goji berries and acai to the whole world. The news quickly spread around the world with the slogan feel better, looks younger, live longer. Thus, the trend for natural products, supported by organic superfood on the packaging, aroused great interest among buyers, which increased sales several times. The European Union even introduced a law that regulates the use of the term on products.
The flip side of superfoods
At the moment it is not yet known exactly how true the research is and whether these superfoods are really so beneficial for humans ... The Western world assimilates such nutrients worse than, for example, peoples who are genetically predisposed to this. Are there any guarantees that the result from consuming superfoods will be the same as expected from it? What's more, the body can react to them in different ways: allergies, nausea, or digestive problems. Remember, superfoods are just a supplement to food, not a substitute. The main thing is to eat balanced.
The most famous superfoods
Goji Berries: Bright red berries that look like hard raisins. They are known for their anti-aging and tonic properties and are high in vitamin C, polysaccharides and amino acids. Grows mainly in Asia, Mongolia and Central America.
Chia seeds : The seeds resemble sesame seeds, containing essential fatty acids and antioxidants. In addition, chia are rich in iron, vitamins, minerals, zinc and potassium. They are often used in puddings and as egg substitutes in vegan desserts.
Spirulina algae: The blue-green microalgae Spirulina contains vitamin B12 and protein. Now special farms are being created to breed it.
Cocoa beans: the most famous of superfoods, because most chocolate products are made from these raw materials. Cocoa beans are prized for their high content of iron, magnesium and antioxidants. They are most often added raw to energy bars and smoothies.
Acai Berries: Small, dark purple berries containing antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Scientists seriously believe that with the help of this berry, you can prolong beauty, health and youth. Unfortunately, however, it cannot be shipped fresh, so it is frozen, sublimated or powdered before shipment, which is usually added to yoghurts, desserts and cocktails.
Beans and whole grains: beans are a source of low-fat protein and insoluble fiber, and whole grains, unlike processed ones, are not devoid of important for normal digestion of fibers. Like beans, they contain protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Kale cabbage: this cabbage has an incredible amount of nutrients: vitamins A, C and K, fiber, calcium and minerals.
Sweet potato: or sweet potato. It contains fiber and high amounts of vitamin A. It does not require the addition of salt, butter or cream during preparation: it tastes quite bright.