Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Superfoods - Some Cheaper Alternatives

Lee Holmes writes:
"You’ll find no shortage of celebrities endorsing various superfoods all over the world wide web and their social media accounts; which is all well and good until you get a closer look at the price of these super-expensive life enhancers! 

You don’t need to burn a hole in your wallet to achieve a healthy and balanced diet. Keep reading for some delicious, healthy, and very affordable alternatives to so called superfoods! I like to call them Supercharged Foods. 

Many of you may be wondering, what makes a food a ‘superfood’? Well, to be honest, there’s no concrete definition; however, the name ‘superfood’ is actually a marketing term, not a scientific one. A superfood is described as being any food that contains high levels of antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants are well known for their ability to strengthen the immune system, thereby warding off diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. 

The health benefits of these ‘superfoods’ are the result of studies done on specific essential nutrients that are known to prevent disease and improve immunity, and the foods that they can be found in, in large amounts. If studies show that a specific food contains high concentrations of antioxidants, trace minerals and vitamins, such as Vitamin C, K and B, it can then be referred to as a superfood. 

Each time a new study is released shedding light on the health benefits of a specific food, the media runs with this information, publishing their own news stories about these newly researched superfoods. 

In 2014 kale farmers struggled to keep up with the new demand for kale after several studies reported that kale contained high levels of antioxidants and other essential nutrients, leaving many supermarkets out of stock. 

The media has a lot of influence over consumers, and with consumers becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of eating healthy, wholesome foods, it’s no surprise that supermarkets take advantage of this by drastically increasing the price of these foods! 

However, some studies can be misleading, and the results reported can be misinterpreted by the media and consumers. Just because studies have reported that a specific food, such as blueberries, contain large amounts of antioxidants, it doesn’t mean that you have to start eating blueberries every day to maintain vibrant health. 

Superfoods Aren’t The Only Foods That Contain Essential Nutrients ... and by eating a balanced diet that is full of variety, you can guarantee that you’re eating enough essential nutrients without even picking up a superfood. 

It’s safe to say that the superfoods market is booming, and supermarkets and pharmaceutical companies are taking full advantage of it. But the hype of superfoods tends to shine a negative light on many other beneficial wholefoods. Apples and oranges are neglected for berries, rice and pasta are replaced with teff and ancient grains... But why should superfoods be thought of as healthier than other unprocessed foods or Supercharged Foods? Is it because they cost more in the supermarket? Or maybe it’s because the local news reported a story about kale, but not English spinach. 

The take home message here is fill your shopping basket/cart with good, unprocessed healthy foods and try to buy what’s in season…. Those are usually the fruits and vegetables on special, by the way. 

Here’s A Snapshot Of Well-Known Superfoods And Their Nutrients:
Kale: contains large amounts of Vitamin A, K and C.
Avocado: contains monounsaturated fats, fibre and Vitamin C.
Acai Berries: contain fibre, antioxidants, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Goji Berries: contain fibre, antioxidants, valuable trace minerals and vitamins, phytosterols.
Blueberries: contain antioxidants, manganese, polyphenols and Vitamin C and K.
Chia Seeds: contain omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Quinoa: contains large amounts of protein, iron, zinc and Vitamin B.
Coconut Water: contains natural sugars and electrolytes.

If you’re on a budget and want to experiment with more affordable alternatives, look for these key Supercharged Foods and enjoy their associated health benefits: 
Broccoli: contains high amounts of Vitamin C, calcium and fibre.
Spinach: contains folate, fibre, Vitamin C and iron.
Sweet Potato: contain niacin, Vitamin A and C.
Kiwi Fruit: contains fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and phytochemicals
Buckwheat: contains fibre, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, iron, Vitamin E, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus.
Sardines, Salmon and Mackerel: contain high levels of protein and omega 3 unsaturated fats.
Nuts: contain zinc, iron and unsaturated fat.
Water: needed to help carry nutrients and oxygen to cells, both of which, if are in low supply, can lead to fatigue and nausea."

Words and picture above from article here

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy.

Please note, not all may be suitable for you.

If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


Dewena said...

I cook with all of these except for buckwheat, must try that. I remember that my father loved buckwheat pancakes when I was a child. And kiwi, I never think to buy that but do love it, will watch for sales on that.

Valerie-Jael said...

Good article, we don't need to buy 'fashionable' but sensible foods. Hugs, Valerie

Elephant's Child said...

Fresh is best. Which needs no celebrity endorsement.

William Kendall said...

I must have forgotten buckwheat was a thing.

Jo said...

Lots of these are regulars on my menu.

Tom said...

...about the only Supper-Foods that I eat are Blueberry, I'll have to work on this.

Linda said...

Some things that are exotic and expensive never come to my house. There are so many delicious and nutritious foods that available and inexpensive. Next week, I will be buying 80 lbs of Beauregard sweet potatoes right from the farm for $11 for 40 lbs. That is $.28/lb. You cannot find that price in a supermarket or farmer's market.

My friend who had never bought a sweet potato in his life was with me when I bought 160 lbs of sweet potatoes. After that, he came here and excitedly reported the present price of sweet potatoes and what a good deal I got.

I will stick with tried and true and not so expensive.

Christine said...

Thanks for this useful info.

Iris Flavia said...

"Supercharged Foods" sure nails it - thank you for all the info again!
Yes, media has a lot of influence because so many people stop thinking...
Can´t wait for kale season (Grünkohl we call it and we have it since ever, yum! Needs frost once, too.)

Linda said...

I'm a fan of sweet potatoes. When I was raising kids, I sometimes used canned mackerel to make a loaf. It was like salmon loaf, if you ever had that, but much cheaper. I had to pull out the larger bones first though. Small ones would dissolve.

Denise inVA said...

I enjoyed reading this, thanks Jan :)

Sami said...

Thanks for the great article. We really don't need to spend much money on superfoods when there are cheaper alternatives.

Margie from Toronto said...

Safari can't seem to connect to this article at the moment so will try later. I suspect it shows results very similar to a program I saw recently on the CBC (equivalent to the BBC). They had actually scientists & nutritionist review so called "Superfoods" and then offered much cheaper - and in many cases - much more beneficial alternatives. The cost of things like Chia seeds and Coconut water and even quinoa compared to the alternatives was quite astonishing! Always be sceptical of celebrity endorsements/

Barb said...

Hi Jan, Since we eat mostly plant based, we use the spectrum of colors in our daily meals, trying to eat mostly fruits and veggies in season. There are many studies going on right now about the role of broccoli (and other cruciferous veggies) in inhibiting cancer cells. Also, it's not necessary to buy organic broccoli/cauliflower because it isn't sprayed. (I guess the bugs and birds don't like it!) Thanks for the article. Hope you and your family are well.

Teresa said...

Muy interesante reportaje. Besitos.

Snowbird said...

Fads are to be avoided, home grown works for me. Marvelous post, as

Kezzie said...

I eat a lot of the alternatives you mentioned! This makes me happy!!!

Amy Purdy said...

I eat a lot of these already. Very good list.

Magic Love Crow said...

Excellent list! Thank you Jan! Big Hugs!

carol l mckenna said...

Delightfully informative post ~ thanks!

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores