THIS IS A GUEST POST by Susie Garden of Head this Way
More information on Susie, and how you can connect with her, can be found at the end of this post.
Superfoods – hype or not? Are they really worth spending money on?
The term superfood is thrown around in the media 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 ‘new’ 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 (yep, another berry, this time from the Andean swamps – yes, really!)
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’ (that is, 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, potatoes), 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.
I personally 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.
Ultimately, my message here is that 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 have been discussed above, there are many amazing and affordable superfoods already familiar to you, and probably in your kitchen already.
By understanding how crazy good these fresh foods are for you, I hope that you feel confident that increasing these foods and avoiding the not so-great-quality foods, will improve your health and vitality beautifully.
Thank you Susie for your insight on superfoods. I love getting some clarification on hype!
Susie and I met when Problogger came to Brisbane in March this year and were event buddies at the recent main Problogger Event at the Gold Coast. I can tell you that she is the loveliest and kindest person you could ever hope to meet! Here’s some more about her and how you can connect with her.
A bit about Susie – she’s a yogi, a mentor and a final year Nutritional Medicine student with an entrepreneurial spirit! She spends her days passionately exploring the world of food, nutrition and the psychology of eating. You can also find her blissing out on her yoga mat every day either teaching, learning from one of her teachers, or just doing her own thing.
Head This Way was inspired by a desire to help people to make positive changes in their lives – to be happier, to be healthier physically, to be more connected to family and friends, and to live consciously.
Ciao for now,
Linking up with With Some Grace for #FYBF