Superfoods – hype or not?

September 11, 2015
berries, superfoods

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.

berries, superfoods

© Susie Garden – Head This Way – 2015

 

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:

  • Blueberries
  • Kale
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Almonds
  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Coconut
  • Beetroot
  • broccoli
  • 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.

Foods like:

  • 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.

CONNECT with Susie
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Ciao for now,

Min-Signature

Linking up with With Some Grace for #FYBF

& joining in with Bron of Maxabella Loves,
Sonia of Life Love & Hiccups and Melissa of Hugzilla for #WeekendRewind

 

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20 Comments

  • Reply Amy @ HandbagMafia September 11, 2015 at 7:57 am

    From all I’ve read, superfood is just a buzz-word and a way to make things more expensive. “Healthy” food would be just as appropriate and you are so right- eating better and less sugar is far more valuable than the odd goji-berry!

    • Reply Min September 11, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Spot on Amy – more important to get your general eating habits healthy than eating the odd goji-berry when everything else you eat is not good for you!

    • Reply Hugzilla September 13, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      Nailed it. On the flipside though, it’s nice to see some marketing hype around natural, healthy food.

      • Reply Min September 13, 2015 at 11:48 pm

        It’s such a great message Susie gets across in this post isn’t it! The exotic superfoods are great and have benefits but not much use if what you eat generally is crap. So best to get your general eating habits in order first before bothering to experiment with the exotic superfoods. 🙂

  • Reply Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad September 11, 2015 at 8:27 am

    After having baby number three, I’m keen to kick start a new nutritious eating regime so that I can keep my energy up. I’m curious about super foods right now so this was good to read. I do love and eat most of those every day super foods. I’m all over sweet potato right now and use cacao but haven’t been adventurous enough to try some of the other exotic super foods. I think I need to work on cutting my sugar down first so these super foods can really do their job.

    • Reply Min September 11, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      You’re right Vicki – more important that focus first be on general healthy eating habits before trying some of the more exotic superfoods. I’ve recently cut out sugar and the artificial sweetener ‘sugarine’ that I used to add to my coffee. I tried to have coffee with no sugar but I need the sweetness SO I’ve started using Stevia – a more natural & healthy option. It took some getting used to but I’m ok with it now!

  • Reply Vanessa September 11, 2015 at 8:45 am

    I’m a little over the superfoods hype, but that’s more from the magical blender ad point of view than anything else haha. What ever happened to just eating your veggies? I love the veggies from my corner store – so fresh and actually have a taste (unlike supermarket veggies).

    • Reply Min September 11, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      I love my veggies! Char-grilled Eggplant is my absolute fav at the moment! 🙂

  • Reply Haidee@Maybe Baby Brothers September 11, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I had no idea mushrooms were a super food! I’ll have to look more into that! Half the stuff in the second list I have never heard of! Haha.

    • Reply Min September 11, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Isn’t it great to learn new stuff!! 🙂

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid September 11, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Thanks for the heads up, Susie. I think those exotic superfoods are a way to make me part with my moolah! I like your first list, much more affordable, super nutritious and containing some of my favourite foods! Incidentally, my friend is a cardiologist and he said eating some dark chocolate every day is good for you! I love that idea! PS Happy weekend, Min. RU OK? xx

    • Reply Min September 11, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      I wish I loved dark chocolate Sammie but it is milk chocolate that calls to me! Can you get your cariologist friend to tell me that eating milk chocolate every day is good for me … pretty please?! Happy weekend to you too and thank you for asking – I’m doing ok! Onward and upward with my secret mission! I had lunch and a movie with a friend today and tomorrow I’m having lunch out with another friend! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Zoe | A Quirky Bird September 11, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    You hit the nail on the head, everyone is up for the quick fix and at the moment it’s kale smoothies. Case in point – my father in law hasn’t seen a dentist probably since the sixties ( I wonder how my MIL kisses him). He drinks a kale smoothie every morning. Quite often this awesome start to the day is followed by either sausage rolls or sometimes Maccas (I can’t remember my last Maccas). Can kale take on fast foods – no. Zoe xx

    • Reply Min September 11, 2015 at 10:07 pm

      Oh my goodness Zoe – don’t know why your F-I-L bothers with the kale smoothies if he’s following it up with sausage rolls or Maccas! lol xo

  • Reply Jules September 13, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Its so great to see these foods listed and know that we are eating most of the top list everyday . Our younger girls love avocados and Given the choice our two year old chooses raw mushroom and fruit over biscuits . Thanks for sharing x

    • Reply Min September 13, 2015 at 11:38 pm

      That is fantastic Jules that your two year old chooses raw mushroom and fruit over biscuits! Well done you! 🙂 x

  • Reply Em September 13, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I love some of the everyday super foods like quinoa, kale and sweet potato but I don’t know how I’d go eating algae !!! Just seems a bit scary! I like how it’s so easy to incorporate them into meals.

    • Reply Min September 13, 2015 at 11:39 pm

      Like you Em, I’m very lucky that I really enjoy a lot of the foods in Susie’s list there and the ones you mentioned. I haven’t tried algae but I’m curious so I’d give it a go! lol 😉

  • Reply Grace September 13, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    So nice to see a realistic and natural list of super foods. Usually people list stuff that’s so unattainable and/or super expensive. I love my almonds. Perfect midday snack!

    • Reply Min September 13, 2015 at 11:49 pm

      I agree Grace and I love my almonds too – though I do struggle to limit how many I have *shhh*! 🙂 x

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