The so-called “superfoods” are on everyone’s lips and praise their incredibly healthy effect on our bodies. But how good are these exotic foods really? And do we really need them to stay healthy?
What is Superfood?
The term “superfood” refers to pure natural products such as berries, seeds, vegetables or herbs. The foods are natural and as unprocessed as possible. Especially during production, care is taken to ensure that neither fungicides nor pesticides are used and that the whole thing can be declared “organic”. Thanks to these measures and the shortest possible transport routes, these foods retain many of their natural nutrients such as vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.
“Superfood” is by no means a new discovery, however, but merely a new term for natural products that have already stood the test of time. On the one hand, superfoods are exotic foods such as goji and chokeberry berries, chia seeds, quinoa and tiger nuts. On the other hand, however, they also include local products such as blueberries, pumpkin seeds, barley grass, dandelion, parsley or feathered cabbage. So it doesn’t have to come from far away.
The chokeberry comes from the USA and also grows wild there. Its very high levels of antioxidants (protect our cells) are good for our body. You can also consume them only in small quantities to cover the daily needs.
Blueberries and black currants contain about the same amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These can be planted in the garden itself or bought fresh at the market when they are in season. Otherwise, there is also a dried version or juice version of them.
Chia seeds provide a long-lasting feeling of satiety thanks to their unsaturated fatty acids and fiber. Dietary fiber contributes to a well-functioning digestive system, as it feeds the healthy intestinal bacteria and thus prevents colon cancer and constipation. They can bind nine times their own weight in water, swell in the stomach and thus require more volume to fill the stomach.
As a domestic alternative, we have flaxseed here, for example. They also bind water, swell in the stomach and thus provide a faster feeling of satiety. In addition, they contain large amounts of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, along with fiber and antioxidants. Flaxseed is available in drugstores, as well as in selected supermarkets.
Omega-3 fatty acids are generally enormously healthy.
Edible algae, such as chlorella, spirulina and afa are very low in calories and sometimes taste somewhat maritime. If the taste is too strong for you, you can also crush dried algae (nori leaves) and use them as a seasoning. Otherwise, you can also soak the algae to prevent a strong iodine flavor. Afterwards, the seaweed may be a bit greasy or slippery, but that is normal. You can also prepare them as a salad and eat them raw.
Algae help to prevent iodine deficiency in appropriate quantities. But they also contain many essential minerals, trace elements and vitamins. For example, zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium, selenium and iron in high concentrations. Also vitamins A, C and E.
Here, too, there are domestic alternatives that can be used instead, for example, if you do not like the sometimes somewhat fishy taste of seaweed or if you cannot find seaweed in any store nearby. Spinach is also very low in calories and contains a lot of fiber. Other ingredients of the healthy leafy vegetable are vitamin A, C and K1, as well as iron, calcium and folic acid. Spinach can be purchased frozen, as well as fresh at the market.
This superfood is gluten-free and has a slightly different nutrient composition than oats, wheat and co.
Quinoa is also a good source of high-quality vegetable protein. Quinoa also contains a lot of iron, folic acid, magnesium, zinc and manganese. It also contains a lot of dietary fiber. Because quinoa is a natural product with complex carbohydrates and hardly processed, it allows the blood sugar level to rise only slowly and thus provides energy for the brain and muscles over a longer period of time.
An alternative to quinoa is “millet”. Millet contains a lot of iron and magnesium, which makes it particularly interesting for vegetarians and vegans, who can sometimes experience deficiency symptoms. Furthermore, millet contains protein and is suitable as a sparing diet. In addition, it is also gluten-free, which makes it interesting for gluten intolerant people.
This article hopefully gives a better insight into the topic of “superfoods”. What you prefer is ultimately up to you. Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that even such particularly healthy foods can not replace an overall varied and balanced diet.