The term ‘superfoods’ has been thrown around a lot of late as we have watched the emergence of produce such as sweet potato, kale and quinoa. However, healthy eating can often be extremely costly. To be classed as a superfood, a product must include a high quantity of nutritional value and antioxidants, but are they really worth it?
Here, we look at five so-called superfoods and debate whether they are indeed all they’re made out to be.
Many often mistake this nutritionally powerful seed for a grain. Featuring all 10 essential amino acids, quinoa is understood to be a complete protein which can help your muscles repair. Due to it being a complex carbohydrate, offering 46 grams each cup, it provides longer lasting energy.
It is also gluten free and has a higher fibre content compared to most grains. Unfortunately, though, it’s not all soluble fibre. It has a low glycemic index which can help be part of a lower calorie intake. With many believing quinoa is an expensive commodity, a quick and easy cheap recipe is spinach and mushroom quinoa.
The taste and texture of an avocado has seen it quickly rise in popularity. It’s becoming more of a major player in restaurant menus due to its easily adaptable approach to recipes. It offers a host of vitamins, including A, C, D, E and K, as well as folic acid, magnesium, potassium, Omega 3, lutein, and fibre.
Although it is argued to be a greasy fruit, the majority of its grease is omega 3 type and can aide cholesterol lowering to prevent heart disease. The grease can be used instead of butter or oil when cooking and the actual flesh can also be used to create hair and face masks. Super, right? While it can be produced in forms including soups, juice, toast, salads, and smoothies, a cheap way to incorporate avocado into your diet is by creating a budget brunch of guacamole bread that can cost as little as 76p a head.
Your body will feel the benefits of this little nutrient powerhouse that provides a strong scent. They can go a long way in helping to reduce inflammation and promoting bone, heart, and skin health. A single can of sardines contains more calcium than a glass of cow’s milk — 300mg! As well as this they are high in vitamin D and, like avocado, have a great omega 3 fatty acid profile. Some of its great qualities include immune-boosting properties due to its high amount of selenium. This is normally found on its skin, so don’t go skinning this fish! The skin also helps your skin, aiding conditions such as psoriasis.
This superfood is a delight for the bank balance too. A recipe to rely on could be fresh sardines on toast with sweet pickled red onion.
Known for being a quick-digesting carbohydrate, the mango offers 25 grams per one cup serving. It’s bursting at the seams with over 20 vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is thought by many to be one of the tastiest ways to support a healthy lifestyle. The fruit can rapidly boost your energy at a time when your body needs it. If you don’t want to eat a mango as is, why not try a chicken mango salad? A great way to get the most out of the mango in a tasty, light and cheap dinner.
Jam-packed with carbohydrates, minerals and antioxidants, the sweet potato is another powerhouse of nutrients and a great source of potassium. This, according to studies, aids muscle tissue repair and can help prevent fatigue in your muscles. Their fibre content is higher than the average potato and, when combined with the likes of magnesium, the sweet potato can help improve your digestion. Elsewhere, they are an effective remedy to curing congestion of the nose, which can help relieve asthma and treat bronchitis. Other benefits are said to include a boosted immune system, helping to cure stomach ulcers, and maintaining the body’s water balance.
While they can be costlier compared to the usual spud, like their less-healthy counterpart, they are simple to grow. Why not set up your own patch with vegetable seeds and a potato patch? Save money and switch to a healthier potato: what’s not to love? For a tasty recipe look no further than the old staple shepherd’s pie. Simply replace the normal mashed potato topping with sweet potato and you’re onto a winner!
It certainly looks like these superfoods are here for the long run. With so much goodness to offer, they don’t have to be part of an expensive recipe and by researching meals, you can incorporate into your diet without adding too much cost to your weekly shop.
This article will look at whether organic really is better and also list meals that the superfoods can be used in to avoid the costs spiralling.