So, what makes a food super? Not much. The bar is pretty low. Truthfully, “superfood” is little more than a term created by the food industry.
But that doesn’t mean it’s completely without merit. Any food that’s earned the title is there because it packs a major nutritional punch that may contribute to some health benefits.
Despite their title, these foods don’t do anything magical. They will not cure or prevent illness all on their own, and they won’t make a significant difference to your health if your overall diet and lifestyle are not health-oriented.
Superfoods generally get their title because they are high in antioxidants, which protect your cells from free radicals. Free radicals can damage your cells and boost the risk for conditions like heart disease and more. Superfoods can’t cure the effects of cell oxidation, but they may limit the effect of free radical damage.
Another common feature of most superfoods is cost. They’re generally imported and expensive. So, are any of them worth the money? Are there alternatives? Let’s take a look.
Berries: Some berries are easily accessible and affordable. Raspberries and blueberries are both heavy hitters that are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients that are associated with better health. Acai and goji berries are great, but good luck finding them for a reasonable price.
Chia seeds: Chia seeds are a versatile way to boost omega-3 fatty acid intake. They are also higher in fiber than most other grains, while featuring a good protein profile for plant-based food.
Hemp protein: Hemp protein, like quinoa, is one of the few plant-based complete proteins. That means it features all nine essential amino acids. It is also a good source of fiber and important minerals like magnesium and potassium.
Garlic: Garlic is affordable, versatile, and rich in antioxidants that may help battle inflammation.
That’s just a small list of some common affordable superfoods that can help boost your diet. But the truth is if you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and regularly consuming a healthy diet, you’re probably getting the benefits you seek.