Are Superfoods a Fad or Worth it?

Our diets are key talking points and have been for many years. The should we/shouldn’t we debate about foods will continue to rumble on. In recent years, the ‘should’ foods that are classed as superfoods include sweet potato, kale, and quinoa. However, are these foods actually beneficial enough to merit spend the extra money on? And what exactly is a ‘superfood’? To be classed as a superfood, the product must provide a large quantity of nutritional value and antioxidants.  

Here, with grow your own veg and plant supports suppliers, Suttons, we teamed up to look at certain superfoods and whether they are all they’re made out to be. This article will look closer at whether organic really is better and also list meals that the superfoods can be used in to avoid the costs spiralling.

Mango

The mango offers an impressive 25 grams of quick-digesting carbohydrate in each 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.

Obviously, the thought of just eating a mango doesn’t appeal to everyone, so why not try a chicken mango salad?

Sardines

While this little fish can pack a punch in the smell department, it is a nutrient powerhouse too and can help reduce inflammation and promote 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.

Try out fresh sardines on toast with sweet pickled red onion for a taste sensation.

Avocado

Restaurants across the globe are adding this delight to their menu thanks to its taste and texture and the fact it’s easily adaptable to an array of 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.

It’s relatively greasy, but this grease is omega 3 type, meaning it can contribute to reducing your cholesterol 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.

Quinoa

This seed that is often confused for a grain is full of nutritional goodness. 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.

Unfortunately, although it has a higher fibre content than most grains, 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.

Sweet potato

Another food that’s a nutritional powerhouse is the sweet potato. It’s jam-packed with carbohydrates, minerals and antioxidants, as well as being 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.

Although it can cost more to buy a sweet potato, it offers much more goodness than the regular potato. 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!

While it’s true that certain fads don’t last long, the popularity of these five superfoods doesn’t appear to be fading any time soon. 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.

Wassana Lampech

Wassana Lampech is a medical technology graduate and a freelance writer. She has been writing since her college days, and has been a freelance writer for the past 4 years. You can follow her on Twitter here: @wassmam

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