Acai, Goji, Maca, Spirulina, Moringa, Camu Camu…the list keeps growing of foods we’ve never heard of that we’re told we must eat to be healthy. Where did these come from? Are these foods actually super? Do they have superpowers to reduce my crow’s feet, because I’ll Amazon subscription that shit. right. now.
These superfoods are trending big time and not just on Twitter. Every juice bar and froyo joint has acai plastered all over its menu. But what makes superfoods worthy of the SUPER title? Health experts define superfoods as a food that is highly nutrient dense. Meaning, these food provides a substantial amount of nutrients in very few calories. Example, you’d have to eat like ten oranges to get the amount of vitamin C in one teaspoon of camu camu powder. So, it’s superpowered, sure.
But superfoods are also foods rich in compounds like antioxidants, fiber, fatty acids, all beneficial to a person’s health.
Refresher: antioxidants are powerful substances that protect our cells from damage, and keep free radicals in check. Think of the antioxidants as a hug, that cuddles the angry, free radical cells and calms them, so they don’t do something drastic.
Many of these superfoods (berries, roots, seeds, greens, etc.) have to travel a long way to get here and that’s why we’re recently learning about them, and why they’re so expensive. Acai is grown in the Amazon, Gojis are from the Himalayas, Maca is from Peru. So, super foods, tend to be super pricy. But there are plenty of super foods (real foods) we can find in our regular people grocery store - no hippy Co-op membership required!
The list below are superfoods, highly nutrient dense and have a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and nutrients AND, can easy be found at any grocery store, and aren’t too hard on your bank account.
I’m not saying that having some camu camu powder around during flu season is a bad idea, but I am saying, don’t stress if you don’t or can’t. There are plenty of regular foods we are used to eating that are powerhouses for our health. Also, I know you’ve heard it plenty of times but, no ONE ingredient is going to save any of us. Committing to one superfood in hopes of changing your weight, or cholesterol, or skin, or whatever, isn’t the answer. A diet with a variety of these healthy real foods is what helps keep us all healthy.
Jenny is a writer, cooking coach, and host of Cliffs Notes Kitchen, where she shows how simple, bite-sized shifts with minimal effort, can create lasting changes in your health. You can find more of her articles here.