If you’ve been scrolling through any wellness-related Instagram accounts lately and shopping the aisles at your local organic grocer, your kitchen might well be stocked with açai, maca, goji, and spirulina. Maybe you’ve enjoyed a Persimmon Matcha Cranberry Smoothie for breakfast and a Chia Power Bowl for lunch. No judgment, we’ve been there – it’s hard to resist, isn’t it?
These days it seems very on-trend to shell out a significant amount of money for ingredients and recipes we believe will bring us optimal health. You may not notice an extra boost of energy from that wheatgrass shot, but we’re sure your wallet is certainly feeling the difference. So, let’s get to the bottom of the following big questions: What is a superfood and are they worth the spend?
Nutrients from a faraway land
If we take what some food companies and bloggers claim at face value, then attaining perfect health is possible with the right shopping list. But we’ve noticed that filling our carts with “health” comes at a steep price. Big companies have realized just how much money can be made marketing “newly discovered” superfoods to those of us on a quest for better health. Even though cabbage and celery packed to the brim with nutritional benefits, you won’t find them taking center stage in a sexy marketing campaign. Unfamiliar, exotic foods, though? Now that’s the golden ticket.
What marketers don’t want you to know is that you can achieve health and happiness on any budget with locally-sourced ingredients. Plus, by shopping locally you’re also lending the environment a helping hand too.
As for the health claims such as weight loss and extra energy, of course, superfoods can contribute to an overall sense of well-being, but relying on them to lose weight or treat ailments like a magic bullet are misplaced. Attaining healthy weight is the side effect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Additional wellness issues you may be concerned about are more likely to be aided with the same wholesome lifestyle shifts instead of a daily açai bowl. Yes, the “magic bullet” is a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, quality protein and fat, and exercise — really.
Putting the “super” in superfoods
If only it were this easy: We just add a few spoonfuls of superfood powder to our meals and — voila! — we get all the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and protein we need. While achieving a healthy lifestyle can be simple, it’s not quite that simple.
The most important choice you can make for your wellness is to keep your overall food choices healthy. If you don’t, adding a few sprinkles of a superfood powder won’t make a difference. Two or three cups of fresh veggies at mealtime provides more nutrients and satisfaction than a spoonful of superfoods here and there.
Bottom line: If your diet consists of lots of processed or ready meals, superfoods won’t undo the effects of those choices. But, if you’re using superfoods to complement an already healthy diet, then go for it, it’s your money! 😉
Have we piqued your interest? Head over to our list of five of the best superfood alternatives that’ll save you a pretty penny — or two.