With recent progress with food analysis, scientists increasingly focus on discovering foods with many unsuspected nutritional benefits, with the promise of potential health miracles. Used by the food industry, the concept of superfood quickly resulted in products being sold at higher prices to meet demand. But do we really have to spend all our money in order to consume «superfoods»? Are they that rare?
What exactly is a superfood?
The term «super» is not really a scientific term. It was introduced in the 1990s in the Oxford Dictionary. It is actually a formula used to market healthy foods, very rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber or even antioxidants. In other words, when a specific food provides many nutritional benefits, with the least amount of unwanted intake, we can call it a «superfood». There are different categories: Super greens (like spinach), fruits and nuts (like acai or almond), herbs (like coriander). For a more complete list, here is a useful link.
Why are they so popular?
For some time now, superfoods like acai and goji berries have become very popular with their naturally high ORAC value. The term ORAC referring to the expression «Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity», in reference with what is more commonly known as antioxidants. The more prevalent it is in certain foods, the more it will contribute to fight against aging and also prevent the occurrence of diseases such as heart disease, or even certain cancers such as colon cancer, for example.
A promise that meets our desire to always lengthen our lifespan and improve our quality of life. In addition, these foods are highly praised by a large number of «foodies» on social networks.
But faced with a growing demand and sometimes the rarity of these famous superfoods, their cost is often very high. This would suggest that only the wealthiest segment of the population could afford to buy food that would extend their lifespan. However, this is not the case.
Our tips for not breaking the bank while staying healthy
In Canada, especially in Quebec, local superfoods are easier to find than you may think. In addition to supporting local farmers, buying local helps preserve the freshness of your products: They will be tastier and will store their vitamins more easily. We can count less than 7 days of transport to qualify a product as being fresh. Indeed, there is no point in consuming a superfood that has travelled around the world, has been stored for too long or in poor conditions. There would not be as many vitamins left. Spinach leaves, for example, lose almost 50% of their vitamin B9 content within a week.
Food preparation is also essential. Overcooking, undercooking, or improperly defrosting your products are all processes that can lead to nutrient loss for your food. Blueberries, raspberries, cranberries or even raisins are available near you. It is possible to add them to different dishes or simply to use them as a garnish or flavor enhancer for a yogurt, for example.
These «super fruits» can be eaten fresh, frozen or even dried (you can find some in our online store). The secret is to use little and intelligently so as not to abuse of them. Indeed, in addition to their price, their ecological impact is not negligible. We can take the example of avocado, whose large production is the cause of deforestation. To learn more.
Our granolas contain superfoods
You can also find superfoods in our products. In the NUTBROWN range, for example, all of the products are made from a blend of nuts. Among them, you can find almonds, cashews, or even macadamia nuts (in the Divine). The seeds are also very present, such as pumpkin seeds (Zen) flax or sesame seeds. In addition, in the Grand Granola products, you can also find superfoods such as whole cranberries from Quebec, matcha tea, currants or Siberian ginseng.
Our tips for using superfoods in your recipes
There is a superfood right for each recipe. For a smoothie or a «nice cream» cup, we would prefer frozen fruit, for freshness. For a salad, dried fruits such as cranberries or raisins will add a slight sweet touch. Finally, fresh fruits are delicious in their natural state or in dishes in which they will be the center of attention.
To better integrate our granolas and get the benefits of their superfoods, you can find our recipes here. Here are a few others to inspire you.
1. Easy recipe idea: Dukkah Pineapple
With the good weather, why not put the pineapple center stage? The recipe is simple: Cut a pineapple in half, dig in it lightly, add three scoops of ice cream, sprinkle with Dukkah Brunch and add a few toasted coconuts, goji berries and another fruit of your choice for additional pleasure.
Keep in mind: The term «superfood» is a mostly marketing, in reality, there are a lot of healthy foods that will not empty your pockets. They can be eaten fresh, frozen or dry. It is best, however, to buy them directly from the nearest producer and consume them fresh. Finally, the secret is to use them diligently and especialy to vary them considering they will not all have the same benefits.