With the recent progress in nutritional analysis, scientists are increasingly focused on discovering foods with previously unknown nutritional benefits, with the promise of potential health miracles. Used by the food industry, the concept of superfoods quickly resulted in products being sold at higher prices to meet demand. But do we really have to spend all our money buying “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. When referring to food, it used to market healthy foods that are very rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre, or antioxidants. In other words, when a specific food provides many nutritional benefits with few drawbacks, we call it a “superfood”. There are different categories: Super greens (like spinach), fruits and nuts (like açai or almonds), and herbs (like cilantro). For a more complete list, here is a useful link.
Why are they so popular?
Recently, superfoods like açai and goji berries have become very popular due to their naturally high ORAC value. The term ORAC refers to the expression “Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity”, referring to what are more commonly known as antioxidants. The more prevalent the ORAC is in certain foods, the more it will contribute to fight the effects of aging and help prevent diseases such as heart disease or certain cancers, such as colon cancer.
These promises reflect 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 media.
But due to 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 can afford to buy food that would extend their lives. 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 you get fresher food : fruits and vegetables will be tastier and will store their vitamins more easily. A fresh food product is one that has spent fewer than 7 days in transit. Indeed, there is not much point in consuming a superfood that has travelled around the world, has been stored for too long or in poor conditions because there will 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 can all lead to nutrient loss in 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 flavour 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 just a little bit, because beyond their prices, their ecological impact cannot be ignored. For example, avocado production contributes to deforestation. Learn more.
Our granolas contain superfoods
You can also find superfoods in our products. In the NUTBROWN range, just as the name says, all of the products are made from a blend of nuts, including almonds, cashews, or even macadamia nuts (in the Divine variety). Seeds are also used, from pumpkin seeds (Zen) to flax or sesame seeds. In the Grand Granola products, you can also find superfoods such as whole cranberries from Quebec, matcha, currants, and Siberian ginseng.
Our tips for using superfoods in your recipes
There is a superfood that is perfect for each recipe. For a smoothie or a “nice cream” cup, frozen fruit is ideal. For a salad, dried fruits such as cranberries or raisins will add a sweet touch. Fresh fruit is delicious in its natural state or in dishes where it will be the center of attention.
To better incorporate our granolas into your recipes and get the benefits of their superfoods, you can find our recipes here. Here are a few other ideas 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, carve out some of the flesh with a spoon, add three scoops of ice cream, sprinkle with Dukkah Brunch and add a few toasted coconut slices, goji berries and another fruit of your choice for even more pleasure.
2. Easy recipe idea: Nice Cream
3. Easy recipe idea: Touki smoothie bowl
Keep in mind: The term “superfood” is mostly marketing; in reality, there are a lot of healthy foods that don’t cost an arm and a leg. They can be eaten fresh, frozen or dried. The best choice, however, to buy them directly from the nearest producer and consume them fresh. Finally, the secret is to be smart when you use them and to vary them, because they don’t all have the same benefits.