Superfoods have health benefits

By Dalton Carver
Staff reporter

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s an…apple?

“Superfood” may just be a marketing term, but it truly describes what some healthy edibles are capable of. They don’t have bulging biceps, laser vision or the ability to leap tall buildings in single bound, but they do have antioxidants, fiber and folate. Even with these qualities, can they actually get consumers that much closer to being Superman?

According to the website, superfoodsrx.com, there are 25 superfoods. The list includes apples, avocados, oranges, kiwis, oats, onions, honey, soy, pomegranates, and surprisingly, dark chocolate and cinnamon.

Most superfoods have key attributes that makes them “super.” For example, apples are a big source of antioxidants, which can protect you from diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. In addition, apples are a good source of Vitamin C, fiber and potassium. To top it all off, there are only 47 calories inside the average-sized fruit.

There are many more health benefits from superfoods. Avocados contain vitamin E and magnesium. Beans are a low-fat source of protein and dark chocolate can aid in lowering blood pressure. All 25 members of the group have a quality that gained them membership.

Superfoods may be super on their own, but they’re spectacular when combined. The effects of foods when you eat them by themselves can be increased if you make meals out of them. It’s okay to use non-superfoods, but make sure you include at least three from the list.

Eating superfoods will increase your overall health, but may not necessarily make you lose weight. Along with combining them with other superfoods, you can combine them with a workout plan for even healthier results. Someone with a weight-loss goal should consider this option.

Are the benefits worth the taste? In general, broccoli, avocado, onions and spinach are not the world’s most popular foods. In fact, they made several worst-tasting lists, including mensfitness.com and the Huffington Post.

According to fooducate.com, a popular nutritional website with a smartphone app, 40 percent of shoppers believe that healthy food doesn’t taste good. In addition, 75 percent believed that it was too hard on their wallets to eat healthy. A further one-third said that it was hard to shop for healthy meals. How easy is it to obtain and eat these foods?

Finding most of these foods isn’t difficult. Things like apples, broccoli, low-fat yogurt, oranges, spinach and tomatoes are in any supermarket.  The cafeteria even serves these items at least one of the three meals throughout the day. It’s the foods like wild salmon and pumpkins that may be harder to locate.

To cut down on costs, check if the item is in season for fruits and vegetables. For example, blueberries are more expensive when they have to be imported. If an item is still too expensive, check the list for an alternative. Some of the superfoods have similar qualities, but different prices or tastes. There are 25 superfoods on the list, so there’s always an alternative. Buy some items in bulk, so you have enough to eat when the item goes out-of-season.

Another way to save money when buying healthy groceries is to cut out soda, canned drinks and processed juices. Tea is one of the 25 superfoods and water never hurts either. Another alternative is coconut water, which is better than Gatorade for restoring electrolytes and potassium, but won’t help so much on the budget portion. Ounce for ounce, coconut water is about $2 more.

A consumer is bound to find something on the superfood list to like, with a decent matching price. Overall, superfoods are worth the effort and expense, and there are ways around both obstacles. Consistently eating them will improve your health, extending your life and making you more active. Eating them still won’t make you Superman, but eating unhealthy could very well be your kryptonite.

Dalton Carver is a junior majoring in communication. You can email him at dalton.carver@sckans.edu or tweet him @Dalty_James.

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