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Superfoods vs Superhype: Why Superfoods Deserve the Position They Have on the Market?

Superfoods vs Superhype: Why Superfoods Deserve the Position They Have on the Market?

All foods are made of nutrients, but some pack way more into their tiny size than others. That’s why they’re called superfoods. You’d think there’s nothing left to explain at this point, justifying whatever we’re gonna say next just with their nutrient-dense quality alone. But their price point and their position on the market shifts focus to the other part of the coin - is it all just a hype? 

Money makes the world go round, but it also makes us go to the grocery store and be more careful with our food choices. Do we really need this “turmeric-avocado flour, gluten-free, keto tortillas” for $12.99 or can we simply do the regular, gluten-free blend tortillas for $5.99? And is mushroom coffee really worth the hype? Does it really help you adapt to stress and calm down your cortisol levels throughout the day? 

These are the questions we ask ourselves on the daily basis, crunching down numbers and figuring out how much we’re actually spending on food these days and could be we spending less but keeping the same quality level? It seems like everything is becoming more expensive these days, and does maintaining good health really have to break our bank? 

The Healthcare System

People who argue for preventing diseases instead of curing them use the argument of “would you rather spend your money on healthy food that will help reduce your inflammation and keep your health on the optimal level or buy cheap, nutrient-empty food just to save on money and then spend it on medicine and treatments?”

And when you hear it, it makes total sense. The argument is right on point. No one wants to get sick and spend money on healing. But then again, you go to that grocery store and you’re debating whether or not the maca-almond butter with cacao nibs is really worth the $13.99 price. Superfoods on the market are often way out of many people’s budgets, making them choose cheaper options with a much lower quality. 

So, why is unhealthy food that much cheaper then? Some would argue it goes in favor of our healthcare system, making people choose lower-quality items so they would get sick and get into treatment. And even though that’s a harsh, conspiracy-theory like statement, it’s hard to explain it otherwise. Why does food that’s better for us cost an arm and a leg and a fast-food chain advertises their burgers (whole burgers!) for $3.99? It’s really hard to find a justifiable response. 

The Superhype

On the other hand, people who argue against the incredibly high prices of superfoods call it a “superhype,” or a marketing trick used by companies to bleed your  money out with 2 grams of reishi mushrooms in their coffee, doubling the price of a non-mushroom version.

Although this may be true in many cases, especially if the brand is well-established and known for its high-quality, it’s not discrediting superfoods and the role they play on the market. The health benefits they bring to the table really can’t be compared to other foods or products, which really makes them unique. 

There are always going to be people and companies who will try to take an advantage of the situation and run with the current trends, but that shouldn’t make you believe superfoods aren’t really powerful, potent, nutrient-rich foods that can optimize your overall health and longevity. 

The Nutrients

All food contain nutrients. They can be divided into two main groups: macronutrients and micronutrients

Macronutrients consist of:

  • Proteins - made out of amino acids which are the building blocks of your entire body
  • Carbohydrates - the body’s main energy and fuel source, comprising of complex and simple carbs (also known as sugars)
  • Fats - another amazing source of energy, with an important roles of enabling insulation, encouraging proper cell function, acting as the protection of vital organs, as well as promoting hormone balance

Micronutrients are:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Antioxidants
  • Other powerful plant compounds and chemicals with a strong and positive impact on our health and wellbeing

Most foods contain a good amount of macronutrients and a decent micronutrient profile. Some vegetables and fruit contain a bit more of some type of nutrients, others contain more of another type of nutrients, and this can really be shown in their color. 

Micronutrients and Colors

Each vegetable and fruit have a recognizable color and this is a reflection of their micronutrient levels. That’s where the famous “eat the rainbow” recommendation stems from. 

  • Red color - symbolizes lycopene, a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that’s known for its cancer fighting properties
  • Orange and yellow color - sign of beta cryptothanxin which helps improve intracellular communication and prevent heart disease
  • Green color - rich in sulforaphane, isocyanate, and indoles, which are strong cancer-blocking chemicals 
  • Blue and purple - sign of anthocyanins which help postpone cellular aging, help improve heart health, and block the formation of blood clots
  • White and brown - symbolize a presence of allicin, quercetin, and kaempferol, all linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases

Many inexpensive fruit and vegetables are rich in these micronutrients and they help improve your health and body functions, but superfoods contain 10 or 20 times more in a much smaller amount. That’s where their true power lies. 

In order to get the same amount of a specific micronutrient, you need 10-20 times less superfoods in comparison to whole fruits and vegetables. And when you think about eating 5 lbs of berries a day to get the same amount of anthocyanins you can get in a small serving of acai berry powder, it’s practically impossible to eat it on a daily basis. And here we’re talking about just one single micronutrient. In order to really get the “full rainbow,” you would have to eat a large variety of different foods every single day - and that’s just not sustainable or even physically possible.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, the answer is yes. Superfoods do deserve the position they have on the market, and no, their power is not a marketing trick. There will always be companies in it just for the money, but until our whole food and healthcare system changes, there isn’t much we can do about it. 

Fast food items and inflammatory foods should be way more expensive than organic strawberries, but all the evidence really does point to the system trying to make us sicker in order to spend money on healing. 

In the end it’s all about spending smart. You only need a small amount of superfoods to receive all their incredible health benefits, so when you look at it that way, a $25 bag of maca powder can be used for months to come and it’s helping improve your health more than you’re even aware of. Choose healthy and in the end, you’ll realize you’re actually not spending that much. 

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