Are Superfoods More Expensive? Are They Worth It?
When it comes to eating healthy and choosing healthier food options, many people complain about their price, saying they’re too expensive and not really affordable for every budget. Most particularly superfoods, as it may be hard to justify spending $30 on a bag of powder.
But, are they actually worth it? And what goes on in the background of bringing these powerful plant compounds to your homes, making them available for your consumption in order to improve the quality of your overall health? Here’s what you should know.
What are Superfoods?
The term “superfoods” has been put in the spotlight several times throughout the years, with some people claiming it’s just a marketing fad designed to trick people into buying otherwise regular ingredients. What they fail to combat is the actual main reason why a certain food or ingredient is considered to be a “superfood.”
It’s not just about the micronutrients or potential health benefits they bring to the table, it’s also about the ratio of nutrients and actual caloric content - the highest amount of nutrients for the lowest serving size.
For example, one serving of tiny goji berries contains 501% of daily value (DV) of vitamin A, 11% of DV of iron, and 15% of DV of vitamin C, together with four grams of protein and 3.6 grams of fiber. In comparison, one serving of carrots has 110% DV of vitamin A, 10% DV iron, and 2% Vitamin C.
That’s where their actual power lies, in the density of nutrients. They provide more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids, and other micronutrients in a much smaller serving size, making you need only a tiny bit in order to receive an abundance of health benefits.
The Health Benefits of Superfoods
It’s practically impossible to list all the health benefits superfoods can provide us with, as they range from anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects to optimizing your hormonal profile and stimulating release of happy molecules, serotonin and dopamine. Still, some of the most important include:
- Antioxidant support - most superfoods are rich in antioxidants, one of the most important plant compounds that help fight harmful free radicals and their cellular damage which can cause serious diseases such as cancer and autoimmune disorders
- Reducing inflammation - inflammation is the root cause of almost every disease, imbalance, or infection in the human body, and superfoods help reduce your immune response, protecting healthy tissue and cells while fighting off harmful pathogens
- Lowering blood pressure - a variety of vitamins and minerals help balance out the excess of sodium which can elevate your blood pressure
- Optimizing hormones - not only can superfoods help balance out your stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, but also reproductive hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, promoting the optimal health of your hormonal profile
- Improving cardiovascular health - superfoods help clean out your arteries and improve blood flow, balance out blood glucose levels, and with it improve your heart health, preventing cardiovascular diseases from developing in the first place.
The Sourcing of Superfoods
The thing with superfoods is, in order for them to actually be as rich in vitamins and minerals, they need to grow in a toxin-free environment where the soil, water, and air aren’t as depleted, polluted, or crowded with a variety of different other foods fighting for nutrients.
That’s why they’re mostly found in high elevations and hard to reach areas of the world such as Peru, Indonesia, and Siberia, making their importing and processing while trying to maintain the amount of high-quality nutrients the same, a pretty expensive task.
Take into account how hard some of these superfoods are to reach, what small percentage of people can even grow them, and what amount of crop can even be harvested, processed, and prepared for sale. And the demand just keeps on growing.
Economy law number one - the one of supply and demand tells us how we, people, drive up prices by increasing our demand for a certain good. Especially if it’s something that’s rare, unique, and hard to get to.
That’s where no health benefits or far away world destinations play any role, it’s simply economy. The demand for something completely unimportant or interest in something unhealthy can just as much drive prices up, especially if the product in question is impossible to be produced in larger amounts.
Unfortunately, that also means that a lot of brands uses this as an opportunity to create lower-quality products to meet the demand needs, including large amounts of artificial ingredients, added sugar, and synthetic thickeners.
Are Superfoods Worth It?
Knowing you’re spending $100 on a few bags of superfoods can be a lot to process, but here are a few important things to consider before you give up on your purchase:
- You only need a tiny bit to get an abundance of nutrients, meaning these bags will last you a very, very long time
- They have a long shelf life so you don’t have to worry about superfoods going to waste if you haven’t used them in a week
- You can use them in a variety of different recipes and basically include them into everything you eat, from smoothies and smoothie bowls to dressings and sauces
- You would have to buy large quantities of different fruits and vegetables, and eat them every single day in order to get the amount of vitamins and minerals you get in just a few teaspoons of superfoods
- Their health benefits are incredible and help you support your immune system and promote your overall health and wellbeing, protecting you from a variety of different diseases and inflammatory disorders, saving you a lot of money you could potentially have to use on medicine, testing, and treatments
Superfoods are incredible natural foods that help us fight the inevitable issues of today’s life, protecting us from harm and aiding in our nutrient intake with only a few teaspoons at a time. So, yeah, when you just look at the small picture, they are expensive, but when you look at the big picture, they are absolutely worth it.
The amount of money we all spend on life and life’s necessities, not to mention luxuries, in most cases cannot be justified with its value. Superfoods can. Their value is bringing so much more to the table than can even be described, and if only more money was put towards growing some of the more exotic superfoods in our own country, we wouldn’t be dealing with shipping and handling fees which are only driving prices up.
But, unfortunately, until the world’s system of preventing disease doesn’t become before treating them, it’s hard to imagine this will become our reality.