“Superfood: a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and wellbeing.”
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you read the word ‘superfood’?
Do any of these foods spring to mind:
Macca powder, chia seeds, salt flavoured with the sweat of Sherpas, kale, goji berries, raw cacao, pond scum (otherwise known as spirulina), chia seeds, acai berries, bee pollen, hemp protein, chia seeds, chlorophyll, sea weed, any other David Wolfe endorsed product?
I certainly had the impression that these were essential ingredients for the elixir of life, eternal youth, immunity to all disease and x-ray vision.
And so because we’re living on a tight budget, I figured I would not be looking forward to x-ray vision any time soon.
Probably a good thing really, don’t you think?
It turns out there’s more to the story of superfoods than exotic fruits from endangered rainforests, jettisoned across the globe.
Other superfoods include: berries, beans, oats, broccoli, avocado, beans, walnuts…
…apples, pears, potatoes, onions, eggs, asparagus, coconut, turkey, oranges, lemons, capsicum, pumpkin, yoghurt…
…spinach, cabbage, carrots, plums, quinoa, sesame seeds, cauliflower, olive oil, tea…
…brown rice, mushrooms, spices, garlic, herbs, liver, tomatoes, salmon…
…but you probably already know this.
A superfood diet is not about expensive healthfood store finds, it’s just a plant-based (eat mostly plants) wholefood diet.
And while I can’t guarantee x-ray vision, eating a balanced diet that emphasises wholefoods and fruit and vegetables, foods that you can get from your local supermarket or farmer’s market, foods that are Australian grown, will contribute to your health, wellbeing and longevity, without breaking the budget.
“Superfood: a marketing term used to describe foods with supposed health benefits” [source].
A ‘superfood’ diet begins in the greengrocers
Do you shop at the health food store?
When I enter a health food store, I’m like a kid in a candy store. There’s nothing like the promise of vitality, inner peace and healthy chocolate.
And then I look at the prices.
And then I back slowly towards the door muttering “noooo touching”.
“Would you like to taste our yoghurt-dipped dried mango at $52 a kilo?”
“I’m sure it’s delicious…but noooo thank you.”
A superfood diet, at least not a budget one, is not found at the health food store.
It starts at the greengrocers, or the greengrocer section of your supermarket, or the farmer’s market, or your own vegie patch.
Fresh fruit and vegetables (frozen counts too), nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, eggs, some dairy and meat if you’re so inclined. Particularly organ meat. And, as an extra frugal bonus, lentils, beans, brown rice and oats!
A superfood diet skips the processed foods, breakfast cereal, sweets, junk foods, fake foods, and packaged foods – at least most of the time (does the pond scum make up for last night’s Mars Bar? I live in hope.)
This plain and simple wholefood diet is also synonymous with detox diet, anti-inflammatory diet, anti-aging diet, anti-cancer diet, healthy diet and weight loss diet.
Nanna had it right about an apple a day.
We all already know what healthy eating looks like. Maybe it’s the promise of a magic quick-fix that has us searching for, and swallowing, something more. The great news is, great health is as close as your own fridge and as affordable as the next grocery shop.
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.