As one of the most physically demanding sports in the…
Five Local Alternatives to Exotic Superfoods
There is much truth in the phrase “You are what you eat.” It’s even more crucial that you focus on a balanced and well-chosen diet if you are serious about improving your game. Many athletes rely on food substitutes, usually in the form of powders and pills. There is nothing wrong with that per se, and a diet of substitutes has its own benefits.
However, it almost feels like every day new products with the fancy label “superfoods” are flooding the market. A trend that doesn’t seem to run out of new additions. Take the latest supplement to the ever-growing range: Camu-Camu, a plant from a small bushy riverside tree located in the Amazon rainforest.
It’s meant to be an efficient weapon to face the weight loss battle. You probably guessed it already, but you will need to purchase Camu-Camu in form of an expensive powder to enjoy the benefits from this wonder seed. Maybe that begs the question of whether it’s that beneficial if you can’t get the “real” thing?
A similar question pertains to the “Baobab” fruit, another massively hyped product that has entered the market lately. Baobab is a tree native to certain regions of Africa, Arabia, Australia, and Madagascar. It’s also known by its scientific name Adansonia, baobab trees can grow up to 98 feet (30 meters) tall and produce a large fruit that is commonly consumed and appreciated for its delicious citrus-like flavor.
Obviously, to enjoy the Baobab fruit with all its benefits associated with it, including weight loss, balancing blood sugar levels, and reducing inflammation, it’s the powder you need to order. Looking deeper into this there is also a range of unanswered questions coming along with the whole process.
Such as does it involve any form of harmful substances and under what conditions is it grown? What is the process of transportation? What about the promise of all these wonderful ingredients? Are they still included in the production, or have they vanished?
Considering so many often-unanswered questions on one hand but a strong desire to eat healthily in order to improve your fitness and game on the other, shouldn’t we ask ourselves if our local food choices can offer the same benefits even for less cash?
A bit of research combined with our very own experience resulted in a list of 5 “superfoods” that are definitively affordable and much easier to get hold of. Most importantly they come in their original shape and are not processed. Most of the products are also locally sourced which is a bonus if you care about the environmental factor.
Blueberries are an amazing fruit, not just because of their taste but also the benefits they provide. A type of flavonoid called anthocyanin gives blueberries many of their health benefits. Flavonoids are plant compounds that often have a powerful antioxidant effect.
Blueberries contain a lot fewer fruit sugars than other berries, around 42 kcal per 100g, and they are full of vitamin c, potassium, zinc, folic acid, iron, and polyphenol which are particularly helpful to boost the immune system and cell rehabilitation.
Many studies have suggested that increasing the consumption of plant foods such as blueberries decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality.
Why not have a handful of blueberries as a snack or as part of your porridge in the morning?
Broccoli is probably one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. One of broccoli’s biggest advantages is its nutrient content. It’s loaded with a wide array of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other bioactive compounds.
It contains Vitamin C and K, beta-carotin which strengthens eyesight, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and amino acids which are great for metabolism. Broccoli can be eaten cooked or raw — both are perfectly healthy but provide different nutrient profiles.
Recipe Tip: One Pot Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
Flaxseed is an amazing source of many nutrients, and some even call it one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet. It’s regarded as such a powerful food that some research even indicates that flax may reduce risks of certain cancers as well as cardiovascular disease and lung disease.
Flaxseeds contain high levels of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed is particularly high in thiamine, a B vitamin that plays a key role in energy metabolism as well as cell function. It’s also a great source of copper, which is involved in brain development, immune health, and iron metabolism.
One way to use this seed is by mixing it into morning smoothies or yogurt.
Lentils contain a huge number of natural proteins (more than 25%) which makes them a great alternative to meats as well as B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. Lentils are a great source of health-promoting polyphenols, which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties with potential cancer cell-inhibiting effects.
Whether brown, green, yellow, red, or black, lentils are low in calories, rich in iron and folate, and an excellent source of protein. They pack health-promoting polyphenols and may reduce several heart disease risk factors.
They’re easily cooked in 5–30 minutes, which — like soaking — reduces their antinutrient content.
Recipe Tip: Squash & lentil salad
Oats contain several components that have been proposed to exert health benefits. The primary type of soluble fiber in oats is beta-glucan, which has been researched to help slow digestion, increase satiety, and suppress appetite.
Beta-glucan can bind with cholesterol-rich bile acids in the intestine and transport them through the digestive tract and eventually out of the body.
Whole oats also contain plant chemicals called phenolic compounds and phytoestrogens that act as antioxidants to reduce the damaging effects of chronic inflammation that is associated with various diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Recipe Tip: Overnight Oats
In conclusion, if you are keen not just to eat healthier but rely on a nutritious diet that can give you a massive boost and comes with plenty of benefits it’s worth a trip to your local food store rather than spending a fortune in a fancy online store. Each of the above foods can be prepared into a variety of tasty recipes that make them even more exciting to enjoy.
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