As I was flipping through some old magazines, I came across this article in Personal Money : November 2011’s issue which I think is a great article and I am incline to share this with whomever sharing the same interest with me. Of course I can’t copy the whole article in this blog but I would extract the main points in the article.
All foods have nutritional value, but in recent times, a group of them have been elevated to super status thanks to the term created by marketers but claimed by nutritionists that the term “superfood” does not exist technically. The so-called “superfoods” that we often read or hear about are mostly foods that are grown abroad. Thus, they are often less available and costly in Malaysia. In reality, all types of foods contain their own nutrition profiles, and a varied diet is recommended to obtain a myriad of nutrients for health and well-being.
The hype surrounding superfoods has become so hot that companies are now selling superfood pills, extracts and elixirs, claiming to offer various health benefits such as anti-ageing, cancer fighting and detoxifications. If you do not want to break a bank or low on budget, perhaps you can refer to the alternatives below:-
Blueberries are a top choice of those promoting superfoods, and there is no doubt they are high in potassium and vitamin C. A 100gm serving contains 77mg potassium, 9.7mg Vitamin C and 6mg calcium. The only time I hear more of blueberries is at the Facebook game or on a smartphone.
Alternative : Pineapple
Pineapples are widely available in supermarkets and local wet markets of Malaysia, especially when it’s planted in states of Johor and Sarawak. At RM3.50 per kg, a 100gm serving offers 97mg potassium, 15.2mg Vitamin C and 24mg calcium.
2. Kiwi Fruit
This hairy New Zealand export has more potassium than bananas or citrus fruits and is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Personally I love kiwi fruits if not for the price that deters me from having it more often. A 100gm serving boasts 180mg potassium and 86.7mg Vitamin C.
Alternative : Guava
This fruit is abundant in Malaysia especially in the Perak and can be easily grown in the garden. A 100gm serving boasts 152mg Vitamin C, 10mg Vitamin A and 33mg Calcium.
Pomegranates are being hailed as a superfood which can protect the heart with reports that drinking a glass of pomegranate juice daily could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A 100gm serving of the fruit has 236mg potassium, 10.2mg Vitamin C, 10mg Calcium and 4g Fibre. At around RM3.30 a fruit, it may put a large dent in one’s wallet though.
Alternative : Dragon Fruit
The dragon fruit may lose out to pomegranate in terms of Calcium (8.8mg) and Fibre (0.9g) content but it leads pomegranate in potassium (436mg) and Vitamin C (14.5mg).
4. Red Wine
Everyone knows by now that a glass of red wine is high on antioxidant resveratrol. A 100ml serving of red wine has 0.198mg to 0.713mg of resveratrol. A study has shown that the French have 40% lower occurrence of heart disease than the Americans.
Alternative : Grape Juice
If you’re a teetotaller (like me) or would like to stick to a leaner budget, try grape juice. The other foods that have resveratrol include jackfruit and peanuts.
Salmon is a favourite superfood, thanks to its rich bounty of omega-3 essential fatty acids. A 100gm serving of this fish contains 2,950mg of Omega-3 and 490mg of potassium. Eating salmon 2 to 3 times a week lowers our heart disease risk and help prevent arthritis and memory loss. Wild-caught salmon is also said to be healthier as compared to farm-raised salmon.
Alternative : Indian Mackerel (Ikan Kembung)
This fish is a great source of Omega-3, with a 100gm serving boasting of 1,450mg of Omega-3 and 370mg of potassium. Besides, Indian Mackerel is more affordable. Another good alternative is canned sardines.
One of the more trendy nutritional wonders, wheatgrass is said to have beneficial effects on one’s cholesterol level, blood pressure and immune response, as well as prevent cancer, thanks to its high concentration of chlorophyll.
Alternative : Broccoli or Spinach
To enjoy the benefits of chlorophyll, look for green vegetables such as broccoli or spinach. A 30gm serving of spinach offers 128mg of potassium (compared with 42mg per 30ml of wheatgrass juice), 26mg Vitamin C (10mg) and 30mg Calcium (7.2mg).
Rather than forking out a small fortune for superfoods, one should have a balanced diet that comes from natural sources. Alternatively, you could also grow your own superfood such as wheatgrass and tomatoes. To be truly healthy, you must also be physically active eg. exercise more often, get sufficient sleep and look after your emotional well-being.