Local superfood: spinach and kale just as healthy as the exotic

Local superfood: spinach and kale just as healthy as the exotic

Whether chia seeds, carob, goji or açaí berries: the so-called "superfoods" are currently on everyone's lips. Foodstuffs, which mostly come from distant countries, are characterized by their valuable ingredients, because they are particularly rich in vitamins, minerals and secondary plant substances. But the healthy superfood does not necessarily have to be imported from countries like China, Mexico or Brazil. Instead, there are a variety of domestic alternatives that are just as healthy as the exotic.

Contain large amounts of valuable nutrients
The so-called "superfoods" are well-tried natural products that have many advantages compared to industrially produced foods. So they should not only have a positive effect on our figure and mood, but also serve health to a great extent, among other things, they have an antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effect. "Superfoods such as certain nuts, berries or matcha contain large amounts of antioxidants as well as important vitamins and minerals," explains bestselling author and vegan cook Attila Hildmann in an interview with the news agency "dpa". The special foods are thus ideally suited to support the body's own repair mechanisms, the expert continues.

Hamburg-based ecotrophologist Iris Lange-Frick also emphasizes the positive aspect of the high level of antioxidants: "They have the ability to bind free radicals in the body and render them harmless," says the nutrition expert. Accordingly, these phytochemicals could prevent e.g. form “free radicals” (oxidants) through metabolic processes, stress or smoking, which are able to attack and destroy body cells. Angela Clausen from the North Rhine-Westphalia Consumer Center also believes that the valuable ingredients in plant-based foods support a balanced and healthy diet.

From an expert's point of view, more of a "marketing gimmick"
However, the term “superfoods” is, in her opinion, more of a “marketing gimmick” through which “exotic foods, packed into a story about their miraculous effects, can be sold at a high price”, the expert told dpa. Clausen points out that only a few seeds or nuts in daily food would not constitute a healthy diet. Health-conscious consumers should also be careful with superfood extracts such as Moringa powder or pomegranate capsules, because "the best from a kilogram of vegetables cannot be found in a few grams of powder." The original foods are therefore always more valuable than extracts from a nutritional point of view.

However, in order to do something good for your health, it doesn't always have to be exotics like goji berries or chia seeds, which e.g. imported from Asia or South America. Instead, many plant-based foods are also growing in Germany, which offer just as many valuable ingredients and thus represent a healthy and delicious alternative. Another advantage of the local products is the usually significantly lower price compared to the extra flown-in superfoods from afar. In addition, they are usually available on the local weekly markets and are therefore usually fresher and more vitamin-rich than foods that have already had a long journey.

Kale and blueberries as a regional superfood
Various herbs, nuts or leaf salads come into question here. Instead of chia seeds e.g. According to Clausen, flax seeds are used. Olives are a good alternative to acai berries because they have a similar nutrient composition. Other fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, lamb's lettuce or spinach and various types of cabbage can also be used to replace exotic foods. "Kale is a hyped superfood in New York City," said Clausen.

Attila Hildmann also tries to use “fresh organic products from the region” for his vegan dishes. Because in addition to the ecological aspect, due to the later harvest time, these would usually have a higher proportion of valuable ingredients than imported products. Of course, this does not apply to dried and dried foods. In addition, it was not always possible to buy only regionally, because "Matcha and many spices would not be available here," Hildmann continued.

Simply upgrade dishes with nuts or berries
According to the well-known author and chef, superfoods could easily be integrated into the daily diet. For lunch in the office a salad with quinoa and broccoli well suited. As a “superfood bomb”, the expert recommends a Matcha-Banana-Chocolate Shake, for which oat milk, almond butter, agave syrup, vanilla, matchate powder, cocoa and banana are mixed in the blender for three minutes. Hildmann adds that even simple superfoods such as some chopped walnuts or a handful of blueberries could be used to spice up dishes “super simple and tasty at the same time”. (No)

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