Healthy Living

Are these three health foods a passing fad?

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Food trends come and go, so how can we be sure that the next great superfood is actually worthwhile or just a flash in the pan?

Let’s choose three of the biggest names being batted around by nutritionists these days to see if they’re worth the hype.

Quinoa

This stuff is supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread to hear nutritionists talk about it. Known as an “ancient grain,” it’s actually a seed and that was first cultivated 3,000 years ago in the Andean region of South America.

It’s come into heavy favor in the United States within the last five years for it’s incredible nutritional profile: it’s one of the few plant-based sources that provide a complete protein, which means it contains all 9 essential amino acids, while being low in calories and also high in fiber.

But is it worth the buzz? The answer is a resounding yes! Quinoa is a true superfood, and it’s no wonder the ancient Andean people relied on it so heavily for their nutrition.

Chia Seeds

I don’t know what was going on with ancient Mesoamerica, but they were apparently sitting on a goldmine of nutrition. Here’s another ancient seed touted for its nutritional properties.

Chia (yes the same stuff they used to make Chia Pets in the 1980s) was first cultivated by the Aztecs and was as important as maize (corn).

Worth the hype? You better believe it. A serving of these tiny black seeds are loaded with heart-healthy Omega 3s, 4 grams of protein, and 18% of your recommended calcium.

Spirulina

Credit vegans for the popularity of this dark green powder. It’s actually an algae, but in packing a whopping 15 grams of protein—as much as two eggs—it’s become a favorite way for those who choose not to consume animal products to get this important nutrient.

Bottom line: If you’re already getting enough protein, you can go ahead and skip this one if you want. Spirulina is a perfectly good and healthy food, but the typical Western diet already provides plenty of protein for the average American.

So if you’re a carnivore (or at the very least you eat eggs and dairy), you could probably avoid this pricey supplement and get your protein from animals sources instead.