Spending money on foods for fuel can be worth the splurge.
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Superfoods like E3Live blue-green algae, which is said to stabilize hormones with dozens of vitamins and minerals, skin hydrating collagen, Manuka honey and more can cost a lot but potentially pay off health-wise in the long run.
Foods marketed as superfoods are rich in nutrients and are typically plant-based and boast a number of health benefits. And Americans are willing to invest in food products that have added health benefits. Last year, young adults opted for foods and drinks with healthy nutritional profiles for 19 percent of their meals and in-between snacks, according to market research firm NPD Group.
"There are a variety of superfoods, like kale, quinoa and acai berry, that have mainstreamed and found their way into a myriad of foods," Darren Seifer, NPD's food and beverage industry analyst said in a statement. "Rather than being one of many offering a superfood, understanding the trajectory of emerging superfoods helps food marketers be ahead of the curve in making calculated decisions about new product investments."
Here are the costs and benefits of each:
Drinking collagen has been touted as the natural alternative to lip injections and fillers to promote glowing and radiant skin as a fountain of youth of sorts praised by the likes of the Kardashians and Jenifer Aniston. Collagen, a fibrous protein, is typically derived from animals like chickens or fish scales and contains high amounts of amino acids that are crucial to repairing tissues and joint surfaces to support skin and hair.
Dozens of collagen powders are on the market and contain ingredients like “hydrolyzed” type-I collagen extracted that can be dissolved into liquids. The protein-packed collagen powder is said to combat thinning hair, chronic digestive problems and lighten and brighten skin. A review from the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that subbing in collagen peptides significantly increased hydration in skin after eight weeks and ramped up collagen density.
Aniston prefers her’s in a morning smoothie, but health experts say you can mix the dietary supplement in with bone broth, oats or even coffee. But it doesn’t come cheap. Popular brand Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is around $41 per 20-ounce jar.
This variety of honey native to New Zealand has antibacterial properties that make it a standout among other traditional honey products on the market. It’s also proven to have anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties and was approved by the FDA as an option to heal and treat open wounds. The cure-all of sorts has also been proven to minimize bad oral bacteria that causes plaque to form. And it provides a soothing effect for those suffering from a sore throat. A 250-gram jar of Manuka honey costs around $30.
Extra-virgin olive oil
It’s OK to buy cheap oil for cooking but if you’re shopping for olive oil to drizzle over fresh tomatoes, salads or to dip bread in, it’s worth investing in high-quality olive oil. One quality variety you can find at a grocery store or on Amazon is Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil that’s 100 percent certified Italian and priced at $30 for 25.5-ounces. For baking, Monini Granfruttato extra-virgin olive oil is great for baking specialties like olive oil cakes.
While it’s delicious, olive oil also has myriad health and skin benefits. Studies show that fatty acids in olive oil can reduce oxidative stress in the liver and when applied to the skin, it can prevent signs of aging and sun damage.
E3Live Blue-Green Algae
E3 Lived, harvested from blue-green algae, is packed with amino and fatty acids in addition to minerals and dozens of vitamins. It’s been proven to boost energy and promote hair, nail and skin health. E3 Live, which is a blue-green color, can be sprinkled in acai bowls, smoothies or even lattes and costs around $35 a bottle. It also comes in capsules and as a frozen liquid.