The world’s most luxurious foods aren’t all about taste; many are brimming with nutritional benefits that won’t make you feel so guilty if you decide to indulge.
According to Guinness World Records, the most expensive caviar comes from the rare albino sturgeon that resides in the Caspian Sea. It goes for $34,500 per kilogram (or approximately 2 pounds, 2 ounces). Luckily, there are many other varieties that come with smaller price tags, but like the albino sturgeon roe, pack a nutritionally dense punch. Due to its high concentrate of omega 3 fatty acids, caviar may help with brain function and ease depression. The delicacy is also rich in many vitamins and potassium.
For those who want a little more meat for their dollar, Wagyu steak, the brand of beef that comes exclusively from Kobe, Japan, is your best bet. Topping the list of the priciest steaks known to man, they are also possibly the most pampered. The health benefits—rich in iron, B12 vitamins and a host of minerals—are complemented by the fact that the animals are supposedly raised in a spa-like environment, where they are regularly massaged and drink only purified water. Premium cuts of Wagyu beef in trendy restaurants around the country often start off at $175.
As of late, chefs and foodies seem obsessed with truffles, the fungi that grow underground in France and Italy and are traditionally hunted by pigs (dogs are now commonly used as well). However, the uniquely musky-tasting morsels come at a hefty price. The New Yorker reported that in December of 2014 a 3.93-pound white truffle sold for $50,000 during a Sotheby’s auction. There are less expensive options, but truffle-lovers looking to enjoy the host of healthy minerals that truffles provide—including copper, magnesium, iron and zinc—should be aware there are many ways in which people fake it, including using other mushrooms as a substitute or chemicals meant to mimic the smell and taste.
It takes an estimated 80,000 flowers to produce one pound of saffron, making it the most expensive spice in the world per gram. Made from the stigmas of colorful crocus flowers (each flower only has three), the Asian spice is often used in curry dishes and paired with turmeric, cumin and other similar spices. But all the work it takes to harvest the spice is worth it to those who say the spice is rich in vitamins and minerals and has antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-depressant properties.
Time magazine reported that the world’s most expensive coffee, going for anywhere between $30 a cup to $100 a cup, is also possibly the strangest. Made from coffee beans that have been partially digested by civet animals in Indonesia, followers of the trend say the process adds a unique flavor to the beverage. Despite the interesting process, the health benefits of this coffee are the same as your regular cup of joe, which include improved brain and physical function and a healthy dose of minerals such as riboflavin, magnesium and manganese.