"So, what are you going to be for Halloween this year?" I asked my roommate last week.
"Oh, I was thinking about being the Black Canary!"
"A black canary?" I asked, "Wow, I'd hate to open a can of worms but it sounds like I'm going to have to if you're going to be a bird for Halloween!"
My roomie looked at me totally unamused—and responded blankly with, "Um, I was referring to the superhero."
Well, at least I got a good laugh out of it.
When your passions revolve around food and nutrition, it's hard not to think about it even when something random like Halloween costumes come up. And that's why we're calling out some characters' diets—and deficiencies—just for the fun of it. As you see each character, can you guess what we'll say about them? Test yourself below while you also get the scoop on a few fun facts about nutrition.
And if the upcoming Halloween holiday has got you hankering for terror, read up on the 40 Most Horrifying Things Found in Food. That'll give you a fright for sure!
He Needs to Eat This: Plenty of leucine
Do you think the Hulk is green because his diet is flourishing in dark leafy green vegetables? While it's a nice thought, it may not be entirely accurate, especially due to the mass amount of protein he must consume to sustain his strength. Aside from meat, the Hulk should eat a diet high in the amino acid leucine, because it's responsible for muscle protein synthesis. This ultimately helps repair his muscles after lifting up cars and saving the town from destruction. He can get an adequate amount of this organic compound in both cage-free eggs and peanuts, though! Use our exclusive report on The 36 Top Peanut Butters—Ranked as your guide to adapting the Hulk's diet this October.
She Needs to Eat This: Calcium
Not to skinny shame anyone, but it's possible Tinker Bell could use a couple of pounds. Since she's so petite and very underweight, she's at risk for osteoporosis. In order to prevent her bones from becoming too brittle over time, Tink needs to up her calcium intake, stat! Greek yogurt is one food that she can introduce into her diet because it's rich in calcium and is also high in vitamin D, which actually helps facilitate the absorption of calcium in the body. She shouldn't shy away from the full-fat version, either!
He Needs to Eat This: Animal protein
Even when he's in disguise as Clark Kent, you can bet Superman is getting his fill of protein on his lunch break. More specifically, he's got his eyes on meat because it's high in vitamin B12, which is a powerhouse for energy—but only found in animal protein! News flash: the guy has to have a sufficient amount of energy 24/7 so he can jump into character faster than a speeding bullet.
She Needs to Drink This: Detox tea
These women are dancing queens! However, their jobs call on them to keep a slim figure so that they can shimmy across the floor with ease. The secret? More likely than not, detox tea would be the healthful method of choice. After all, tea can help flush away the bloat that congregates around your middle.
They Need to Eat This: Fiber
If you've ever seen any of the "Despicable Me" movies, you know how much the quirky, lovable minions are addicted to bananas. And why wouldn't they worship the yellow fruit? In addition to having a decent amount of potassium, bananas also contain folate, which indirectly facilitates the synthesis of serotonin (the hormone that makes you feel good). All that said, bananas do have a higher amount of sugar than some other fruits—but fiber can slow down your body from metabolizing it too fast and causing a blood sugar spike. Pairing a banana with something like a healthy peanut butter helps!
He Needs to Eat This: Carbs
He's gotta catch 'em all, right? With all of the recent hype about Pokémon GO, it only seemed logical to mention Ash Ketchum, the protagonist of the 1998 Pokémon series. If he's traveling the world trying to catch all of the Pokémon, then he needs an endless source of carbohydrates to give him the energy to track down these lil guys. Keep Ash in mind when you kickstart your day with a surge of energy from a heaping bowl of oatmeal!
He Needs to Eat This: Vitamin C
One major concern pirates have is getting an adequate amount of vitamin C in their diet. You know, to prevent scurvy? Luckily, there are many other fruits and veggies other than oranges that are chockful of the vitamin. One cup of strawberries actually provides 15 mg more of vitamin C than one medium orange! Check out the Best Vitamin C Rich Foods for more ideas.
He Needs to Eat This: Glycine
Perhaps the best analysis of Spiderman's diet has been conducted by Mark Lorch, a Senior Lecturer in Biological Chemistry at the University of Hull. In his analysis, he concludes that Spiderman would need to consume roughly 60 eggs per day in order to produce 100m of silk. Spider silk is predominantly made of a protein called fibroin, and 42 percent of its makeup is dedicated to the amino acid glycine. Since a singular egg only comprises of about 10.7 percent of the amino acid (the building block to the protein on the molecular level) glycine, he would need to consume a considerable amount of the food to generate enough silk for him to swing from building to building all night long.
She Needs to Eat This: Vitamin D
As the story goes, Elsa stays hidden in the depths of her room out of fear of releasing her powers to the public. Unfortunately, staying indoors (and arguably in the darkness all of the time) can lead to a serious deficiency in vitamin D, which is vital for both bone and mental health. Fortunately, she does end up escaping from the palace and eventually sees sunlight; however, she has got a lot of catching up to do. To get her stores of the fat-soluble vitamin to a balanced state, she should eat wild caught salmon at least twice a week, in addition to eggs (with the yolk), cheese, and milk.
She Needs to Eat This: Biotin
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your long hair!" It's pretty evident that Rapunzel has some strong, thick hair. So, what's her secret? The most plausible explanation would be biotin, seeing as this mineral is credible for keeping anything from your hair, eyes, nails, and liver in optimal condition. Almonds, in particular, provide an excellent source of the water-soluble vitamin, with just ¼ cup yielding 49 percent (based off of a 2,000 calorie diet) of your daily needs of it. Add some almond butter to your next smoothie for a creamy, biotin-rich twist!
He Needs to Eat This: Carbs
This costume is one that's adored by many, both male and female, year after year. With regard to Robin's diet, it's apparent that the guy enjoyed a frothy beer now and then. (After all, the story does take place in Medieval times.) For that reason, we think our favorite good thief should make sure he's got some carbs in his tummy; that's what we learned from these 23 Questions for Nutritionists from People Who Love to Drink!
He Needs to Eat This: B12 and Iron
While the Flintstone's diet is never truly disclosed in the show, we can assume that they refueled with dinosaur burgers. While we aren't exactly chowing down on dino meat, today's Fred could enjoy some great options like bison, which is an incredibly lean red meat. Eat a 4-ounce patty of this bad boy and you'll be charged with a surplus of vitamin B12 and iron. Who knows? Maybe you'll have enough energy to start operating a vehicle similar to Fred's in which you get from point A to B and get your run in for the day, too!
She Needs to Eat This: Iron
Rumor has it that Sleeping Beauty is asleep for a long period of time due to a curse. Personally, I think Disney was clouding the fact that this gal has anemia, which is causing her to feel fatigued and weak. But once she's up and at 'em again, she can get her fix of iron by integrating dark leafy green vegetables (like spinach) onto her plate at lunch and dinner. Red meat also holds a plethora of iron as well, as other energy-boosting minerals. Oh yeah, she may also want to consider adding a bit of caffeine into the mix for an extra jolt. She's going to need all the energy she can get!