Everyone knows what superfoods are, but how about superfood powders? These are the latest craze to hit the health food industry, and in this article, we give you the low-down on what superfood powders are all about, and how to choose one which provides you with maximum benefit.
What type of superfood powders are available?
The most commonly available type of superfood powder is green powder – these come packed with plenty of vegetables and edible seaweed (such as Alfalfa, Spirulina and Chlorella). There are also other superfood powders which feature different ingredients, depending on their function.
For example, this “recovery” booster blend superfood powder for recovery is made up of beetroot powder, Goji berry juice powder, Camu Camu fruit powder, and Wakame leaf powder, all of which help to reduce tiredness and fatigue. This “immunity” booster blend superfood powder, on the other hand, comes with Baobab fruit powder, Acerola berry powder, freeze dried Maqui berry powder, and sustainably wild harvested Australian pepperberry powder, which contain plenty of antioxidants to help supercharge your immune system.
What should I take note of when buying superfood powder?
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is – so beware of anything that promises to taste “creamy and delicious” or “as good as a milkshake”. In order to make their green powders taste better, many manufacturers add ingredients such as sugar, artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers or thickeners, artificial colors, and even GMO ingredients to their blends. Make sure you read the ingredients label on your superfood powder, and avoid any powders which contain these additives!
What’s the difference between superfood powders and vitamins or supplements?
Nutritionists will often tell you that it’s better to get your micronutrients from whole foods as opposed to synthetic or isolated vitamins (which are found in supplements).
Here’s the rationale behind it: firstly, nutrients which are present together in whole food sources tend to work in synergy. One example? The Vitamin C and bioflavonoids in fruits (as well as the vitamins A and D in egg yolks and cod liver oil) work together, which makes it easier for your body to absorb them.
In addition to this, there are plenty of important micronutrients and phytochemicals in plants which are still undiscovered – so nixing your superfoods (or superfood powders!) for supplements means you’re missing out on all these micronutrients.
Last but not least: many vitamins (especially B vitamins!) are actually stimulants, and may cause heart palpitations and anxiety when consumed. On the other hand, vitamins which are derived from whole food sources come in natural nutrient forms, and are less likely to result in the same side effects.
If I eat a nutritious, varied diet, do I still need superfood powders?
Even if you get in plenty of greens on a regular basis, adding superfood powder to your diet may still benefit you. Our ancestors (the hunter-gatherers!) used to consume a much wider variety of vegetables; more specifically, up to 20 species in a single day. So whilst we might give ourselves a pat on the back for drinking our daily green smoothie containing lettuce, kale and spinach, this is really nothing compared to the diversity of vegetables that our forefathers used to have everyday.