It seems like every week a new “superfood” finds a way to make headlines. One week it’s kale, the next week it’s avocado.
Because of that, the word “superfood” has turned into a buzzword. And thanks to clever marketing, it’s being slapped on just about anything. (Butter? Really?) With all the confusion and misinformation, many people are left wondering: what are superfoods, anyway?
What's a superfood? The meaning behind superfoods
A quick Google search for the definition of a superfood says it’s “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.”
But what does that really mean?
To put it simply, superfoods are nutritional powerhouses. They are plants, so fruits, nuts, vegetables, that are extremely high in micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, as well as antioxidants, enzymes and healthy fats. All of these nutrients are essential to your body so you can thrive.
Or to put it another way: Superfoods are the superheroes of the plant world. But instead of fighting crime, superfoods fuel your body so it can fight back against chronic disease and other nutrient deficiencies.
And even though superfoods aren’t marked with an “S” logo like Superman or wear cute little capes, they’re not as elusive as they sound. In fact, you’ve probably seen some of them at your local health food store or grocery store.
The majority of superfoods are found in nature and grow from the soil: fruits, vegetables, seeds, grasses, seaweed (or algaes) and leaves.
How to get superfood powders in the UK
Superfoods are a quick and easy way to nourish your body with natural vitamins and minerals nutrients, yet stepping into the world of superfoods can be intimidating and there are seemingly endless products. As you can see from the list above, superfoods like bananas and blueberries can be found at any grocery store. But an even easier way to consume superfoods is in powdered form.
That’s why we at Your Super combine the best superfoods that compliment each other in functional mixes. So you don’t have to get 20 different packages of powders (like Your Super founder Kristel did when she started off on her superfood journey) but only a few mixes that support your health goals.
Lists of the best superfoods
While it’s true that no one food is a medical cure-all, multiple scientific studies have shown that certain foods provide greater health benefits than others. Here are some of the foods that have earned themselves the title of “superfood” — and the science to back it up.
Alfalfa is a foraging crop. While it’s primarily cultivated for animal feed (especially for its hay), alfalfa sprouts have an impressive nutritional profile. In addition to being rich in vitamins and minerals, alfalfa has been shown to lower cholesterol levels as well as reduce inflammation and oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Find it in Skinny Protein.
Barley is a nutrient-rich food loaded with vitamins and minerals such as fiber, iron and calcium. Research shows barley grass can not only boost the immune system, but it can also kill cancer cells. Find it in Super Green and Power Matcha.
Chlorella is a powerful micro-algae that contains more chlorophyll than any other plant. Because of that, chlorella has been shown to protect the body against radiation treatments. Research also shows that chlorella detoxifies heavy metals from the body and keeps them from being absorbed. Find it in Super Green.
Matcha, or powdered green tea, contains 3 times more catechins (a type of antioxidant) than regular brewed green tea. The natural caffeine in matcha has also been found to promote alertness while avoiding a crash in energy levels. Additional research shows matcha improves attention, reaction time and memory. Find it in Power Matcha.
Moringa is rich in antioxidants as well as protein, potassium and calcium. It also contains 6 times the amount of iron than kale and provides all 9 essential amino acids. As far as health benefits go, research shows moringa fights inflammation, supports brain and cardiovascular health and reduces liver damage. Find it Power Matcha, Skinny Protein and Super Green.
Wheatgrass (which is gluten-free by the way!) is an edible grass that’s high in vitamins A, C and E as well as iron and calcium. It also contains 17 amino acids — 8 of which the body can’t produce on its own — and chlorophyll. Find it in Power Matcha and Super Green.
Chaga mushrooms, also known as “black gold” due to its cork-like orange tissue, are known for their antioxidant content (you better believe they are antioxidant powerhouses). In fact, they have one of the highest if not THE highest antioxidant content of any other food. Research also shows this functional fungus can reduce oxidative stress. Find it in Magic Mushroom and Super Brew.
Known as the “Queen of Mushrooms,” reishi mushrooms can help balance your body and mind. How so? The reishi mushroom is considered an adaptogen, which means this powerful fungus can help your body handle stress, whether it be emotional, physical, or environmental. Find it in Magic Mushroom.
Tremella mushrooms, also known as snow fungus or beauty mushrooms, have been used for centuries for their skin benefits. They are a natural source of minerals and contain high amounts of polysaccharides, an antioxidant that can help keep skin hydrated. Find it in Plant Collagen.
Superfoods for skin
Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. What makes this golden spice so powerful is the active compound curcumin, an antioxidant. It can help with inflammation - not only from the inside but also from the outside e.g. by making a face mask. Find it in Golden Mellow.
Have you ever sliced an aloe leaf open? If you have, you’ve noticed the slimy, water-filled tissue inside each leaf. It’s this “gel” that contains the most beneficial compounds in the plant, including antioxidants, enzymes, and vitamins A and C. Not only is aloe vera known for improving skin texture, but this hydrating plant is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and contains antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties. Find it in Plant Collagen.
Rice bran solubles are a bio-available source of tocotrienols that the body can convert into vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that is important for cell regeneration and general skin appearance. Find it in Plant Collagen.
Hormone-balancing superfoods & superfoods for menopause
Also called “Indian ginseng,” this adaptogenic root has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It can help the body to adapt to stress better and may even help against anxiety. Find it in Golden Mellow and Magic Mushroom.
Also known as Peruvian ginseng, maca root is similar to cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. Several studies have shown maca to be a natural mood booster by reducing depression and anxiety symptoms. Other interesting benefits include an increase in libido (in both men and women) and an increase in fertility in men. Find it in Power Matcha, Plant Protein, Energy Bomb, Forever Beautiful and Moon Balance.
Cherished by the Ancient Romans, beetroots are packed with essential nutrients, such as folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Find it in Moon Balance.
This adaptogenic root is a staple in Ayurvedic medicine and has traditionally been used to support the female reproductive system during every single one of its stages. Find it in Moon Balance.
Raw cacao contains 20 times more antioxidants than blueberries. It's also a great natural source of iron, magnesium and potassium – all while simply tasting great and helping with sweet cravings. Find it in Magic Mushroom.
Superfoods for pregnancy
Before taking any superfoods during pregnancy and nursing, please consult your doctor! It is recommended to stay away from any superfoods containing any form of natural caffeine, such as guarana or matcha. Here are some recommended superfoods that add the specific nutrients which the body needs during pregnancy:
Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and romaine lettuce, are some of the best veggies to eat while pregnant because they’re rich in iron and calcium.
Berries (see below)
Eating berries and other fresh fruit provide pregnant women and their babies with lots of important vitamins and nutrients. Blueberries are especially rich in folate and antioxidants such as Vitamin C.
This superfruit contains 7-10 times more vitamin C than oranges and 2 times more calcium than cow’s milk. As far as nutrition goes, baobab fruit packs a big punch when it comes to essential nutrients: fibres, magnesium, magnesium, potassium, antioxidants and even polyphenols make up for an impressive nutritional tab on baobab! Find it in Moon Balance and Super Green.
Bananas are a good source of folate as well as other vitamins and minerals, such as potassium. They also contain vitamin B6, which may help with morning sickness symptoms like nausea. Find it in Plant Protein.
Chia seeds date back as far as 3500 BC and they were a staple in the Aztecs’ diet. In Mayan, “chia” means strength, which makes sense considering chia seeds are an excellent source of protein. They’re also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and antioxidants. Find it in Forever Beautiful.
Spirulina is a blue-green mirco-algae and one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. The Aztecs, who referred to spirulina as “Tecuitlatl,” consumed it for energy and strength, which makes sense considering it’s a complete protein source. Find it Skinny Protein and Super Green.
Açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berries are native to Central and South America, especially Brazil where they grow in parts of the Amazon rainforest. Also known as the Brazilian beauty berry, their high antioxidant content (more than blueberries or cranberries) can help prevent signs of anti-aging and keep your skin looking youthful and healthy. Find it in Forever Beautiful and Energy Bomb.
Blueberries are proof that superfoods come in small packages. These tiny, but mighty berries are loaded with disease-fighting nutrients like antioxidants and phytochemicals as well as high levels of vitamin K, C and E. Find it in Forever Beautiful.
Maqui berries are extremely high in antioxidants — three times more than blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. They’re primarily rich in anthocyanins, which give the berries their dark purple color. Anthocyanins have been shown to reduce free radical damage and promote skin health. Find it in Forever Beautiful.
Also known as "Indian Gooseberry" this ancient fruit is rich in antioxidants and a natural source of Vitamin A, E, C as well as the minerals iron and calcium. Find it in Moon Balance.
Superfoods for digestion
This root vegetable is naturally high in fibre and contains 57% inulin, a fermentable dietary fibre that also gives Jerusalem Artichoke its sweet taste. Fibre feeds the good bacteria in the gut that are vital for healthy digestion. Find it in Gut Feeling.
Ginger has a long history in alternative medicine. The root’s natural oils, Gingerols, have an antioxidant effect. It also contains the digestive enzyme protease which helps with the breakdown of proteins. Find it in Golden Mellow, Gut Feeling and Gut Restore.
This delicious tropical fruit contains potent digestive enzymes like amylase. It also contains antioxidants like vitamin C. Find it in Gut Restore.