As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Food is an essential part of our daily lives because it provides the fuel we need to live normally. We’ve talked about the importance of nutrition on a regular basis, notably in our recent article ‘Foods and Drinks with Surprising Health Benefits’. In that post, we discussed common foods that are actually packed with essential nutrients that we need for daily function.
Today, we’re going to talk about an alternative way to fill in nutritional gaps and ensure our bodies are working in top condition. This alternative is through superfood blends. Superfood blends have been growing in popularity over the past few years, but what exactly makes them so special? In this article, we’ll attempt to find out more about superfoods and superfood-blends.
What Are Superfoods?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of superfoods, we first need to ask ourselves, “What exactly are they?” According to registered dietician Despina Hyde, the term superfood doesn’t refer to a strict food group per se. Instead, it’s a general term that encompasses a wide range of plant and animal food sources that all share a common trait: they’re nutritionally dense, and thus thought to be better for your health. Superfoods contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and antioxidants that help the body fight free radicals and possess anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.
The Harvard School of Public Health says that ‘superfood’ is actually a marketing term, first used in an advertising campaign to promote bananas in the U.S. Throughout the decades, it’s grown to accommodate several food sources that are believed to have the higher nutritional value given their serving sizes. He suggests that even when consuming superfoods, it’s important to have variety in our diet to gain the benefit of eating a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
Some of the most common superfoods are spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae, wheatgrass, garlic, beets, turmeric, avocado, berries (acai berries, mulberries, blueberries, goji berries), teas (green, matcha), leafy greens (kale, spinach, beet greens, collard greens, mustard greens, Swiss chard), salmon, eggs, organ meats (liver, heart, brain, sweetbreads, kidneys, bone marrow), dark chocolate, nuts (Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans), seeds (flaxseeds, chia and hemp seeds), oils (olive and coconut oil), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, turnips), and fermented foods (fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, miso, tempeh, yogurt).
Why Pick Superfood Blends?
Superfood blends are powder blends sourced from different foods. Because they make use of several sources instead of just one, Brightcore details that they’re better adapted to filling out nutritional gaps. Many superfood blends have an array of benefits, serving as anti-inflammatory solutions, energy boosters, and even blood pressure stabilizers, depending on the ingredients.
One of the main reasons why superfood blends are so popular nowadays is because they provide all of the health benefits with none of the inconvenience. Powder blends can be stored at room temperature, sometimes for weeks or months, making them vastly preferable to whole foods that go bad right away. Plus, you can take them with you on your commute to work, on trips, or even for a day out.
What Are Common Ingredients in Superfood Blends?
Superfood powders are, of course, made of superfoods. These can be anything from plant foods to animal by-products, some of which are actually pretty common. BBC Good Food lists out a few common superfood powders, which include ingredients like moringa powder, dried acai berries, spirulina, and much more. These powders can be blended into juices, smoothies, used as ingredients in soups, dips, or even as toppers for breakfast bowls.
Superfoods aren’t meant to be a one-stop solution for all your dietary woes. A balanced, whole foods diet is always going to be the most effective path to proper nutrition. However, superfoods can offer solutions to nutritional gaps without getting in the way of your lifestyle or budget. When it comes to convenience and nutrition, there’s probably nothing better.
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The FitnAll Family