What Do Powdered Superfoods Really Do for You?
April 22, 2022
Before we talk about superfood powder benefits or whether superfood powders work, let’s answer the superfoods question: What is a superfood?
The term “superfood” has been bandied about for decades, usually in conjunction with fruits, vegetables or grains that pack a nutritional punch without many drawbacks, like being high in calories or having the wrong kind of fat.
Although it’s not an official nutrition group, it is a common term used to describe a food that appears to have more than its fair share of nutritional benefits. Chia seeds are a great example. They not only deliver healthy fats, they also have protein, fiber, minerals and antioxidants. And one tablespoon is 69 calories.
“Superfoods are typically high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, among other nutrients,” said Katie Throop, a registered dietitian working on Nutrilite products. “The antioxidants are key because they help our bodies fight against cell-damaging free radicals and help support our immune systems.”
In addition to chia seeds, other common superfoods are berries, broccoli, kale and other leafy greens, as well as nuts and whole grains. While we know that we should include a healthy amount of superfoods and other fruits and vegetables in our regular diet to support our optimal health, all too many of us fall short.
“Only 15% of Americans consume the recommended amount of fruit every day and even when they do, their intake tends to be from one kind of fruit, often only apples or bananas,” Throop said. “That means many Americans are missing out on the benefits that are associated with eating a variety of fruits and vegetables from all the color groups. This is where supplements can help.”
Superfood powders take many of the beneficial nutrients of those foods and convert them to powdered form through processing, like juicing or drying. While not a substitute for eating whole fruits and vegetables, superfood powders give people an easy and efficient way to get the plant nutrients they might be missing in their daily diet.
Contrary to what many might think, adding powdered superfoods to your diet doesn’t mean you’ll be drinking a green smoothie every day—well, not unless you want to. Powdered superfoods come in a variety of flavors, colors and combinations, many with ingredients designed to highlight specific nutrients.
Those who know they get enough greens each day might consider targeting a different superfood group to supplement. For example, plant nutrients from the purple group of fruits and vegetables are known to support your immune system. But Throop said most people don’t consume enough to see the full benefits.
“Scientific research has shown little difference in health benefits for people who eat just a few purple foods a few times a week over those who don’t eat any,” she said. “That means a few blueberries or purple vegetables here and there won’t really improve your otherwise healthy diet. You must eat enough to get the benefits.”
One way to do that is to choose powdered superfoods that provide those missing plant nutrients, such as Nutrilite Organics Antioxidant Superfood Powder. It features two powder blends from 10 purple and red organic fruits and vegetables, including elderberry, blueberry, acerola cherries, beets and purple carrots.
“Nutrilite Organics Antioxidant Superfood Powder is designed to help support your body’s healthy immune system with nutrients from two blends of carefully selected dark purple and red organic plant superfood concentrates,” Throop said. “It provides a focused mix of natural nutrients, antioxidants, plant nutrients and vitamin C.”
Powdered superfoods are designed to be good for you by delivering supplemental nutrients to your diet. But it’s important to choose wisely.
Before you purchase one, look closely at the ingredients so you know you’re getting the nutrients you need. But also look for things you might not want, like too many added fillers or artificial sweeteners.
A good start is to choose a certified organic superfood powder. That way you know the fruits and vegetables were grown in a way that was free from chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones or GMOs, and that the product itself is free of artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.
Just look for the USDA certified organic seal on the label. That’s also where you can see if the product is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free or soy-free.
Consider doing some research on how the powder was processed, too. Some methods use high heat that can reduce nutrient levels when the ingredients are turned from a whole plant to a powder. None of the Nutrilite Organics Superfood Powder ingredients are heat-treated. They are processed from raw foods to help protect their natural plant nutrients.
There are plenty of superfood powder benefits. They provide an easy and convenient way to add more plant nutrients to your diet, helping to fill any nutritional gaps. And research shows other health supporting benefits, too. Just make sure you choose one that aligns with your nutrition goals, whether you’re trying to simply add more plant nutrients, support your immune system, support your energy or something else.
And to ensure you’re purchasing a high quality superfood powder, look for one that has third-party verification of its ingredients so you know the package contains what it says it does. This is another occasion where you can look for the USDA certified organic seal.
NSF International is another independent certification organization. Products bearing the NSF mark have been reviewed and tested and the label information and claims have been independently verified.
Some companies also have strict internal requirements for quality and traceability. The Nutrilite brand can trace many of its botanical ingredients from the seed planted on the certified organic Nutrilite farm or partner farm to the manufacturing of the powders or tablets, to the package that gets delivered to consumers.
“People can have peace of mind knowing the plant-based ingredients are intentionally selected and traceable to certified organic farms, ensuring purity and safety,” said Rick Kitisin, a senior research scientist who formulates Nutrilite products.
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