How Did Superfoods Acquire the Super Title
It’s a buzzword these days. Superfoods are everywhere, from store shelves to beauty products. But what are they, and what makes them “super”? It seems as if a new superfood makes headlines every week. One day, it’s avocado; the next, it might be kale. With all the misinformation and confusion, many are left to wonder: what are superfoods? In this guide, we’ll answer that question and many more.
When searching for the definition of the term “superfood”, Google says it’s a nutrient-dense food that’s beneficial for well-being and health. While that answers the question in a technical sense, it doesn’t really say much about the term’s meaning. Simply put, superfoods are high in micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins, as well as healthy fats, enzymes, and antioxidants. All these are needed for good health.
Most superfoods are natural and soil-grown: grasses, seaweed, algae, seeds, vegetables, leaves, and fruits. While it is true that no single food can cure every ailment, numerous studies show that some foods offer great health benefits. Here are a few of the foods that have earned the “superfood” title, as well as some scientific evidence of those claims.
These berries are native to South and Central America, where they tend to grow in the rainforest. Sometimes called Brazilian beauty berries, acai’s antioxidant content makes it a key ingredient in many superfood shake blends. Acai may work to minimize the signs of aging and keep the skin looking healthy and youthful.
Despite the name, these aren’t real cherries. However, the berries do contain one of the world’s highest vitamin C levels, as well as significant amounts of antioxidants and vitamin A.
A foraging crop, alfalfa is primarily grown for use in animal feed. However, alfalfa sprouts have quite the nutritional profile. Along with high levels of minerals and vitamins, alfalfa may decrease cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and limit the damage caused by oxidating free radicals.
One of the most popular fruits in the world, bananas are an accessible superfood. Most of us already know that they’re rich in potassium, which boosts heart health. The fiber in bananas also helps with digestion and blood sugar regulation.
Thanks to the grass planters popularized in 1980s TV commercials, chia has become a household name. However, the seeds have been used for much longer; they were once a staple in the Aztec diet. Chia seeds are rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also a common ingredient in many superfood powder blends.
Another South American nutritional powerhouse, lucuma has been eaten and enjoyed since Incan times. These sweet fruits are rich in carotenoids and polyphenols, which may protect against diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. Lucuma is also high in vitamin C, iron, and calcium. Our superfood mix contains the highest-quality lucuma extracts.
Sometimes called Peruvian ginseng, maca root is closely related to cauliflower, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables. Several studies show that maca may boost mood by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Other potential benefits include increases in libido for men and women, as well as increased male fertility.
Of all berries, maqui berries have one of the highest antioxidant levels. They’re loaded with anthocyanins, which give them a dark purple color. The anthocyanins found in our superfood mixes are known to reduce the damage caused by free radicals, which may help to suppress the growth of tumors and keep blood pressure under control.
This bluish-green micro-algae is one of the world’s most nutrient-rich foods. The Aztecs valued it for the energy and strength it provided, which makes sense, as spirulina is a nearly complete source of protein. Numerous peer-reviewed articles demonstrate the cancer-fighting effects of spirulina.
A gluten-free edible grass that’s rich in several vitamins, as well as calcium and iron, wheatgrass has earned its place in the ranks of superfood blends. Wheatgrass also contains 17 different amino acids, most of which the human body can’t make on its own. Research shows that wheatgrass may reduce oxidative stress and inhibit the multiplication of cancer cells.
Why Superfoods Aren’t More Common
While we all know that a balanced diet is the key to a long and healthy life, the truth is that almost 90% of American adults don’t eat enough vegetables and fruits. According to the Centers for Disease Control, insufficient fruit intake is one of the country’s biggest dietary risks. Though most people would agree that we could all benefit from increased fruit and veggie intake, there’s one caveat: today’s produce isn’t as nutritionally dense as it used to be. Here are a few reasons why.
- Longer supply chains. Most of us don’t know where our food comes from. According to the experts, food that’s carried over long distances isn’t as nutritious as that grown locally. Foods are typically harvested early and ripened artificially, which diminishes their nutritional content.
- Monocrops are those that grow in the same area over the years, depleting the soil of nutrients and needing more synthetic herbicides. These harmful residues stay on the crops, leach into the ground, and pollute the water supply.
- Soil depletion. Several studies show that soil depletion significantly affects the nutrient density of vegetables and fruits.
When we consume the best superfoods, we get more bang for our buck because of these foods’ nutritional profiles. Organic superfoods are grown in the absence of harmful chemicals, and they make the soil healthier.
Why Choose Superfoods Instead of Multivitamins?
More than 50% of people in the US take multivitamins and other supplements, which contain isolated and artificial nutrients. However, it’s unclear how well these nutrients are absorbed by the human body. Research isn’t clear on the benefits of multivitamins, either.
When we consume foods that grow naturally, we don’t get isolated nutrients. Rather, we get a range of micronutrients that our bodies can use for short- and long-term benefits. VORG’s superfood blends are an easy and quick way to nourish the body with natural vitamins and nutrients that you can’t find in any store. Our superfood powders can be mixed into oats, smoothies, yogurt, dressings, and beverages. The possibilities are almost endless! Get started on the road to better health with the best superfood powder on the market.