Superfood powders are becoming all the rage again, with celebrities replacing their designer handbags with a green juice, once again - and we don't blame them, as these juices are packed with ingredients like Maca, Moringa and Spirulina - which will help them boost energy during their busy schedules, give them a glow and most importantly keep them looking young.
Superfoods have also started to make a statement in the world of nutrition, with more superfood powders available than ever before. And with research showing that the superfood market in the UK will grow by $256.9 million by 2025, it's safe to say that we just can't get enough of them.
If that isn't enough, and you only go by TikTok trends, well it's safe to say that the health gurus on social media sites are also realizing the benefits - with millions of videos on how to make and take your superfood powders daily.
But does the science behind them really warrant our dust-happy devotion? Are superfood powders nutritional catnip for anyone after a shortcut to better health? Stop sprinkling a second and let's find out...
What is superfood powder used for?
Superfood powders are blends of various fruits, veggies and other plant-based foods with proven health benefits, specifically curated to improve your nutritional intake, which will help your physical, emotional and mental wellness.
Superfood powders can be used in hot drinks like tea, cold juices and smoothies, cakes and desserts, and can be an easy way to maintain optimal health whilst eating and drinking foods which you wouldn't necessarily think of adding to a healthy diet.
Are superfood powders good for you?
Well, duh - of course, they are, stuffed with nutritional goodness - one scoop on average powder has about 100% RDI of Iodine, 80% RDI of Vitamins A and C, 70% RDI of Selenium, and 60% RDI of Vitamin K and Chromium - now that's a lot of goodness for just one powder.
And, well if they're good enough for celebrities like the Kardashians, and Jennifer Aniston, then surely they're good enough for us?
What are the benefits of drinking superfood powder?
Always suffering from tummy troubles and feel like your digestive system needs a health overhaul? Digestive health is a big benefit of drinking superfood powders, with evidence showing that the probiotics found in the powders play a role in managing digestive disorders from lactose intolerance to cystic fibrosis. High levels of magnesium found in superfood powders also help improve blood flow and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Need a little extra skip in your step? Some superfood powders contain caffeine in them - a known energy booster. One 3-month study where women were given a tablespoon of super greens powder every day saw significant energy increases in the women that took part.
Meet the powdered superfood powders
If you like the sound of these nutritional powerhouses and want to dip your toes into the world of superfood powders, there are numerous powders to choose between, each with its perks. Whether it's an energy boost, improved brain health or to amp up your libido, WH has got you covered - allow us to introduce some of the biggest ingredients contained in the powders.
Superfood powder 1: Maca
The hype: Otherwise known as Peruvian ginseng, the superfood powder maca has become the go-to remedy for anyone who has a demanding job and gym bunnies alike. The powdered root is reputed to boost energy levels and even lift libido thanks to its high levels of B vitamins, and minerals like copper and iodine.
The science: A single teaspoon of this malty-tasting superfood powder provides 30% of your RDA of copper, a trace mineral essential for blood-cell formation. While the iodine and B vitamins play key roles in releasing energy from food and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Furthermore, a study published in the journal CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics found women who consumed 3g of maca daily noticed it gave their sex drive a serious rev. Fancy a quickie before work?
Superfood powder 2: Spirulina
The hype: Spirulina is a single-cell green algae that grows in tropical lakes – essentially pond scum – which is, arguably, how it tastes. But its high complete protein content makes it popular with both bodybuilders and anyone who's looking to lose a few pounds.
The science: 'Spirulina is around 60% protein,' says Professor Paul Thornalley from the University of Warwick, 'and was proposed by NASA as a primary food for cultivation during long-term space missions, so it clearly has merits.' It provides a complete range of amino acids, including L-phenylalanine and tyrosine – both key for appetite control. A study published in the Journal of Food Science Technology found people who took a daily supplement of the microalgae lost significantly more weight than the control group. Word of warning. However, if you're pregnant steer clear of this ingredient, as batches can contain algae toxins and heavy metals that could harm your baby.
Superfood powder 3: Moringa
The hype: Can you never quite get your iron or calcium intake right? Per gram, moringa superfood powder is believed to contain 15 times the potassium of bananas, 17 times the calcium of milk and 25 times the iron of spinach. The leaves of this humble North Indian tree have even been mooted as a cure for diabetes and heart disease.
The science: A teaspoon contains 15% of your RDA for calcium and a quarter of your RDA for iron – important minerals for bone and blood health, respectively. Meaning? This is one of the top powdered superfoods for vegans. It’s also a good source of plant sterols, which appear to block the absorption of unhealthy cholesterol and protect against heart disease.
'We know that plant sterols can help lower 'bad' cholesterol levels,' says Thornalley. 'And an expert panel for the European Food Standards Authority concluded that consuming 3g of these plant compounds daily has a beneficial effect.' However, that would mean eating around seven teaspoons of the superfood powder a day.
Superfood powder 4: Baobab
The hype: With a citrusy tang, the hard-shelled fruit of the African Baobab tree is 48% fibre, and contains six times the vitamin C of oranges. Two reasons this powdered exotic is becoming so popular with the health set.
The science: Just one teaspoon of this superfood powder provides a fifth of your daily vitamin C intake and a decent dose of fibre to slow digestion and satisfy your appetite. There is also some evidence that Baobab's polyphenols influence carbohydrate metabolism. A study in Nutrition Research found people who drank baobab extract before eating white bread had more even blood sugar levels than those who forwent the juice.
Superfood powder 5: Hemp
The hype: Although it's been eaten around the world for thousands of years, Hemp has recently become a fast-spreading favourite in the vegetarian and vegan community due to its high protein content.
The science: Not only is hemp considered a source of protein, the superfood is actually a plant-based *lean* protein. Lean protein has a lower content saturated fats, which have been linked to illnesses like coronary heart disease. The fatty acid GLA found in the superfood has been found to reduce arthritis symptoms by 20% in participants of a study published in the Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatism.
Superfood powder 6: Kale
The hype: Take the food-prep faff out of this deep green veg with the supercharged, superfood powder alternative – it’s essentially an instant way to supercharge your smoothies, juices, soups...the list goes on.
The science: The health benefits of dark green leafy vegetables are endless but, perhaps most notably, is its positive impact on brain health. According to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, thanks to its high vitamin K content, it can slow cognitive decline and could potentially provide an affordable way of protecting the brain from conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Superfood powder 7: Mushroom
The hype: There is a tonne of mushrooms that are classed as superfoods to choose between, from the well-known Lion's Mane, to Turkey Tail, to Cordyceps. And, just like there is a tonne of superfood mushrooms, there are also an insane number of health benefits that apparently come from adding the superfood into your diet.
The science: Superfood mushrooms, or medicinal mushrooms, have been studied far and wide, and the data being gathered is nothing but positive, but varies depending on the 'shroom you choose; Reishi mushrooms have been shown to ease anxiety and depression, Lion's Mane was found to improve cognition, Turkey Tail has been found to improve the survival rate of people with certain cancers, Cordyceps are amazing at improving athletic performance... Even some staples like Shiitake mushrooms are nutritional powerhouses when it comes to heart health.
Superfood powder 8: Matcha
The hype: Matcha has recently blossomed into one of the most talked-about superfoods out there, exploding onto the wellness scene through some delicious treats like matcha lattes, cookies, and smoothies (to name a few). With the boom in interest came the boom in research, and it turns out matcha is a nutritional powerhouse.
The science: Packed with antioxidants, matcha, derived from the same plant as green tea, has been found to help prevent cell damage as well as lower the risk of some chronic diseases. The superfood is extremely high in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) - a catechin with antioxidant properties that has been found to be helpful against a whole array of cancers. Oh, and it's estimated to have 137 times more Catechin's than green tea.
What are the best superfood powders?
Still not quite sure where to begin with your quest for the superfood powders that are right for you? Or maybe in need of a little shopping inspo? Here are some of the best superfood powders with different ingredients, so you can find the one which suits you the best....
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