As a rule of thumb, half of every meal you eat should be made up of nutrient-rich superfoods, such as fruits and vegetables. When you eat a healthy diet over a long term, you’re more likely to prevent chronic illness, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer. Yet, most people don’t eat sufficient amounts of vegetables. Therefore, it’s smart to supplement your diet in order to benefit your health, and there are plenty of exotic superfood powders that can help you do this.
There’s no denying that the availability of superfood supplements is a good thing. Nevertheless, there are now so many options, it can become overwhelming when deciding which superfood is best for you. Hence, below is a list of some of the more popular superfood powders, with a short description of how they benefit your health.
When choosing a superfood powder, it’s best to first decide what you want to accomplish (i.e. improve digestion, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation). Then, pick only two or three superfood powders that will help you meet that goal. Finally, make sure you consume them daily with your juices, smoothies and meals, so you can reap the benefits. Sometimes, taking a capsule supplement or tablet may be the best option. Remember, the effects of taking superfood supplements are gradual and increase over time.
Moringa is a very potent source of plant-based nutrition. About one tablespoon of moringa powder contains the nutrients of one full serving of vegetables. The plant is rich in iron, potassium and Vitamins A, B6 and C. It also offers 17 times more protein than milk and is packed with essential amino acids.
As a natural detoxifier, moringa purifies and nourishes blood, muscle tissues, bone marrow and fat tissues. In addition, it is a powerful antioxidant. Thus, it helps to fight off free radicals that bring on sickness and disease.
Moringa can be added to smoothies and sauces, such as pesto.
2. Camu camu
One way to supercharge your health with Vitamin C is to start consuming camu camu. In fact, this berry is 150 times more potent than oranges!
Vitamin C can fight off a wide range of diseases because it naturally boosts a weakened immune system. The USDA’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Database identifies camu camu as an effective herb for asthma, colds, glaucoma, cataracts, gingivitis, hepatitis, infertility, migraines and osteoarthritis.
In addition, camu camu is a strong antioxidant that increases the body’s resilience as we age. Specifically, it helps maintain ligaments, tendons and collagen, reduces inflammation, and protects the skin from aging.
Camu camu powder is delicious on top of cereals and in smoothies.
Wheatgrass is one of the most powerful foods. It is more than twenty times denser in nutrients than any other vegetable. Moreover, wheatgrass contains 98 of the 102 nutritional elements that can be found in food. It’s abundance of alkaline minerals restores alkalinity to the blood. This is very beneficial especially since many common foods, such as sugars, diary and grains, make us overly acidic.
The benefits of consuming wheatgrass are numerous. It protects the liver and helps the body remove toxins. It also helps cleanse the organs and gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, wheatgrass nourishes the blood, which, in turn, stimulates metabolism and the body’s enzyme systems. It also aids in lowering blood pressure by dilating the blood pathways throughout the body.
Growing fresh wheatgrass, and then juicing it, is the best way to take advantage of all of the enzymes and nutrients that this plant has to offer. Yet, committing to sprouting and juicing your own wheatgrass can be daunting for some. Organic wheatgrass powder is an excellent and affordable supplement that you can easily take daily in smoothies or juices.
Turmeric offers so many benefits, it is difficult to summarize them. Therefore, here are some of its most notable medicinal properties.
Turmeric is high in curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level. This makes turmeric as effective in treating chronic inflammation as pharmaceutical drugs.
Furthermore, curcumin happens to be a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure. As well, it boosts the activity of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. This makes turmeric doubly effective in protecting the body against free radicals.
Moreover, research has shown that turmeric effectively protects the brain from aging and may even reverse age-related decreases in brain function. In addition, turmeric is packed with nutrients that support the liver and digestive system. In order words, turmeric supports the body’s natural detoxification processes. Finally, researchers have been studying turmeric and its potential role in cancer treatment. Studies have found that curcumin can stifle cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level.
Due to its potent flavor, it’s best to limit the amount of turmeric powder you put in your meals and smoothies until you know what amount you are comfortable with. Turmeric powder can be added to scrambled eggs, pancake or waffle batter, baked vegetables such as eggplant or cauliflower, and Indian cuisine.
Shilajit is essentially comprised of fresh and modified remnants of humus – the characteristic organic constituent of soils. This thick, black resin is formed out of over 6500 species of ancient plants that decomposed and compacted under the weight of the Himalayan Mountains.
It is one of the most nutrient-dense substances in the world, with has least 85 minerals in ionic form, as well as triterpenes, humic acid and fulvic acid. This potent source of vitamins and trace minerals is a powerful adaptogen, helping to protect against all types of mental and physical stress and normalizing the body.
Shilajit has a harmonizing effect on the hormonal/endocrine system and, in general, slows down the aging process. It rejuvenates each cell by driving oxygen and nutrients into the cell and serves as a natural antioxidant. It also reinforces the body’s immune support system, helps bones retain calcium, and enhances memory.
6. Chaga Mushrooms
Chaga is a non-toxic fungal parasite known by the Siberians as the “Gift from God” and the “Mushroom of Immortality.” It looks and feels like burnt wood or charcoal. Researchers have identified this mushroom to have the highest level of antioxidants of any other known food. It also has the highest level of superoxide dismutase, which is one of the body’s primary internal antioxidant defenses. Finally, chaga offers numerous vitamins, minerals, amino acids, flavonoids and enzymes.
Some other medicinal properties of chaga mushrooms include the ability to inhibit bacterial growth, reduce pain and inflammation, promote liver health, and boost the immune system. In addition, chaga is also an adaptogen. Its compounds can increase the body’s capability of adapting to stress, fatigue and anxiety.
Chaga mushroom powder can be brewed with tea, mixed with water into a tincture, or taken as a supplement.
Dandelions grow across the globe and wreak havoc on people’s landscapes. Consequently, many consider them to be a nuisance. However, new research has proven that dandelion effectively supports the liver and has the potential to fight cancer.
Dandelions are considered a powerhouse food full of nutrients that are essential for anyone regularly eating processed foods. Dandelion root benefits the liver and pancreas by straining and filtering toxins and waste from the bloodstream. The plant is a rich source of minerals and provides a variety of phytonutrients. Furthermore, dandelion is a super antioxidant that helps the body cleanse the digestive tract. Finally, research has shown that dandelion root extract can cause cancer cells to “commit suicide,” without harming healthy cells.
One way to eat dandelion is to sprinkle the plant’s leaves on a salad. A supplemental root powder is also an effective way to reap the benefits of this amazing wild plant.
Spirulina is edible blue-green algae. It is known for its distinctive green color and strong odor and delivers a strong dose of protein, all eight of the essential amino acids, iron, folic acid, B vitamins, selenium and manganese. As a result, it offers strong therapeutic benefits.
Spirulina is the highest known vegetable source of Vitamin B-12 and the best available source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is an anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid necessary for a durable nervous system. In addition, spirulina can effectively remove heavy metals from the nervous system and the liver.
Cacao, which is used to make chocolate, is a strong antioxidant and an ideal food for the brain. Thanks to flavonols, a substance found in the cacao plant, consuming foods with cacao, such as dark chocolate, can enhance your cognitive abilities. This could mean improved memory and attention span. In addition, cacao has the potential to protect against age-related cognitive decline.
Furthermore, cacao affects the endocannabinoid system, helping increase the endocannabinoid anandamide, which makes you feel more relaxed. As a result, it can offer relief from depression and stress. In addition, cacao helps improve the body’s metabolic function and cardiovascular health.
Although cacao powder is not sweet like processed chocolate, it offers an amazing flavor when added to smoothies, cereals, desserts, and baked goods, especially when coupled with a natural sweetener.
Chlorella is green single-celled micro-algae that contains an extremely high concentration of chlorophyll. This substance has very strong detoxification properties. Chlorella is able to remove heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum, and barium, that are lodged in the body’s tissues. It can also help eliminate other ubiquitous pollutants, such as PCBs, out of the human body. Each tiny chlorella algae cell contains all 21 amino acids and is also rich in beta-carotene and Vitamin C. You can take chlorella powder in coconut water, juices and smoothies.
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About the Author
Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.