You may have realized that I have a crush on superfoods. They are a common ingredient in my smoothies, juices, breakfast bowls and even some of my savory dishes. For all of you who wonder what it is that makes them so special, I’ve written this post and hope to bring you an understanding of why I love superfoods.
What are superfoods?
The first time I ever came across superfoods was during my travels in Australia a few years ago. Down under the term superfoods seems to have appeared much earlier than in Germany. Goji berries, maca powder and quinoa radiated from supermarket shelves and only prevented me from buying them too often because they were super expensive! Nevertheless, I started researching the power of these promising foods. I meticulously studied the nutrient values of fruit & nut bars or the ingredient list of Emma & Tom’s super juices on the rare occasions when I treated myself with something more expensive.
Superfoods are bascially all foods that have an extremely dense nutrient value. There is no official definition of superfoods, but generally all foods with a huge health benefit can be regarded as such. For instance, this can be tiny chia seeds but also a leaf of kale or the powder of a special plant that grows in South America. We tend to have only the exotic foods unknown to us, such as acai berry, ancient grains or raw cacao in mind when thinking of superfoods. However, many of our local foods are superfoods as well! Think cabbage, apples, berries, nuts, seeds or beetroot – foods you can buy at any local supermarket or foods that your grandparents already knew about.
Why have superfoods become so popular in the last couple of years?
Even though many superfoods have been known by ancient cultures for hundreds of years, they have only become famous in the Western world within the past few years. The reason is probably because today we have the resources as well as the technical and logistic capabilities to harvest a superfood in mass quantities and distribute it globally. Once celebrities and media started promoting their great health benefits, the trend around superfoods was created.
Have a look at this Google Chart, which displays the search queries for different superfoods over the course of the past eleven years.
Why I love them?
Superfoods immensely support our health as they are natural antioxidants, vitamin supplements and mineral suppliers. I am a big fan of powdered superfoods like chlorella, maca, camu camu or spirulina. Adding a teaspoon of them to my daily smoothie or juice is an easy way to include more vitamins into my diet. This is why I love them so much!
Critics argue that superfoods is only a buzzword used for marketing purposes. They say that eating “new” superfoods, like chia and different powders, won’t have a huge impact on our health, as the quantities are just too small to have an effect. However, this doesn’t only sound like a lame excuse but it’s viewing the topic from the wrong perspective! Eating even little quantitites of different healthy foods will definitely support your health in the long run. You can’t eat a whole bag of chia seeds in a day but you can definitely eat a whole bag of chia seeds in a year, and this will make a difference.
In fact, there are superfoods whose effects you can feel immediately. Take matcha tea for example, my all time favourite when it comes to tea. As a non-coffee-drinker I am obsessed with matcha tea. It’s a healthy mood booster and I only need one cup of matcha tea to rock my day. You can read more about matcha tea and its benefits in my post The Power of Matcha.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to become friends with superfoods. They taste delicious and provide our bodies with important nutrients, vitamins and minerals. You don’t have to buy fancy exotic powders but it already helps if you focus on all the healthy foods in your local supermarket, such as avocados, eggs, pictacchios, beans, kefir or greek yoghurt. It’s easy and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Join me on my superfood journey and let me know which superfoods you like the most in the comments section below!
I love camu camu!
I like that!
Glad to hear that! What is your favorite superfood, Mario?
Wow, look at this trend about Acai in 2009…
Does anyone know why there was this huge demand about it and then after 2 years it constantly fell down?
My favorite super food is an apple by the way. 😉
The hype about the acai berry is really interesting. I suppose that once it has become popular that it has a positive effect on the course of many diseases, people started researching it. When other superfoods appeared on the market, the interest for the purple berry decreased again. Another explanation might be that a trend is always followed by a countertrend supported by critics.