Nutrient-rich superfoods are an increasingly popular way to help add certain nutrients, vitamins and minerals to an already balanced diet, and there are multiple ways in which superfood suppliers will sell them.
The first is a whole food, such as selling fruits, vegetables, dark leafy greens, grains and green tea, but superfoods can also be sold as powders or even as supplements.
It can be tempting to be swept away by the promise that taking a simple pill or set of pills can help to give your body all of the nutrition it needs, but there are always many considerations when it comes to diet and health.
What Makes A Superfood Super?
The term superfood has been used to describe a lot of different types of foods, from acai to zucchini, and eggs, muffins and even carrot cake have been described as superfoods at one point, due to varying understandings of the term.
The most generally accepted definition of the term, however, is that superfoods are natural foods (itself a nebulous term but in this case meaning fruits, vegetables, greens, grains and herbs) which contain a remarkable level of nutrients compared to other similar foods per calorie.
Typically this includes vitamins such as the various B vitamins, A, C and D, but also minerals such as potassium, calcium and zinc, and other compounds such as antioxidants which have been connected to a number of benefits.
Where definitions get tricky is the difference between superfood supplements and other similar dietary supplements such as cod liver oil or multivitamins.
The key difference is that whilst multivitamins are supplements with a specific set of compounds that contain the stated vitamins and minerals in precise dosages, superfood supplements are often a condensed form of the superfood they are derived from, with similar levels of benefits.
How To Choose The Right Supplement
Whilst they are officially classified as foods, superfood supplements should be consumed as an addition to a balanced, healthy diet rather than as a replacement, and this will determine which superfood supplements are best for you.
The most important step is to know what you are getting. Carefully read the label to ensure that your supplement does not contain any artificially added ingredients you do not want to consume such as sweeteners or artificial colourings.
As well as this, do a little bit of research into different products to see which is the most appropriate for your needs, with supplements rich in vitamins and minerals good for boosting overall health, ones full of amino acids or protein good for muscle health and so on.
Bear in mind that some superfood supplements that claim to provide energy boosts might be rich in caffeine so make sure to factor that into your diet.
As well as this, make sure to consider pricing, with both overly pricey and overly cheap supplements being points of suspicion. Cheaper supplements may have other additives in order to reduce the need for more expensive ingredients, meaning that they may not deliver everything they promise.