The word “superfood” appears on countless brands’ product packaging these days as a marketing term used to help sell food. Popular ideas for what a superfood is include: a) foods that are nutritionally dense; b) rich in phytochemicals or micro-nutrients; c) foods that confer certain health benefits; d) all of the above. I’m going with d) all of the above to highlight a few foods and trends that are using so-called superfoods to bring better nutrition to the table.
All Hail Kale (and Beets)
Chockfull of potassium and fiber, beets and their greens are surely a superfood. Rhythm Superfoods launched a company around the premise that snackers, i.e. all of us, “deserve delicious, nutrient-dense options that are all-good for your body.” Rhythm Superfoods Beet Chips are simply seasoned with sea salt (another source of trace minerals) or boosted with cinnamon sugar or try them naked for the purest beet experience. Sliced thicker than a traditional chip, Beet Chips have a hearty character and definitive beet flavor.
Kale (calcium, iron, vitamin K, fiber) is atthe nutrient-dense heart of the company’s snack foods. Tossed with a tahini and sesame seeds dressing, Zesty Nacho Kale Chips Foods offer antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and protein in every bite.
Ba-ba-ba Baobab (and Blueberry and Dark Chocolate)
One of the newer entrants to the US superfoods market is baobab, a tree fruit native to equatorial Africa and India. Baobab boasts one of the highest antioxidant levels on earth plus fiber, vitamin C and potassium. Going stem to stem with baobab’s superfood status is the blueberry. It, too, claims the highest amount of antioxidants of any fruit plus fiber and vitamin C. The good folks at Blue Planet Chocolate wrapped up these sweet little gems in dark chocolate, that of the high antioxidant power, in their Baobab Superfruit Bites and Superfood Chocolate Squares. The 3-ounce packages are snack size, sure, but it’s that antioxidant power that makes you go “hmmmmmm.”
Matcha, a finely ground powder of a green tea leaf grown expressly for this sort of processing, has its roots in the tea ceremonies of ancient Japan and China. Matcha has a subtle caffeine kick but the antioxidants of a superfood. It’s the only tea with EGCG, an antioxidant credited with everything from fighting inflammation to boosting your skin’s sun protection. (For reals.) Sencha Naturals believes in green tea for daily wellness and built Matcha Latte, a drink mix that combines the irrepressible vivaciousness of matcha with algae flour, which is rich in omega-9 essential oil.
POTATO CHIPS AS SUPERFOOD?
These days, almost every food product, except maybe KFC and PopRocks, is jumping on the superfood bandwagon, laying claim to a term that has no agreed upon definition. But does the word “superfood” belong on your product package? If potato chips are sprayed with probiotics and protein powder, does that make potatoes a superfood? I’d say no way. To be called a superfood, the basic ingredient – before all the additions – must actually have considerable nutritional benefits but those added ingredients sure do make snacking more interesting and more satisfying.
TELL US: What’s your favorite superfood and why?