Are Superfoods Worth The Hype?
Superfoods: one of those things that, for a long time, sat in the basket of ‘things that are probably good for us but we don’t really understand how, nor what to do with them’. They sat alongside retinoids, most of the equipment in the gym and pretty much any kind of hair care beyond the basics. But as the ‘fad’ passed and people stopped putting them in anything and everything just for the claim, we took the time to get to know them, to understand how (or even if) they can help us and a little bit of ‘best practice’ around how we make the most of their apparent benefits.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
The outcome? Their place in our products is definitely warranted - it’s with thanks to superfoods that our sesame + acai super square is more than 4 times your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, but we get why they have a bad rep - they’re expensive and they don’t always taste great, which is why we’ve come to learn which ones you should probably take in tablet form if the benefits interest you, and which ones you can add to food safely (e.g. without ruining the meal). For instance, we’d never sell spirulina porridge, because no amount of ‘health’ is worth the taste of swamp in a morning, yet raw cacao porridge is so good it can double up as dessert (with a nutritional profile to boot).
Food appropriate superfoods? In sweet products, we have a pretty limited list that we can rely on for flavour, which we’ve covered in a little more detail below. As for savoury, all the greens (wheatgrass/spirulina/moringa) can be an interesting addition, just be careful with the quantity.
Probably one of the more popular berries, acai adds a fruity, earthy, slightly sweet flavour.
Use it in: vegan cheesecakes, smoothies, chia pudding.
Definitely our favourite of the moment, acerola adds a tart, zingy, fruity flavour probably most comparable to lemon or lime.
Use it in: vegan cheesecakes, smoothies, chia pudding (as it’s so fruity, we tend to avoid using it in things such as baked goods or porridge)
Sometimes used purely as a sweetener, lucuma adds a sweet, caramel flavour (you only need a little though - too much and the earthiness can shine through)
Use it in: porridge (our fave), raw treats (e.g. chocolate millionaires slices with a date + lucuma caramel), protein balls, smoothies
Earthy with a slightly caramel taste, it’s very similar to lucuma; just a little stronger
Use it in: porridge and smoothies - it’s our staple in hot creamy porridge through winter, just be sure to add it once you’ve finished cooking as to not hinder the nutrients
The best of the bunch, the no brainer, chocolate is a way of life and it’s the way of life we’ve chosen.
Use it in: everything! Porridge, chia pudding, smoothies, raw desserts, chocolate mousse, chocolate ice-cream… basically any dessert that isn’t baked (it’s the raw factor that gives raw cacao the added nutrients so if you feel like baking, just a normal high quality cocoa will do the job!).
BUT WHAT DO THEY DO?
One of the main questions we get when we’re sampling our products is “what does _____ do?” and it’s always quite a tricky one to answer. By law we cannot make any claims on our packaging suggesting our food has superhero powers, yet if you look up a superfood online, the claims are more than a little outlandish - it’s one extreme to the other. So where do we sit - perfectly in the middle. We will never claim that eating one bar or a breakfast pot packed with superfoods will cure you of all illness and relieve you
"We will never claim that eating one bar or a breakfast pot packed with superfoods will INSTANTLY cure you "
of stress instantly, but we do believe that they’re doing good, and you’re only gaining by having them in your diet. When someone says (and it happens quite often) “so if I eat this one bar will my skin glow” of course the answer is no, but if you break down the exact properties of the ingredients and superfoods in that bar into vitamins and minerals, then look at research into how said vitamins and minerals will affect you if eaten regularly, then the answer is yes - if you eat that superfood on a regular basis as part of a healthy diet then maybe eventually your skin will glow a little more and you will feel a whole lot more energised.
By law we cannot make any claims on our packaging suggesting our food has superhero powers, yet if you look up a superfood online, the claims are more than a little outlandish.
So lets break it down:
- High in antioxidants (4x the amount of blueberries per 100g)
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Extremely rich in Vitamin C
- the 2nd highest plant source after camu camu
- High in flavonoids
- Essential micronutrients: iron + potassium
- Essential micronutrients: Iodine, iron, manganese + zinc
- A good source of flavonoids
- high in antioxidants (40x the amount of blueberries!)
- the highest plantbased source of iron
- one of the highest plant based sources of magnesium
So all in all, we’re pretty glad that they’re in our everyday diet - they add a variation and an extra set of nutrients. Yes, they offer the same benefits that a lot of ‘everyday’ fruits and vegetables do, but often in a higher quantity, or a different breakdown. If you’re a ‘superfood newbie’, our biggest piece of advice would be to choose a couple that actually taste good (raw cacao is a no brainer but other than that our superfood starter pack was maca powder and acai powder) and experiment. A little goes a long way so the price evens out to be affordable (order online instead of buying in store too - it’s much cheaper), and you really don’t need to add more than two different types to a single meal - cacao and maca or acai and acerola for example.
Otherwise, look for pre-made products with exciting superfoods in to try! This month we’ve partnered up with the lovely MACACHA to giveaway a pack of their superfood protein powder and a mixed pack of our super squares. We have a tricky relationship with protein powder, and MACACHA is the only one we’ve found a love for as it boasts a lot of other benefits alongside the protein. Across their beauty blend and our super squares we cover 10 different superfoods - definitely a good amount to get you started!