Are superfoods really super? Sure, they’re great additions to any diet, but they don’t just benefit your consumers; they’re vital for creating healthy products. Healthy eating is in right now, which means consumers are more informed than ever about what they’re putting in their bodies. Take a look at the many benefits of four popular superfoods. They could just give your product the edge it needs to beet the competition. But first …
What is a superfood?
Simply put, “superfoods” are foods that are packed with nutrients. Here we’ll be focusing on fruits and vegetables, but some types of dairy and fish are also considered superfoods. Consuming them gives your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to thrive and be healthy.
4 super popular superfoods
Beets are low in calories, high in complex carbs, and packed with nutrients. They’re also high in vitamins A, B, and C, which boost the immune system and help your body create red blood cells. Don’t forget about the potassium and fiber, too, which keeps the digestive tract healthy. And if all that wasn’t beneficial enough, beets have a higher betalain concentration than many other veggies. Some studies suggest that betalains help ward off cancer and other degenerative diseases.
Dragon fruit, also known as the pitaya, generally grows in tropical climates such as Central America and Asia. It’s packed with nutrients, antioxidants, protein, vitamin C, and has a high concentration of phytonutrients that can prevent various diseases. It also boosts your body’s immune system and can stimulate other antioxidants already in your body. Some research suggests that the carotene and lycopene in dragon fruit can help prevent cancer, and that regularly consuming the fruit can help control diabetes.
Blueberries are a delicious superfood full of fiber and vitamin C. Some studies suggest that blueberries can lower levels of bad cholesterol in your system, which can reduce your risk of heart disease. Like dragon fruit, some of the nutrients found in blueberries may also help prevent or reduce cancer. Blueberries can also help enhance memory in older adults and fight Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, beta carotene, kaempferol, and quercetin, kale is definitely super. Kale has a high ORAC rating (that’s oxygen radical absorbance capacity), and absorbs free radicals in your body (or unstable molecules that can cause damage at the cellular level). Free radicals are linked to heart disease, asthma, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and arthritis. Kale’s ability to reduce these free radicals makes it a true superfood.
Superfoods make for super food products
Superfoods are healthy and great for consumers, but they also present an exciting opportunity for food brands. Freeze-dried, powdered superfoods can be used as flavor, nutrition, and color enhancers in almost any product. Not only do they automatically add vitamins and minerals to every food product, but vegetables like beets and dragon fruit have strong color pigments. When powdered, these vegetables can add color and texture to new food products—without adding unnatural dyes or additives.