From flaxseed to bitter greens, there seems to be an endless supply of superfood powders that promise to fight disease and help your body perform its best. Although some of these claims are marketing ploys, these superfoods do contain antioxidants, probiotics and phytochemicals that benefit your body.
Bitter greens like dandelion, kale and mustard earn the superfood moniker because of their high vitamin K content. They also contain compounds that help reduce bile acid and potentially lower cholesterol, according to Healthline. Unfortunately, the greens’ bitter flavor turns off some palates, so consuming them in powder form makes them go down easier for some people.
The use of flaxseed as a superfood dates back to the Babylonian Empire. Also known as linseed, flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, making it a useful dietary substitute for fatty fish. Whole seeds pass through your body without breaking down, but grinding the seeds into a powder makes it easier for your body to digest the nutrients.
Hailing from the Amazon rainforest, acai berries have an antioxidant level three times greater than blueberries, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The berry’s deep purple color comes from compounds called anthocyanins that also have antioxidant properties and help fight free radicals. Fresh acai berries have a short shelf life, but converting them to a powder helps preserve them. You can use them to substitute blueberries and cranberries in smoothies.
There’s a reason spirulina is a popular ingredient in superfood powders. This microscopic saltwater plant is a source of protein, iron, potassium and magnesium sodium. In fact, the protein in the plant is a complete protein that contains all of the amino acids your body requires. It also contains an important compound, phocyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric, a bright gold spice derived from the turmeric plant, is popular in Asian cuisines. Its yellow hue comes from curcumin, a chemical that reportedly helps reduce inflammation in the body. It also may help lower triglycerides, reduce itching and improve function in people with osteoporosis, according to WebMD. You can add turmeric to smoothies, soups and vegetables or mix it in milk to make golden milk.