Here’s the superfood list with the most popular superfoods. By now, everyone should really know them by now. But what distinguishes Carob from Cocoa nibs and why are Goji berries so healthy? Whether local berries, green smoothies or exotic grains: More and more foods are now turning out to be so-called superfoods.
We explain which criteria superfoods must meet, which foods belong to them and what you should pay attention to.
Carob powder is made from the dried and roasted fruits of the carob tree and has a chocolate-like taste. In contrast to cocoa, however, carob does not contain any stimulating substances such as theobromine or caffeine. Instead, it has a positive effect on digestion with its high fibre density.
The main countries producing Carob are Spain and Italy, followed by Cyprus, Turkey and Greece. The carob pod tastes pleasantly sweet. A bit like honey, slightly chocolaty. For raw food lovers: don’t give your children raw chocolate, rather use Carob, which is more digestible and not quite as stimulating for children.
You can eat the pod completely, but you should wash it first.
The crushed beans are crunchy, chocolaty and contain basically the same active ingredients as cocoa powder – only the use is slightly different. Whether porridge, smoothie bowls or desserts: everything tastes better with cocoa nibs as a topping.
A study from 2013 confirms that cocoa has an antimicrobial effect. Since cocoa nibs retain all the properties of cocoa, it can be stated that they actively kill microorganisms such as bacteria and can help to cure bacterial infections.
Hemp is the best vegetable protein source of all: the small seeds actually contain eight of nine essential amino acids and about 20 percent protein per 100 grams. Unsaturated fatty acids stimulate collagen formation and ensure smooth skin, vitamin E protects against premature skin aging – and then there are a whole host of other positive properties.
Hemp seeds were already highly valued by the ancient Egyptians and Chinese and have the potential to make their breakthrough as the next superfood. And rightly so! Because these little powerhouses are really healthy. Another plus point: Hemp seeds are so versatile that you can easily integrate them into your own diet.
Many vitamins, antioxidants and vegetable protein. Gojis are real beauty berries. Impressive: They contain about 1.5 times more calcium than milk – a good example of how cow’s milk is really not needed for healthy bones. Other ingredients include vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium and copper.
Most goji berries come from the Chinese province of Ningxia. The berries growing here are particularly rich in nutrients. This is due to the Yellow River (Huang He), which is particularly rich in minerals that it absorbs on its way through the loess plateau in Gansu.
They grow as big as coconuts and taste of grapefruit, vanilla and pear: the fruits of the African baobab tree. Consumed regularly, Baobab powder can improve the immune system, stabilizes the blood sugar level and helps lose weight, conjures beautiful skin and supports the intestines. Responsible for this are a high proportion of vitamin C, antioxidants and fibre.
Baobab is used in many ways in its home country: Fruits, fruit powder, seeds and leaves are said to help with malaria, smallpox, fever, toothache and stomach inflammation. Locals even believe that there are fewer diseases around a baobab tree.
Mesquite powder is made from dried sweet beans and is also known as Peruvian carob. The taste is reminiscent of caramel, coconut and chocolate, making it perfect for healthy desserts and smoothies. But that’s not all. Mesquite contains a lot of fibre and vegetable protein as well as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
Because mesquite is a very good source of nutrients, it supports growth, tissue repair and the formation of enzymes, hormones and antibodies, which contributes to bone health. Mesquite is also an effective way to replenish the energies the body needs. Mesquite can therefore be described as a very sensible and natural food supplement in raw food quality.
The South American berry has a high content of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids. It has a positive effect on your skin because it supports cell renewal, strengthens the immune system. Acai is popular with athletes thanks to its high protein content and is even said to help you lose weight. Most popular use: In smoothies and acai bowls.
The Acai berries are the fruits of the Euterpe oleracea which is a South American palm species. Mainly in Brazil the fruits and the palm hearts are used as food. There the palm is called açaizeiro and the fruit acai.
The acai berries measure 1 to 2 cm and are dark brown. Like the blueberry, the acai berries have a greyish matt veil on the surface when they are fresh and untouched.
However, the acai berries have a core and can therefore be clearly distinguished from the blueberry. The core makes up about 90% of the berry and is not edible. All the more nutrients should be in the skin and flesh of the acai berries.
Hardly any superfood is as controversial as the small seeds, which are rich in vegetable protein, satiating fiber and valuable omega-3 fatty acids. Due to their swelling ability, they are suitable for thickening food (chia pudding) and as a vegan egg substitute: 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, soaked in 3 tablespoons of water, replace a chicken egg during baking. This works alternatively with linseed.
The seeds are said to have a positive effect on the blood sugar level, because the soluble fibres they contain slow down the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar and thus provide long-lasting energy. This effect could be interesting for athletes, people with regular attacks of ravenous appetite or diabetics. The endurance performance in sports improves and the desire for sweets or junk food decreases noticeably.
Cocoa contains particularly high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps the body to produce the happiness hormone serotonin. That is why chocolate is said to make you happy. Theobromine, theophylline and caffeine, which are also contained in cocoa, give you energy, and antioxidants ensure that your skin looks young.
When it comes to raw cocoa, the question also arises again and again: which is better? Strongly deoiled or weakly deoiled? But what does that mean anyway?
Strongly / weakly deoiled reflects the fat content. Strongly deoiled cocoa has approx. 12 % fat and weakly deoiled cocoa approx. 21 % fat.
Less fat or heavily deoiled means that other ingredients such as calcium, iron, etc. are more concentrated per 100g than with weakly or not at all deoiled cocoa.
Of all superfoods, maqui berries have the highest antioxidant content – they even surpass Acai and Goji by far. In addition, Chilean grape berries, which are mainly available in powder or juice form in this country, are rich in vitamin C, iron, calcium and potassium, which is why they boost the immune system, provide energy, stimulate the metabolism, strengthen bones and joints and act as a natural anti-angiogenic agent.
The maqui berry consists of 75 percent grains and has a diameter of about five millimeters. After harvesting, the fruit is ground together with the grains, which results in a higher production volume. Since the valuable anthocyanins and polyphenols are mainly found in the fruit flesh and its skin, many manufacturers remove the grains afterwards in a special process to increase the purity and quality of the Maqui products.
The Peruvian root not only tastes super delicious – its aroma is pleasantly sweet and fruity – but also helps to balance the female hormones. It is also the ultimate post-workout booster. The adaptogen helps the body adapt to stressful situations, accelerates the regeneration of the adrenal glands and contains sterols that help the muscles regenerate quickly.
It is not yet clear how exactly Maca increases energy levels, but it is said to help prevent falls in blood sugar and maintain adrenal health, which regulate mood and energy during the day. Maintaining energy levels can also help prevent weight gain. Several studies have also found that Maca Root promotes memory and concentration.
Chlorella contains 19 amino acids and is a complete protein, which makes it a super food supplement for athletes. The green powder also strengthens the immune system, contains vitamin B12, many minerals and essential fatty acids.
Heavy metals are present in our environment and can accumulate in our bodies. Poisoning by these metals is one of the causes of chronic fatigue. Chlorella binds chemical elements and eliminates them via the digestive tract thanks to its membrane structure and composition.
Never heard of Camu Camu? It is the fruit with the highest vitamin C content in the world. This compensates for the very sour, tart taste – even a small amount in a smoothie is enough to benefit from the positive properties of the superfruit.
The inhabitants of the Amazon have been appreciating it for a very long time, and slowly it is becoming more and more popular in our country as well. Camu Camu is now available in many online shops.
There is always a risk of counterfeiting with every product processed. Since camu-camu is currently being traded as a booming superfood and supply is far from being able to meet demand, this risk is particularly high in this case.
Contrary to what the name suggests, Wheat Grade contains no gluten – but plenty of chlorophyll, beta-carotene, iron, vitamin C and zinc. The young stalks can be squeezed into juice or snipped over salad, but are very hard to come by – a simpler variation is definitely wheatgrass powder, which is great for mixing in Smoothie Bowls.
Chlorophyll is very similar to our red blood pigment haemoglobin and helps the body to detoxify and to build new blood cells. Wheatgrass also regulates the acid-base balance of the body and contains many essential amino acids that are important for muscle building.
For a long time, the cell-protective effect led to the assumption and hope that wheatgrass could combat tumour cells.
However, as is always the case when looking at active substances of plants, it must be kept in mind that found ingredients cannot be equated with a corresponding effect. Every organism reacts differently to the nutrients it is supplied with and, in addition, quantity and the way in which it is ingested are decisive factors that cannot be reproduced easily enough to be accepted as clinical evidence.
Rich in vegetable protein, barley grass is particularly popular in the fitness scene – among other things, it contains the three amino acids valine, leucine and isoleucine, which prevent the breakdown of muscle mass. In addition, wheatgrass contains 11 times as much calcium as cow’s milk, 5 times as much iron as spinach and 6 – 7 times as much vitamin C as oranges – and of course every deficiency of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Even though only isolated aspects of the effects of barley grass have been investigated so far, fresh leaves are considered to have a high health value due to their ingredients alone.
Among athletes, for example, grass is popular because of its high content of plant proteins to support muscle building. Chlorophyll, the green plant pigment, is also considered to be very healthy because it supports blood formation and wound healing and can have a positive effect on the intestines.
It is supposed to melt fat and at the same time protect against muscle loss. Moringa powder is considered an absolute fitness food. The active ingredients of the plant stimulate digestion, inhibit the appetite and keep you full for a long time. At the same time they contain a lot of vegetable protein with a total content of 20 percent.
But also non-athletes benefit from the properties of the Moringa tree, which is also anti-inflammatory, immune strengthening and rich in antioxidants and vitamins.
Moringa has a good influence in type II diabetes mellitus, but it requires a relatively high dose of 8 g per day. The blood sugar-lowering effect is less pronounced than with mulberry leaves, but still significant. Taking these two dried leaf powders in combination probably promises a simple and effective treatment of high blood sugar, always provided that patients stick to the appropriate diet.
The alga is rich in chlorophyll, beta-carotene, magnesium, iron, potassium and protein – for every 100 grams, there are about 60 grams of protein. Spirulina is therefore also the ideal supplement for athletes. Furthermore, its ingredients support the immune system, help the body detoxify and have a positive effect on mood. Taken before meals, they can inhibit appetite and thus help lose weight.
Biology distinguishes between about 35 different species of cyanobacteria within the genus Spirulina. The genus Spirulina platensis is mainly used for the production of food supplements. The microorganisms, also known as “blue-green algae”, are mainly found in highly saline water, but also in fresh water. Residents of lakes and coastal areas have been using spirulina as a food source for centuries.
Superfoods are a super supplement, but not a substitute for a balanced diet. Of course you don’t have to buy every product now – instead look at the different plants and find out which properties you would benefit most from and what you can most easily integrate into your diet. Very important: always look for high-quality products.