The Rise and Fall of Superfood Powders
The world has been hailing superfoods as nutritional heroes for over 100 years. During WWI, the United Fruit Company used the word in marketing materials to promote the health benefits of eating bananas, and the term has stuck ever since. Today, these foods present themselves as green miracle powders that claim to provide all the vitamins and minerals you need in a single scoop. Superfood powders are immensely popular, but are they worth the hype?
What are Superfood Powders Made Of?
The superfood empire is expanding, with new fruits and vegetables joining its ranks every day. In recent years, ingredients like acai berries, chickpeas, and seaweed have made the list and may already be hiding in your favorite superfood powder. Supplement brands generally divide superfood powders into two categories: red- and green powders.
Red powders contain a blend of produce like berries, beets, pomegranates, tomatoes, ginger, and mushrooms. They’re rich in antioxidants and adaptogens. Green powders contain leafy greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli and are known for their high iron content. Both powders typically contain vitamins, minerals, plant proteins, prebiotics, and probiotics.
What Health Experts Have To Say
Despite their popularity, health experts are unconvinced that superfood powders are worth the hype. Many of these powders contain high concentrations of vitamins and minerals that far exceed the average adult’s nutritional requirements. They often overshoot the daily recommended intake by over 100%.
Your body can’t store excess micronutrients to use for later, so you mostly end up excreting them. That means your kidneys have extra work to do after a daily scoop of powdered greens. Although wasteful, getting too many vitamins and minerals rarely harms you, and your body should be able to process them without much trouble.
There is limited evidence that nutritional supplements like superfood powders have health benefits for people without pre-existing nutrient deficiencies. What’s more, the FDA has yet to endorse them. While there’s no harm in trying the powders, health experts generally recommend getting most of your nutrients from whole foods, which also provide fiber.
The Emergence of the Educated Consumer
With the rise of smartphones and the internet, it’s easy for consumers to get information about a product before they buy it. That means people are shopping in two phases: one, an exploratory research phase, and two, the actual purchasing journey. Brands that make unregulated products like superfood powders must work harder than ever to convince their customers of value.
Working with independent certification bodies is one of the best routes to establishing credibility. NSF and US Pharmacopeia offer third-party testing and verification for medicines and nutritional supplements. Many consumers appreciate a seal of approval from such companies on product labels.
People are becoming more inclined to read ingredient lists carefully and discard marketing claims in favor of authentic research. In light of this trend, brand transparency is golden. While it may be tempting to tout the health benefits of a new nutritional supplement, receiving just one piece of bad press for it can ruin your reputation.
Superfood powder producers may find value in doing independent research to back up their products. They may also want to avoid choosing trendy ingredients that don’t hold much scientific weight. Instead, they can select extensively-studied plant extracts that have well-established health benefits, such as:
Supplement brands can find all the nutritional additives they need at Advanced Biotech. We extract our range of premium botanicals from high-quality plant sources, with USDA-organic certification on selected products. Please contact us for more information.