Why the Superfood Market is Here to Stay
Adding superfoods to your diet is one of the latest global trends influencing our approach to buying, cooking, and consuming healthy food. While the term superfood may be a buzzword, there is credible scientific research into the health benefits of these powerful foods. In this article, we explore a few superfood favorites taking the industry by storm and how they are finding their way into food, beverage, and cosmetic production worldwide.
What is a Superfood?
The term ‘superfood’ refers to foods with a high nutritional density – they are rich in nutrients and low in calories. There is currently no legal definition or certification standard for superfoods, and the foods that make the list are typically rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Many studies1 suggest antioxidants and flavonoids2 as powerful dietary components for neutralizing free radicals in the body.
Free radicals are naturally-occurring substances that often attack the cells in the human body, accelerating aging and causing a range of diseases. Many scientists suggest eating foods rich in antioxidants to boost immunity and maintain good health.
The Top 10 Superfoods for a Healthy Diet
Blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, and acai berries are some of the most beneficial superfruits. Berries are rich in flavonoids – naturally-occurring substances with anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Salmon and other oily fish, such as sardines, tuna, anchovies, and herring, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 can help reduce cholesterol and lower your risk for heart attacks and strokes.
- Leafy greens
Many nutritionists suggest the darker a vegetable’s color, the more nutrients it contains. Dark green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, and collard greens, are rich in carotenoids and fiber – both shown to lower the risks of developing various cancers.3
Chickpeas, lentils, beans, peas, and peanuts are packed with protein and fiber and are low in saturated fat. Studies4 also support eating legumes to regulate blood sugar levels and lower the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
- Green tea
Green tea contains catechins – antioxidants that reduce inflammation and have anti-carcinogenic properties. Green tea has also been shown to reduce stress levels, with overall health benefits.
Avocados are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as Oleic Acid, reducing inflammation and promoting healthy cardiovascular functioning.
- Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are rich in potassium, fiber, and vitamins A and C. They contain carotenoids that lower the risk of developing various cancers. These root vegetables are also naturally gluten-free and may benefit blood sugar control.
Garlic has long been celebrated as a medicinal plant that improves immune function and reduces cholesterol and blood pressure. Chives, onions, leeks, and shallots present similar health benefits.
- Nuts and seeds
Nuts are rich in unsaturated fats and protein and packed with compounds that reduce oxidative stress and protect against heart disease.5 Chia seeds, flaxseed, and hemp seeds are also rich in nutrients.
Yogurt with live cultures contains probiotics that protect your body from harmful bacteria. Other probiotic-rich fermented foods include kefir, kombucha, and kimchi.
Superfoods for Food, Beverage, and Cosmetics Production
As more consumers adopt a holistic health approach, anti-oxidative superfoods join ingredient lists for processed food, beverages, and cosmetics.
The recent clean label trend steers consumers towards naturally-derived flavors and fragrances complementing short ingredient lists. Many cosmetic brands, such as Tonymoly, Aveeno, Kiehls, and Earth to Skin, adopt superfood ingredients such as green tea extract and ginger in their product formulations. Fortified water and other drinks are also gaining popularity, featuring functional botanicals, such as goji berries and hemp seed.
Superfoods are taking over the food, beverage, and cosmetics industry for their health-boosting qualities. Superfoods such as berries, seafood, nuts, seeds, leafy vegetables, and probiotics have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-carcinogenic properties. Adding them to your diet may lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and various cancers.
Advanced Biotech is a trusted supplier of natural food, beverage, and cosmetic flavorings and fragrances, and we are passionate about sharing industry insight and trends. Please contact us for more information.