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By now, most people are aware of the term “superfood” — those nutritionally-dense powerhouses that give our health a boost. What you may not be as familiar with, however, is the concept of superfood powders. We’re not talking your run-of-the-mill green protein powders here. Superfood powders are supercharged with the same incredible health benefits as their superfood counterparts, such as lucuma (a sweet-tasting version of an avocado), maqui (a Chilean wineberry) and camu camu (a fruit native to Peru and Brazil). These powders can easily be added to everything from water and smoothies to soups and baked goods, making them a simple way to boost your nutritional intake. Find out more about them and where to pick them up below.
What are superfoods?
Over the last decade or so, the word “superfood” has popped up more and more within the health community. If you go by the Oxford English dictionary, a superfood is “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being,” and that certainly seems to ring true: Many of the superfood powders on this list are examples of foods whose individual nutritional value towers over their counterparts.
Take the camu camu berry, for instance. Though it’s roughly equivalent in size to an extra-large grape, this powerful Amazonian fruit contains about 30 to 60 times more vitamin C than an entire orange! What’s more, it has a whole host of other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Now that’s super.
Eating superfoods, or “functional foods as chef and author of Superfood Kitchen ($21.88, Amazon) Julie Morris has labeled them, does a whole lot more for you than simply upping your daily vitamin intake: They’re great sources of minerals, fiber, and other nutrients, too! With so much nutritional value packed into each food, eating them helps your body to function smoothly as a whole. These foods do an extraordinary job of keeping your system running, with added improvements to your gut health, weight loss, energy levels, alertness, aging process, and more.
What are the best superfood powders?
Though most of us can agree that we don’t consistently get the recommended daily amount of nutrients our bodies need, it can be tough to figure out which superfood powders we should be eating to help us reach our nutritional goals. Keep reading — we’ve sifted through mounds of research to compile a list of the 12 best superfood powders around for keeping you happy, healthy, and thriving.
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Best Superfood Powders Lucuma
Best Superfood Powders – Lucuma
Where to Buy: $14.99, Amazon
One of our favorite superfood powders comes from the lucuma fruit. Native to South America, lucuma is one of the most interesting superfoods around. The fruit itself looks like a cross between an avocado and a mango, but it has a surprising maple-like flavor that's oddly satisfying. Though it's hard to find in the US in fruit form, you can still reap all the health and flavor benefits of it in its powdered form, which has the same uniquely sweet pull. Essentially, this powder is a perfect low-sugar substitute that doesn't skimp on the taste. As far as its nutritional content goes, lucuma it's known to be chock-full of the orange-hued plant pigment beta-carotene, niacin (a form of vitamin B3), and iron, alongside other vitamins and minerals.
Maqui Berry Best Superfood Smoothie Powder
Best Superfood Powders – Maqui Berry
Where to Buy: $12.99, Amazon
The first of many berries on this list, maqui berry powder is one you may quickly find becoming a staple in your pantry. This Chilean-grown fruit is one of the most powerful sources of natural antioxidants, with a particularly strong concentration of polyphenols, or micronutrients, and anthocyanin, which has been shown to aid in lung health, memory-loss prevention, and aging in skin. Alongside these antioxidants, maqui berries are also packed with vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium, iron, and calcium. It also has additional anti-inflammatory properties that make it one of the best superfood powders for inflammation. What's more, its light berry taste (think of a slightly less sweet blueberry) make this powder taste great in everything from food to drinks.
Best Superfood Powders Maca
Best Superfood Powders – Maca
Where to Buy: $14.44, Amazon
Superfood trends may come and go (remember when kale was the star of every menu?), but if there's one that seems to be perpetually on the tip of everyone's tongue, it's maca. A radish-like root vegetable, this Incan superfood has been used medicinally for thousands of years. These days, it's mostly used to aid in stress management, supporting adrenal and sexual health, and regulating hormone imbalance. It's also a great source of healthy, natural energy thanks to its adaptogenic composition. This means that, once consumed, maca can adapt to the different stressors being placed on the body, balancing it out and fighting fatigue. With an earthy, nutty taste, its flavor may be unusual at first, but in the end, you'll likely find it satiates both the sweet and savory parts of your palate.
Best Superfood Powders Camu Camu
Best Superfood Powders – Camu Camu
Where to Buy: $11.39, Amazon
Also known simply as "camu," this little cherry-like berry is a force to be reckoned with. Found in the tropical climate of the Peruvian Amazon, it has long been a staple in Amazonian folk medicine. In addition to the 30 to 60 times of vitamin C it contains when compared to an orange, the camu camu berry is loaded with plenty of other antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, including beta-carotene, potassium, and manganese. With such a high nutritional content, its benefits are truly immense: It aids in everything from immune support and oral and liver health to anti-aging — it's even being used in skincare!
Best Superfood Powders Acai
Best Superfood Powders – Açai
Where to Buy: $12.99, Amazon
If you're already familiar with açai, it's likely due to the rise in popularity of those delicious (and nutritious) açai breakfast bowls. But what's the real story behind the fruit at the heart of this food trend? Like most berries, the açai berry is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Where it differs from, say, a strawberry or blueberry, is in the amount of antioxidants it contains and its fat content. Açai powder houses an incredibly high amount of antioxidants and is filled with healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, making it a good choice for those with cholesterol issues. With a flavor that's similar to a blackberry, it also just so happens to be quite appetizing.
Best Green Superfood Powders
Best Superfood Powders – Spirulina
Where to Buy: $22.99, Amazon
A favorite superfood powder of Kate Middleton, spirulina, which is derived from algae, is a superfood superstar. Aside from being rich in chlorophyll, which is good for everything from healing skin to building blood, spirulina is stuffed with macro and micronutrients, amino acids, and numerous vitamins and minerals, making it one of the most nutrient-rich foods in the world. Needless it say, it also boasts a long list of benefits, which include improved heart and liver health and assistance with weight loss and blood-pressure regulation. While its flavor is quite strong, this powder is so concentrated that even a quarter teaspoon will go a long way toward keeping you healthy.
Best Superfood Powders Cacao
Best Superfood Powders – Cacao
Where to Buy: $8.75, Amazon
If you have a sweet tooth, you're in luck: Cacao is also a superfood powder. Now, let's be clear: We're not talking about the processed stuff here. Cacao in its healthiest form is pure and raw. A staple in many South American diets as well as an ancient Mayan delicacy, this, unprocessed source of your favorite chocolatey treat is actually incredibly good for you. In fact, alongside maqui and acai, cacao is one of the most antioxidant-rich superfoods on the planet. It's also an exceptional source of many vitamins and minerals, making it an especially good pick for those looking to boost their magnesium, iron, calcium, flavanol (or plant-derived nutrients), and phytonutrient intake. When picking up a bag of cacao powder, it's important to ensure it's actually cacao and not cocoa powder, as cocoa is much more processed and results in a loss of much of its nutritional value.
Best Superfood Powders Goji Berry
Best Superfood Powders – Goji Berry
Where to Buy: $16.95, Amazon
If there's one superfood on this list we can almost guarantee you've heard of, it's goji berry. Like other berries on this list, goji berries are as nutrient dense as they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Historically, this berry's story can be traced back to traditional Chinese medicine and is said to help with ailments ranging from low energy, body fat, and inflammation to eye, skin, and liver issues. With a uniquely sweet flavor (imagine a cross between a cherry and a cranberry), this supercharged superfood powder is not only a great nutritional supplement, it also makes for a delicious addition to drinks, dressings, and desserts.
Best Superfood Powders Chia Powder
Best Superfood Powders – Chia
Where to Buy: $7.32 Amazon
Looking for a superfood powder that will help boost your metabolism and keep you energized all day long? Try some chia powder! While famously associated with a line of plant "pets" from your childhood, this tiny seed (it's actually smaller than a sesame seed) is not one to underestimate. Densely packed within each kernel is a bounty of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, proteins, minerals (hello calcium and iron!), and antioxidants. Finely milled for more thorough nutrient absorption, this powder is also practically flavorless, making it one of the easiest ways to bulk up any recipe with extra nutrients.
Best Superfood Powder Flaxseed
Best Superfood Powders – Flax
Where to Buy: $13.99, Amazon
Where there is chia, flaxseed follows. This superfood has been a staple in the health food community for a while now, and it's easy to see why. While lower in antioxidants than chia, flaxseeds have an abundance of of fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytochemicals called lignans, the reported health benefits of which include lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even breast cancer. With a mild, nutty flavor, this seed powder is an easy add to your favorite foods. Even if you already consume flaxseeds, you may still want to consider picking up a bag in its powdered form — according to the Mayo Clinic, most nutritionists recommend the powdered form over seeds as it's easier to digest.
Best Superfood Powder Reviews
Best Superfood Powders – Hemp
Where to Buy: $9.65, Amazon
If you haven't jumped on the hemp bandwagon yet, you just might after reading this. A fantastic source of heart-healthy omega-3s, protein, all nine essential amino acids, and a range of minerals, like iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, hemp is by far one of the best superfood protein powders around. Aside from being a nutrient-dense, protein-rich food, the benefits of incorporating it into your diet span the spectrum from assisting with minor inflammation to tackling larger health issues, such as heart disease. With a delicious earthy taste (think sunflower seeds mixed with a mild grassiness), this powder works in everything from drinks and soups to entrees and desserts. And for those a bit worried about hemp due to its controversial sister plant of cannabis, fear not — consuming hemp powder will not lead to any psychoactive effects.
Best Superfood Powders Wheatgrass
Best Superfood Powders – Wheatgrass
Where to Buy: $14.99, Amazon
First, let's address the elephant in the room: a delicious treat, wheatgrass is not. Herby with a slightly sweet taste, wheatgrass it's not the most palatable choice on the list, but this earthy supplement just so happens to have one of the largest nutrient compositions on the planet. Wheatgrass (and other "supergrasses," like barley and kamut grass) are rich in most vitamins and nutrients. With touted benefits including immune and digestive support and ulcerative colitis and joint pain relief, it just may be worth reconsidering your stance on this misunderstood superfood.