Do superfoods really give you superpowers?
Açaí berries, avocado and chia seeds are very special exotic foods which are also known as superfoods. Lauded as a healthy trend for years, those foods described as superfoods promise an extraordinarily positive effect on our immune system or our body in general. To some they are an anti-ageing miracle. But what’s behind the big words? What are the best superfoods? Which nutrients make them an indispensable part of a healthy diet? And are there regional foods that offer an alternative to the more exotic ones?
Who invented superfoods?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines superfood as: “a food considered especially nutritious or otherwise beneficial to health and well-being.”
The idea of designating foods such as goji berries as superfoods was spread by – no surprise here – the marketing departments of food companies.
Which foods count as superfoods?
Weil der Begriff nicht geschützt ist, kann theoretisch jedes Lebensmittel als Superfood deklariert werden. Tatsächlich haben viele Superfoods eine positive Wirkung auf unseren Körper. Wir haben für dich eine Superfood-Liste mit wertvollen Inhaltsstoffen und deren Superkraft erstellt:
|Açaí berry||Rain forest, particularly the Amazon region||Calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, particularly high amounts of vitamin C||Large amount of antioxidants*|
|Acerola||Brazil, Mexico, Jamaica, Florida||Calcium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, protein, vitamin B1, B2, C, provitamin A||Anti-inflammatory|
|Aronia||North America||Beta-carotene, calcium, folic acid, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamin E||Large amount of antioxidants*, anti-inflammatory, lowers cholesterol levels|
|Avocado||Mexico, Peru, Israel||Many valuable fats, vitamin E, B6, provitamin A||The large amounts of unsaturated fatty acids are, for example, recommended as part of a healthy diet for the heart|
|Chia seeds||Mexico and Central America||Fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids||Quickly provide a long-lasting feeling of fullness|
|Goji berries||China||Iron, potassium, vitamin C||Helps against high blood pressure and exhaustion and supports the immune system|
|Matcha||Japan||Calcium, copper, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, E, C and K||Wakes you up and relaxes you at the same time|
|Moringa||Tropics and subtropics||Calcium, magnesium phosphorus potassium, sodium, sulphur||Strengthens the immune system and boosts circulation and metabolism|
|Quinoa||South America, particularly the Andes||Amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium||True powerhouse|
|Spirulina||Tropics and subtropics||Calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus potassium, zinc||Strengthens the immune system|
Environmental impact of exotic superfoods
As these trend foods do not grow in Europe, they need to be flown or shipped halfway around the world. The long transport routes are one reason for the bad environmental footprint of superfoods. In addition, the rising demand leads to a large monoculture, the increased use of pesticides and the destruction of rain forests. As a result, endangered animals lose their habitat and considerable damage is done to the climate.
In countries already suffering from water shortages, the water is (often illegally) used for the extensive cultivation of avocado, for example. Growing 1 kg of avocados requires 1,000 l of water. In comparison, 1 kg of potatoes grown in Germany only require 8 l of water (given a normal amount of rain).
There are therefore many reasons to choose regional foods as an alternative – which isn’t all that difficult, by the way:
|Açaí berry||Blackcurrant, blueberry, elderberry, sour cherry|
|Acerola||Blackcurrant, rosehip, sea buckthorn|
|Avocado||High-quality plant oils, nuts (especially tree nuts)|
|Matcha||Chamomile, dandelion, rosehip|
|Moringa||Dairy products, fresh herbs, fruit, garlic, nuts, onions, vegetables|
|Quinoa||Green spelt, spelt, millet|
|Spirulina||Cheese, eggs, green vegetables, meat, nuts, pulses, wholegrain|
Recipe ideas with superfoods
In our recipe collection, you will find countless healthy, sugar-free recipes with unusual ingredients. Use our superfood recipes as an inspiration for your healthy diet:
Raspberry oat bars (vegan)
Pound cake with poppy seeds and raspberries
Cucumber and matcha power drink (vegan)
Wholegrain scones and quick strawberry jam
Yoghurt oat porridge with raspberries
Fresh chia seed and lemon pudding (vegan)
Raspberry smoothie bowl
The effect of superfoods may not be scientifically proven, but these special foods can still make a valuable contribution to a varied and healthy diet. Let us protect the climate by keeping regional superfoods in mind when shopping for groceries. Preferably buy foods – with or without superpowers – seasonally from a regional vendor that you trust.