By Callie McBride
Gone are the days of avocado madness; chia seeds have had their time. Though we aren’t saying goodbye to these wonderful nutrient powerhouses, there’s some new kids in town: superfood powders. The latest craze to hit health food stores and foodies’ cabinets, these natural powders, often sourced from the rain forests of tropical islands, offer insane amounts of nutrition and flavor in each scoop. With so many to choose from, your morning smoothie will get a fabulous makeover and your nutrient checklist will trump all others.
Sprouted flax seeds. That’s it. This powder will load you up with omega 3 fatty acids and fiber, and it’s incredibly easy to digest, so your body will feel its benefits quickly. Flax seeds hail from Canada, where they were cultivated for their awesome fiber content. Throw a scoop into a banana, almond milk, and spinach smoothie or mix into your morning oatmeal for optimal taste and benefits. You can also purchase flax in the form of ground seeds and oil.
Lucuma is actually a fruit, originating in Peru, which is milled into a fine powder and used as a type of low-glycemic sweetener. It contains iron, zinc, calcium, and protein, and has a maple flavor to it. It’s definitely smoothie-friendly, but mixing into a raw ice-cream or coconut yogurt sounds equally as heavenly.
Either in powder form or as dried berries, the amazing goji contains tons of antioxidants, as well as over 20 vitamins and minerals. These berries hail from the Ningxia Province in China where they are grown, harvested, and dehydrated to maintain maximum nutrient content. They’ve been consumed by Asians for decades, and the Western world is just catching up. Eat ’em by the handful or toss some in trail mix for a chewy texture and sweet flavor.
This one’s my favorite: its known to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue. I’ll take 20. The maca root, found in Peruvian Andes, is gently dried and milled to a fine powder, and contains amino acids, fiber, and phytonutrients. Listen to this: the maca root is one of the only plant foods able to survive a such a high altitude as the Andes mountains. How cool? It energizes naturally and, according to the ancient Incans, helps relieve stress. This powder is packed with body and mind benefits.
The Acai (ah-sigh-ee) berry grows in the Amazon Rain Forest and is known for its high antioxidant content, as well as its vitamins, minerals, and dark fruity flavor. You can also find frozen, slushie-like acai packets in health food stores to whip up in smoothies…I’ve been known to snack on dark chocolate-covered acai berries, as well. Yum.
These berries are sourced in the mountains of southern Chile, and similar to Lucuma, offer a sweet taste that’s perfect for dessert. They boast of anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects, and contain loads of calcium, vitamin C, iron, and potassium. Get this: Mapuche Indians, the longest living culture in the world, credits the maqui berry as a staple food, as well as an addition to their rituals and ceremonies. They believe that the superfood symbolizes goodwill (not to mention a good body!).
These are just a handful of the fabulous superfoods currently on the market; coconut palm sugar, camu powder, mesquite powder, and dried mulberries are some more to check out for their heavy nutrient doses. If anything, these unique names will impress your next house guest and get a conversation started, either on geography or your health food obsession.
All information comes from the Navita Naturals website, where you can learn more about and purchase all of the above mentioned superfoods. Many other brands produce and sell the powders, as well. Our Organic Beauty store has a handful in stock, too! Go get your superfood on.