Superfood is a popular term used for nutrient-dense foods like kale, blueberries, and spinach. While we all know we should be eating a lot of fruits and veggies, it’s not always convenient in our busy lives to do so. Superfood powders offer a convenient way to get phytonutrients — beneficial compounds in plants — into your diet. These powders contain a combination of plant superfoods and can be mixed in water or in a smoothie. In this brief shopping guide, learn more about what’s in these wellness-boosting powders and what to look for in a product. We’ve also included our top recommendations, like this Super Greens Powder from Country Farms, which packs in over 50 different superfoods.
Considerations when choosing superfood powders
Types of superfood powders
Generally, superfood powders can be divided into three varieties:
Green superfood powders: Green powders are the most common type of superfood powder. They contain a mixture of all-green plant concentrates, predominantly vegetables. Expect to find kale, spinach, broccoli, parsley, and spinach in these powders. Not everyone, however, can stomach the vegetal taste of green powders, which is why we recommend mixing them into a fruit smoothie.
Red superfood powders: Red powders are primarily based on berry concentrates. Berries contain high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols. Red powders may include berries like acai, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries, as well as other red superfoods like pomegranate, tomatoes, and beets.
Rainbow superfood powders: For a more colorful and comprehensive blend of phytonutrients, select a rainbow superfood powder that offers a more balanced mixture of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. These may also be marketed as a red or green powder with the other added in.
Taste and texture: Not all superfood powders taste good, and some can be downright gritty and clumpy when mixed into a beverage. Powders containing fruit tend to be sweeter tasting. While taste is a matter of personal preference, you can read customer reviews to get a better picture of how a product tastes and how well it dissolves into water.
Sugar content: Superfood powders containing fruit will naturally contain sugar. While this improves the taste, we don’t recommend a powder that contains more than a couple grams of sugar to avoid detracting from its health benefits. Most superfood powders don’t contain artificial sweeteners, but it’s always best to double check the ingredient list for these culprits: aspartame, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium (Ace K).
Fiber content: Superfood powders aren’t an ideal source of fiber or designed to be a replacement for eating high-fiber fruits and vegetables. Fiber is bulky and doesn’t leave a lot of room for the phytonutrients you’d expect from a superfood powder, which is why most only contain a gram or two of fiber.
Vitamin & mineral content: Superfood powders also shouldn’t act as a replacement to a multivitamin. While they contain phytonutrients not commonly found in multivitamins, they don’t typically contain the spectrum of vitamins and minerals your body needs. Because most of these powders are proprietary blends, they often won’t list the quantities of an individual vitamin or mineral. Instead, you may have to look on the ingredient label for a specific superfood that you know, for example, contains potassium or vitamin C.
Organic: To optimize a powder’s health benefits, select one with organic plant ingredients to avoid ingesting any harmful chemicals or toxins. These tend to have a non-GMO designation as well.
Dietary requirements: Be sure to check ingredient labels for allergens like wheat, mushrooms, and soybeans if you’re allergic to these foods, which are commonly included in superfood powders. Many superfood powders are also clearly labeled as vegan or vegetarian friendly.
A container or bag of superfood powder ranges in price from $10 to $150 for a 30 day supply. A higher price tag often reflects a brand name and not necessarily a higher quality product. We recommend spending between $20 and $40 for a good powder.
Q. I have a sensitive stomach. What kind of superfood powder should I look for?
A. Opt for a superfood powder that features digestive enzymes and probiotics. Enzymes will help break down raw foods. Probiotics contain “good” bacteria that help line your digestive tract. Select a powder that contains multiple strains of probiotics over just one.
Q. How do I keep a superfood powder from clumping?
A. Opt for one containing the ingredient lecithin, which will give the powder a smoother consistency when mixed into liquid. Often superfood powders need to be stirred quite vigorously and drunk quickly before the powder has a chance to settle.
Superfood powders we recommend
Best of the best: Country Farms Organic Super Greens Powder
Our take: An organic, green superfood powder containing 50 different fruits and vegetables.
What we like: Comprehensive list of superfood ingredients, including wheatgrass, berries, mushrooms, and more. Contains probiotics for healthy digestion. Organic.
What we dislike: Must be drunk immediately after mixing to avoid congealment.
Best bang for your buck: BetterBody Foods Baobab Powder
Our take: An African superfruit, Baobab, boasts electrolytes, making this a perfect post-workout powder.
What we like: Replenishes electrolytes after strenuous activity. Contains high levels of antioxidants, as well as iron and vitamin C. Organic and non-GMO.
What we dislike: Only contains one superfood.
Our take: A solid, organic greens powder packed with vitamins and minerals.
What we like: All vegan and organic ingredients. Includes 18 recommended vitamins and minerals. Combines vegetables, grains, fruits, and sprouts.
What we dislike: May leave an undesirable aftertaste.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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