In this article:
- What constitutes a "superfood"?
- Superfood staples worth adding to your pantry
The word “superfood” gets tossed around a lot. There's no single definition or set of criteria to classify a food as a superfood. Essentially, superfoods are foods that are thought to be extremely nutrient-dense, healthy, and potentially able to help cure certain ailments.
The ambiguity around this naming convention means that a superfood to one person (or one company) might not be all it's chalked up to be, for another. This is what we're looking for in a superfood supplement worthy of becoming a pantry staple:
Rather than comparing, say, a leaf of kale vs a handful of strawberries, we examined the most concentrated, supplemented forms of individual superfoods. For instance, instead of examining x inches of turmeric root, we evaluated curcumin supplements which are a potent, dehydrated form of turmeric. This often ensures 1) they have a longer shelf life 2) they are more consistent 3) they contain the most "super" ingredients of each superfood.
Here are some of our favorite supplements to consider, recipes to use them in, and some things to consider before you purchase!
Collagen: Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. As we age, our natural protein production slows, which can lead to joint pain, loss of muscle mass, sagging skin, wrinkles, and even gastrointestinal issues. Collagen is beneficial for people of all ages and may be particularly helpful for those with gut issues, arthritis, athletes, and anyone looking for clear youthful skin and healthy hair. No need for cycling or taking breaks, collagen is safe to use every day.
Moringa: Moringa is one of the buzzy "super greens" that you’ve probably seen in headlines, and it’s worthy of its name! Moringa is a tree that is native to India. It has been used for centuries for its antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Today, it has earned the accolade as a superfood due to its wealth of nutrients and antioxidants.
Glutathione: Glutathione is our body's "master antioxidant" that helps to detoxify every cell in your body. Glutathione becomes depleted as we age by environmental toxins, oxidative stress, and processed foods. Glutathione supplementation is critical in helping your immune system do its job of fighting infections, while supporting detoxification of the liver and promoting vital brain functions.
MCT Oil: Last but not least, MCT oil is another superfood that has been making headlines and establishing itself as a staple in keto diets. MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides or medium chain fat. They are a saturated fatty acid that can be found in coconuts, among other foods. MCT oil is a great healthy fat alternative that is said to support weight loss, fat burning, and exercise performance.
There are many shelf-stable, wallet-friendly superfoods that we recommend stocking up on and adding to your favorite recipes like:
Lastly, a quick disclaimer: A superfood for YOU might not be a superfood for somebody else. It all comes down to your diet, health, and even taste preferences. These are some of the favorites that we recommend having around to add a healthy boost to whatever recipe you whip up! If you need help finding recipes or evaluating your alternatives, check out the Amandean blog for inspiration!