6 superfood powders that actually work
There is plenty of hype around superfood supplements and nutritional powders. Experts weigh in on which powders really can boost your health.
Many superfood powders and supplements can add a kick to your health routine – but they can’t perform miracles all alone, according to experts.
“Powders do have benefits, but the thing is if you go and drink three coffees a day, drink alcohol or have lots of sugar, then you are undoing the effects,” says naturopath Genevieve Mlotkowski.
“But if you take them with a well-balanced diet and exercise then they can help.”
The Nutritionist dietitian Mark Surdut says in today’s world, people may actually need a boost.
“Modern busy men and women do not eat the volume, the frequency and the variety of veggies they ought to,” says Mark.
“Consider that we should eat at least five serves of veggies a day… that’s five cups of salad a day to meet your daily requirements.”
The recommended daily intakes are set out in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
So, Mark says if you aren’t meeting the requirements, and you can’t add more fresh food to your routine, then powders may be a good option.
What to know about superfood powders and supplements
Superfood powders are highly processed, and ingredients vary between brands, so it’s important to do some fact-finding before you start.
Genevieve says Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration regulates supplements, but she cautions many superfood powders are classified as food and may fly under the radar, “so it’s important to get advice from a professional”.
There is also the added concern that many powders come from overseas where health claims are not regulated.
“With powders, especially if you’re buying from the US online, often you don’t know what you are getting and they make a lot of claims that aren’t true, so you need to be careful,” she says.
At best this could mean you are wasting your money; at worst, you could be putting your health in danger.
6 superfood powders and supplements that have proven impacts
Crushed green tea has long been associated with digestion and mindfulness.
A Japanese study shows it has anti-carcinogenic properties, stimulates digestion and weight loss, and can aid in treatment of diabetes.
Dosage: 1 teaspoon per cup of water. (Don’t drink too many cups as it does contain natural caffeine.)
Crushed from seeds, hemp powder is highly digestible and packed with plant protein, which is good for muscle maintenance and repair.
But having been only approved for consumption in Australia in 2017, there is room for more research.
Dosage: 2-3 teaspoons a day for muscle repair.
Made famous by NASA as a supplement for astronauts, studies show this seaweed-flavoured algae can lower the impacts of cholesterol and stimulates weight loss.
Dosage: 1 teaspoon (1-7grams) per day.
A German study found small doses taken long term can improve bone density and help treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
There is also some evidence it can help with skin elasticity and anti-aging.
Dosage: Taken daily but amount will depend on the concentration.
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Made from Acai berries, it contains antioxidants and fibre.
There is some evidence it helps with arthritis, cholesterol reduction and improving skin, but little research has been completed to date.
Dosage: 1-2 teaspoons on yoghurt or cereal.
This plant powder has been used in herbal medicine for 4,000 years.
It has also been found helpful treating exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness.
However, concentration differs wildly between brands.
Dosage: Depends whether taken in powder or capsule form.
Written by Alex White.