A huge culprit of hidden ingredients are superfood mixes. While some can truly deliver on genuine, nutrient-packed ingredients, others may sneak in some less-than-desirable ingredients that can completely defeat the purpose of having a superfood mix in the first place.
But before we dive into that…
What the Heck is a Superfood Anyways?
A superfood is more specific than just a fruit, vegetable, nut, seed, grain, or protein. Superfoods are packed full of nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants that can make a major difference in immunity, chronic disease, and more. In short, superfoods give you more nutritional “oomph” per calories than others, which, if well-incorporated into your diet, can make a huge difference in your health and well-being.
One of the most sought-after benefits of superfoods is the antioxidant content. Antioxidants have been shown to help reduce free radicals in the body, which are linked with heart disease, cancer, arthritis, immune deficiency, respiratory diseases, and other inflammatory conditions.
Getting inflammation of the body under control is necessary in order to keep chronic diseases under control, as well as prevent them from ever taking over. While superfoods can give a healthy dose of antioxidants and inflammation-fighting properties, they must also be incorporated into a healthy diet; Just eating superfoods with an unhealthy diet will not provide the health benefits that can really make a difference.
Chances are, this article is not the first time you’ve heard of a superfood. Pretty much everyone has heard of the term before, which brings the question of a universal definition to mind. From grocery stores to juice bars to recipes, people are boasting about superfoods making it into their ingredients. Sure, they may use Goji berries, but what else is lurking in that granola bar?
How the 'Superfood' Term is Overused
At SUTRA, we believe the term ‘superfood’ is overused, and used incorrectly. The definition should be used to describe nutrient and antioxidant-rich food and beverages. But ingredients and health food products are now using the name ‘superfoods’, while also including insane amounts of sugar, flour, oils, and other fillers that cancel out the amazing health benefits of the superfood ingredient itself.
At SUTRA, we pride ourselves in being transparent about the ingredients we use in our superfood lattes. When we list raw cacao, red reishi mushroom, and all of our other ingredients, what you see is what you get. Real, unprocessed, delicious superfood ingredients without all of the added garbage and fillers that other brands use so often.
Which brings us back to superfood mixes. The title itself may cause you to think that you’re doing wonders for your body by using the mix, but this isn’t always the case. Like other superfood products, the superfood mix you just bought or are thinking of purchasing, may have unnecessary and potentially harmful additives.
To help you navigate the world of superfood mixes, we’ve gathered up a list of both the good and the bad mixes on the market, and how to choose the best one for you.
Superfood Mixes - Eat THIS, Not THAT
Hum has swept the health and beauty scenes by storm. Everyone who knows of Hum associates the brand with vitamins and well-being, but take a closer look at their ingredients, and you’ll find added sugar on the list. If you’re looking to incorporate a supergreen mix into your diet, steer clear of added sugars, which knock the health advantage down severely.
Instead, Use This
Not only does this mix contain nutrient-packed greens, but it also has probiotics in powder form, which makes for easy digestion. Ashley Strommen, SUTRA’s CEO, swears by this powder and uses it every single day.
Do I Need to Give Up My Sweet Tooth Forever?
Red flag #1: It’s recommended to be used as an additive to coffee. The caffeine in coffee is definitely not a good source of energy, as it causes major crashes and can lead to adrenal fatigue. Plus, Bad Energy Booster’s “superfood mix” is actually packed with added sugars. Nothing here sounds very healthy or super.
Filled with powdered superfoods, these mixes are sure to give you an extra boost of energy, but in a natural, non-crashing way. The Black mix is perfect for chocolate lovers, with raw cacao and debittered stevia for added natural sweetness. If you’re more into a spicy/chai kinda taste, then go for the Gold. Just mix with your favorite nut milk, and you’ve got a tasty superfood treat on your hands, without any added crap.
Protein is great for muscle health and staying full longer, but not when there’s added cane sugar and xanthan gum in the mix. Look for mixes with plant-based proteins and natural sweeteners, like stevia, or sugar from fruits only.
This superfood greens mix contains 45 phytonutrient-dense superfoods, as well as 10 probiotic strains to help with digestion. Plus, no added sugars, and the sweetness comes from stevia!
Smoothies (especially superfood ones) have a reputation for being health food powerhouses. That is, until you look at the mixture’s ingredients. This one has 10 grams of sugar, plus added coconut sugar.
This mixture uses whole superfood fruits as the main attraction, and for good reason. When paired with the fiber of the fruits, the naturally occurring sugar is used by the body for energy, instead of being turned into fat. Plus, they throw some kale (another superfood) into there, but you can’t even taste it!
So next time you see the label “superfood”, take a peek at the ingredients. The product may not be able to deliver in the ways that it should, so make sure to do your research and keep sugar content in your diet at a minimum. Look for real, raw, superfood-based mixtures to get a real nutrient-packed punch with so many benefits, you’ll definitely want to make superfoods a staple in your diet.
About the Author - Lindsay Ware
Beginning during her high school years, Lindsay noticed an immediate dip in energy. Along with fatigue, she also showed signs of lack of concentration, digestive problems, and a weakened immune system. After years of non-conclusive tests at the clinic, Lindsay finally received the correct diagnosis of Celiac Disease from her local Naturopath.
After cutting out gluten completely, Lindsay realized how much of a difference changing your diet can make to your overall wellbeing. Instead of drinking 3 coffees a day, Lindsay relies on the natural energies of clean foods to keep her mind sharp and her writing skills flowing.