For many people, the idea of “Super foods” seems like a marketing gimmick used to sell more products in trendy health food stores. However, when you dig into the research and take a look at many “Super food” products, what you will find is that these plants are in many ways far superior to the regular fruits and vegetables found on the shelves of your local super market.
The sad truth is that the vast majority of fruits and vegetables grown conventionally, and even many that fit the USDA organic designation, are nutritionally poor. This is one reason why over 90% of Americans are deficient in one or more micronutrients (the most common being Vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium). What the research is showing is that it may not be possible to get all of the nutrients your body needs from food alone (source).
This is where super food powders come in. These powders are designed to be added into your diet as a nutrient booster. They enhance the nutritional value of foods you would already be eating (like smoothies, puddings, yogurt, cereals, and baked goods). Many super foods are also considered adaptogens, which help your body to neutralize toxins and to be more resilient to stress.
All of the super food products that we make at Kapok Naturals are grown in their natural habitat, including remote parts of the Andes mountains and in the rainforest. They are not being cultivated in exhausted, nutrient deficient soil, genetically modified, or sprayed with pesticides. As a result, they are naturally much higher in nutrients and lower in toxins than anything grown on a farm in North America. In addition, they are harvested ripe and are immediately dried and ground, in order to retain their nutritional value. Unlike the typical tomato, apple, or strawberry that is picked prematurely and allowed to sit in a warehouse or on a truck, while their nutrients disintegrate, to the point of being worthless by the time they arrive in your kitchen.
At this point, you may be wondering if it is better to take supplements of isolated nutrients in order to avoid deficiency. The biggest advantage of using super foods instead of individual vitamins and minerals is the ease of absorption. Since most supplements are synthetic forms of vitamins and minerals, they are harder for your body to absorb and often need to be metabolized and changed in your body in order to be used. Natural forms of vitamins and minerals are safer and more bioavailable (available for your body to use) than synthetic forms. In addition, the blend of vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that occur naturally in healthy foods shows an overall benefit when compared to isolated nutrients (source). Ultimately, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
If you are looking to boost your level of health and well-being, and feed your family better, the simple act of sprinkling nutrient dense super foods into foods you are already making is a great first step. Everyone can benefit from having more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in their diet.
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Cameron Alksnis, is an avid supporter of a whole foods plant-based diet and holds a certification in Plant-Based nutrition form the Center for Nutrition Studies. He is a competitive triathlete and is a former professional soccer player.