What are Superfoods and why, when should I have them?

What exactly does the name superfoods signify and is it just a matter of hype or marketing, another trendy bandwagon?

For us superfoods are any natural foods that have a very high nutrient profile within a dense amount of volume, and which have a beneficial effect on our body and mind. The origin is less significant than the effect, so not every superfood needs to have an exotic name. Think of something like nettle or oats, widely available in Europe, usually not named under superfoods, yet we would consider them in our list of superfoods to keep in the kitchen, because they have numerous health benefits.

And how does the average consumer choose between all the different superfoods on offer?

We prefer to see them as functional foods. What effect are you looking for? Are you tired and in need of an energy boost, or do you need to supplement a certain deficiency? It all depends on personal needs and diet, knowing the balance of when to use and when to take a break. The time of day and type of activity are equally crucial.

For example, Matcha is mostly known for its caffeine effect (and the amino acid L-theanine, which has a calming effect on the brain) and because it’s produced from green tea, it’s also thermogenic, had anti-carcinogenic benefits and aids in digestion. Therefore, it’s an ideal superfood to have early in the morning after breakfast, as a stimulant and fat burner (particularly after a greasy meal). We would perhaps have one more after lunch, but no later than that, because the effect could potentially last another 7-8 hours. If you do not want to stay awake at night, and already have the knowledge of the particular effects on the body, then it’s best to determine the time of day and frequency that you take this.

In general, we find that stimulants need to be limited to certain times of the day, while vitamin C for instance can be used daily, but should preferably to be taken with food (to avoid flushing it out too fast through passing urine). It’s always recommended to do some research online to find out what the exact effects of a particular superfood are, and if it is compatible with other dietary issues.

What we’ve tried to summarise in the next few articles is our own experience with various superfoods and herbs, plus what to look for in ingredients and the production process.