If you’re here looking for Captain A-marrow-ca, the In-corn-able Hulk, Iron Mango or Th-orange, then you’ve come to the wrong place. But if you’re interested in learning about vegan superfoods with super health benefits, whilst putting up with some of my awful fruit and vegetable puns along the way, then romaine calm and carrot on reading…
What are superfoods?
Unfortunately, superfoods are not veggies that wear capes and fight crime (or disease). I know, I know. Whilst it would be awesome if it were true, superfoods don’t actually exist.
The fact is, there is no single food with special powers to stop disease in its tracks or supercharge our health. The word “superfood” was created to persuade us to buy into products and food trends.
BUT (and this is a big but), you’ll be glad to know that there are foods that offer high levels of desirable nutrients. These nourishing foods are often the ones promoted to superfood status by marketers and, whilst they may not have supernatural powers, they are worth including in your diet for optimal plant-based nutrition.
What’s more, a healthy and balanced diet plays a key role in the prevention and management of several health conditions and illnesses. And the great news is, many of these superfoods happen to be vegan!
The trick is to eat a variety; that way, we can gain the benefits of a wide array of gut-friendly fibre, minerals and vitamins, as well as keep our meals diverse and exciting! Harvard University recommends creating varied “super plates” rather than focusing on a single vegan superfood.
Why should you eat superfoods?
We need you healthy to help us achieve vegan world domination.
But in all seriousness, it’s incredibly important to be aware of your nutrient intake, particularly since there are some nutrients that are difficult to acquire whilst following a vegan diet. Superfoods contain a lot of the important stuff, such as antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and enzymes, which are all essential for optimal health. So eat your quinoa kiddos!
Are superfoods vegan?
All vegan food is superfood, in my opinion. Food that doesn’t cause any harm to animals deserves a cape! However, you will come across many non-vegan ingredients classified as superfoods, so be careful out there folks.
Despite there being some superfoods you should avoid, there are plenty of vegan options to choose from, including those that contain nutrients that plant-based diets supposedly lack, such as omega-3, iron, calcium and all 9 essential amino acids!
Try these vegan superfoods
Wheatgrass is the name of the freshly sprouted blades of grass of the common wheat plant, Triticum aestivum. It’s a highly nutritious plant, which serves as an excellent source of antioxidants, iron, magnesium, calcium and vitamins A, C and E. It also contains 17 amino acids, 8 of which are essential amino acids, crucial for everyday bodily functions.
As for this vegan superfood’s health benefits, the components of wheatgrass have been associated with lower cholesterol, weight loss, anti-inflammatory activity and improved blood sugar management.
In contrast to other grains, quinoa contains plenty of lysine, one of the essential amino acids often lacking in plant-based sources of protein. Lysine supports the synthesis of protein and plays a key role in growth and development.
Quinoa is also a great source of fibre, vitamins, iron, manganese, folate and magnesium. In particular, vitamin E has been linked to the reduced risk of coronary heart disease, multiple eye disorders and some cancers.
This vegan wholegrain (technically a pseudocereal) is also a superfood for other reasons; the quinoa plant produces saponins, bitter-tasting compounds, which naturally repels insects, reducing the need for pesticides. It can also be grown locally, right here in the UK!
A tree native to Africa, Arabia, Australia and Madagascar, the baobab produces a delicious fruit that is well-known for its health benefits. The edible parts of the tree include the leaves, as well as the pulp and seeds of the fruit, each containing a variety of different nutrients.
For example, the pulp contains lots of iron, zinc, potassium and vitamin C, whilst the leaves contain digestible protein and calcium and the seeds are packed full of fibre, healthy fats and thiamine. Where fresh baobab isn’t available, it’s commonly found in powder form, which is rich in niacin, iron, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6.
Thanks to its impressive nutrient content, adding this vegan superfood to your diet may improve your digestive health, regulate blood sugar levels and support healthy weight loss.
Otherwise known as the miracle tree, drumstick tree, ben oil tree and the horseradish tree, Moringa oleifera goes by many names! The powdered leaves have been used for centuries as a medicinal ingredient that has antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Whilst further research is needed to understand how effective this vegan superfood is for human health and well-being, we do know for certain that moringa contains an abundance of healthy compounds, including vitamins A, B, C, D and E, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, folic acid, pyridoxine, nicotinic acid and fibre; an impressive list of nutrients linked to numerous health benefits, from supporting immunity to boosting skin radiance!
There are hundreds of different types of hibiscus but the plant most widely cultivated is the Hibiscus sabdariffa, which has beautifully colourful flowers. The bioactive compounds accountable for most of the purported health benefits of hibiscus are anthocyanins, antioxidants that give the flowers their vibrant colour. Some studies suggest that these anthocyanins have anti-cancer qualities.
You can enjoy hibiscus as a decorative flower, steeped and drunk as herbal tea, powdered, extracted and blended into skincare treatments, taken as a vegan supplement and even macerated into an alcohol-free spirit; its versatility knows no bounds!
Where can you try these superfoods?
The majority of the aforementioned vegan superfoods can be found in supermarkets and health food shops all over the world (but we definitely recommend trying some of the ingredients fresh if you can).
Just remember to eat a whole range of them to increase the health benefits and ensure you are getting a well-balanced diet; variety is the spice of life and all that jazz! However, buying all of these superfoods separately can get a little expensive, which is why we love Hoffi Powder by SuperBioBoost. You get quinoa, baobab, hibiscus, moringa, wheatgrass and many more nutritious ingredients all in one flavourful supplemental powder.
You can see our full review of Hoffi Powder here.
Hoffi Powder contains vegan superfoods from multiple food groups, including fruits, vegetables, edible flowers and grains. It’s 100% organic and plant-based and tastes great added to smoothies, vegan cereals, baked goods and even just mixed with plant milk.