Without a doubt, many children and adults are taking nutritional supplements to maintain overall health and well-being. Supplement use is a daily practice for millions of Canadians, with an estimated 45.6% of Canadians aged one year and older using at least one nutritional supplement.
Supplements are commonly available as tablets, capsules, and softgels. However, consuming numerous pills each day may not be desired or suitable. With a growing number of adults taking prescription and over-the-counter medications and natural health products, many often experience “pill fatigue.” 
Pill fatigue is a phenomenon where the habit of taking numerous pills becomes exhausting!
Luckily supplements are also available in different delivery systems such as liquids, gummies, and even powders, providing a variety of options for individuals to meet their daily nutrient needs. Powders, in particular, offer a suitable alternative for both children and adults, and can be an excellent way to deliver vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and superfoods. Let’s discuss some key superfoods and super-spices that you can find as powders and how incorporating them into your daily health regimen will support your health simply and deliciously!
Promote an active lifestyle
Superfoods such as beets and berries are essential in supporting an active and healthy lifestyle. Beets are one of the highest sources of dietary nitrates. The body converts dietary nitrates into nitric oxide, one of the most potent vasodilators in the
body. Nitric oxide helps relax blood vessels, allowing them to dilate in order to improve blood flow. A review of studies looking at the health benefits of beet juice found that due to their support of blood pressure, beets “should be promoted as a key component of a healthy lifestyle” in healthy and hypertensive individuals. Nitric oxide also supports the more efficient use of oxygen in the body, thereby making beets a great choice for anyone else with an active and demanding lifestyle. Other superfoods such as strawberries, blueberries, and blackcurrant deliver a broad spectrum of phytonutrients that help combat free radicals and support overall health.
Inspire nourishment and recovery
Super-spices such as turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon are known for providing warming nourishment, recovery support, and good health. Turmeric root has traditionally been used as a warming spice and provides several health benefits. The main active compounds in turmeric are the curcuminoids, including curcumin, which have antioxidant activity and support the body’s regular inflammatory activity. Research repeatedly shows that curcumin can increase the body’s antioxidant defences to aid recovery after exercise.[5,6] Ginger is also a nourishing spice that provides many active constituents such as gingerols to provide antioxidant support, reduce inflammation, and soothe digestion.[7,8] Aromatic spices work together to enhance vitality and improve nutrient absorption.
Calm and focus
When it comes to improving calm and focus, medicinal mushrooms and adaptogenic herbs such as maca and ashwagandha are essential. Adaptogens have long been regarded as agents that support the body’s ability to accommodate stress. Maca is an indigenous Andean vegetable used for at least 2,000 years to support energy and vitality, and improve resistance to physical and mental stress. Maca has a dense nutritional profile, providing substantial levels of carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fibre. It is rich in essential minerals, especially selenium, calcium, magnesium, and iron, as well as vitamins B1, B2, C, and E. Maca also contains healthy fatty acids and 19 amino acids.[9,10] The adaptogenic herb ashwagandha has over 4,000 years of traditional use as part of the Ayurvedic tradition and is a rejuvenating tonic for mind and body during times of stress. In one study, ashwagandha was shown to improve sleep quality, lower the stress hormone cortisol, and reduce stress and anxiety levels. Medicinal mushrooms such as cordyceps, reishi, and shiitake, are also well-known for their adaptogenic activity. They contain beta-glucan polysaccharides, antioxidants, vitamin D, B-vitamins, and minerals such as selenium and potassium.[12,13] These nutrients are critical to promoting overall health and supporting mushrooms’ cognitive function, energy, and stress resistance.
Using superfood powders
When purchasing superfoods in a powder form, look for the ones that are identified as being non-GMO, organic, and fermented. Fermentation is a traditional food preservation technique that predigests otherwise indigestible plant materials to enhance their digestibility and improve nutrient bioavailability. Fermentation may even create unique beneficial phytonutrients such as antioxidants. It can decrease the presence of antinutrients in foods, such as phytates, which inhibit the absorption of minerals such as iron and zinc. Consuming fermented foods can help support a healthy gut microbiota, and promote digestion and overall health.
Fermentation is a traditional food preservation technique that predigests otherwise indigestible plant materials to enhance their digestibility and improve nutrient bioavailability.
Superfood powders can be easily sprinkled onto popcorn or nuts, or mixed into smoothies, smoothie bowls, homemade popsicles, or dips. If you are tired of taking so many pills or want to experience a simple and delicious way to supplement your diet, consider the many benefits of using plant-based formulations in powder form. Your body will be one step closer to a healthy life!
- Khatri J, Mills CE, Maskell P, et al. It is rocket science – why dietary nitrate is hard to ‘beet’! Part I: twists and turns in the realization of the nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway.
Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2017; 83(1):129‐139.
- Bonilla Ocampo DA, Paipilla AF, Marín E, et al. Dietary Nitrate from Beetroot Juice for Hypertension: A Systematic Review. Biomolecules. 2018; 8(4):134.
- Olsson H, Al-Saadi J, Oehler D, et al. Physiological Effects of Beetroot in Athletes and Patients. 2019; 11(12):e6355.
- Tanabe Y, Maeda S, Akazawa N, et al. Attenuation of indirect markers of eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage by curcumin. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015; 115:1949-57.
- Takahashi M, Suzuki K, Kim HK, et al. Effects of Curcumin Supplementation on Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress in Humans. Int J Sports Med. 2013; 35(6):469-475.
- Wang S, Zhang C, Yang G, et al. Biological properties of 6-gingerol: a brief review. Nat Prod Commun. 2014; 9(7):1027‐1030.
- Black CD, O’Connor PJ. Acute effects of dietary ginger on muscle pain induced by eccentric exercise. Phytother Res. 2010; 24(11):1620‐1626.
- Gonzales GF. Ethnobiology and ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a plant from the Peruvian Highlands. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal. 2012; 2012:193496.
- Piacente S, Carbone V, Plaza A, et al. Investigation of the tuber constituents of maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp.). J Agric Food Chem. 2002; 50:5621-25.
- Salve J, Pate S, Debnath K, et al. Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study. 2019; 11(12):e6466.
- Mushroom Benefits. Accessed on May 27, 2020 https://www.mushroomcouncil.com/nutrition-benefits/
- Kalaras MD, Richie JP, Calcagnotto A, et al. Mushrooms: A rich source of the antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione. Food Chem. 2017; 233:429-433.