Learning about the SUPER in Superfoods
Written by Melissa Bistricer, RDN
For further questions or concerns email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are superfoods a real thing? Or just a marketing tool to get people to buy new “healthy” products? I think that the appealing buzzwords, flashy, and shiny packaging make it difficult for the consumer to truly depict the real superfoods sold in stores vs the ones trying to scam you. This is why I want to define the term “superfood” and how InViteⓇ health products are not just all about the marketing but about the clinically proven significance in each of our “superfood” products.†
What are Superfoods?
Superfood just means foods that provide nourishment and are nutrient dense. Northwestern Medicine Dietitian Sarah Buytendrop says, “no single food can offer every single nutritional component or health benefit we need.” 1 Superfoods have been used to define high levels of vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants that are linked to preventing disease or providing benefits in nutritional value. Although superfood as a marketing term has become popular, it doesn’t mean the foods being marketed are not nutritious and don’t have health benefits. Keep in mind, there is no magic pill that can solve all health concerns. We need to focus on a well-balanced diet and lifestyle to stay healthy and prevent diseases. There is so much in our control; as individuals, it is best to do as much as we can to stay healthy.†
Nutritional Diet Recommendations
The idea of superfoods is likely to originate from marketers rather than medical professionals.1 Although medical professionals suggest eating superfoods is simple, we have to eat more fruits and vegetables to reap the benefits.†
Commonly known “superfoods” that are a must:
Dark leafy greens: Kale & Spinach
Berries: blueberries, raspberries, & strawberries
Dark orange or red vegetables: Beets, Tomatoes, Carrots, & Red Peppers
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids: Cold Water Fish, Fortified Eggs, Flaxseed & Walnuts
Foods with fiber: Oats, Whole Grain Bread, Beans, Vegetables & Fruits
Sources of calcium: Dairy Foods, & Fortified Plant Milk
Our take on “Superfoods”
“Superfoods” at InViteⓇ Health take on the meaning of filling nutritional gaps that may not otherwise be filled. Nutritional gaps have never been easier to accomplish by using convenient powders packed with vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidant fruits and vegetables.†
Individuals may not be getting sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables due to cost, limited availability, access, and perceived lack of cooking/preparation time. Even when individuals consume enough fruits and vegetables, the soil they are grown in may impact the benefit and amount of nutrients in the product. This is due to the use of GMO products, high pollution, extreme heat, oxygen, and light.†
At InViteⓇ Health we aim to create high-quality “superfoods” to help individuals consume sufficient nutrients from fruits and vegetables. A couple of superfood products we sell are:†
Beets HxⓇ primarily supports cardiovascular and circulatory health. This formula also has been shown to support immune, inflammatory stress, vascular function (kidney, microbiome balance), endurance, stamina, and healthy cholesterol levels. The powder is from a red beetroot of Montmorency Tart Cherry effectively supporting the release of nitric oxide and improved physical performance.†
A short-term study on supplementation of Montmorency powder has shown to help muscle catabolism, reduce immune and inflammatory stress, better maintain redox balance and increase performance in aerobic training individuals.2 Beetroot supplementation has been researched to show favorable effects on overall health and certain stages of disease. The influence of beetroot supplementation has been associated with the human disorders of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.† 3
Cocoa HxⓇ primarily supports the brain and heart health. This formula has evidence to support the release of nitric oxide, targeting oxidative stress, healthy blood pressure levels, healthy cholesterol levels, enhancing mood, memory, and cognitive performance.†
Cocoa flavanols are processed and stripped of natural antioxidants and nutrients. According to research, the benefits of the nutrients in cocoa improves heart health and blood sugar health from the “superfood” cocoa beans.4 The most abundant mineral in cocoa is magnesium; it’s shown to enhance biological reactions such as protein synthesis and energy production. Cocoa acts as an antiarrhythmic and hypotensive agent.4 Theobromine, found in cocoa, has research saying it contains caffeine- without the effects! Theobromine has antioxidant properties, proven to improve oxidative stress, support healthy cholesterol and enhance mood.5
Reds HxⓇ primarily supports energy, digestive health, skin, and heart health. The best test to assess if something has health benefits is by the pigmentation. The general rule of thumb is the more vibrant the color, the more nutrients it contains. The Reds Hx is made from various fruits ranging from the colors orange, blue, purple, and red. This formula also supports the immune system, protect cells and organs, skin, eye health, intestines, arteries, heart, and circulation.†
We incorporate other components to benefit multiple pathways and systems in the body. In addition, Reds HxⓇ contains a Probiotic blend of Bilberry Fruit Extract (Grape Seed Extract), Resveratrol, Lycopene blend, Lutein blend, and Astaxanthin.†
The Probiotic Blend helps support digestion and gut health to support an individual’s immune system. Probiotics help lower gut pH as well as stimulate mucosal barriers and immune system regulations.6 Bilberry Fruit Extract helps effectively lower blood sugar markers, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol known as the “bad” cholesterol. Grape Seed Extract shows benefits in lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.†
According to Cleveland Clinic, Resveratrol has a slew of benefits. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant benefiting anti-aging, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, helping with brain and heart inflammation, and protecting the lining of your blood vessels.† 8
Greens HxⓇ primarily supports energy, detoxification, immunity, and liver health. This formula has approximately 39 herbs, vegetables, fruits, spices, algae, and probiotics. According to the US Dietary Guidelines, many Americans do not consume nearly enough fruits and vegetables.†
In the Greens HxⓇ at InViteⓇ Health, we incorporate other components to benefit multiple pathways and systems in the body. This powder contains Spirulina Algae Powder, Probiotic Blend, Green Tea Leaf Extract, and Alfalfa Grass Powder. It has been shown to also support detoxification of the liver, heart, organs, proper digestion, and immune function.†
Spirulina is an amino acid that has therapeutic properties such as anti-microbial, anti-allergic, anti-hypertensive, anti-tumor, and immunomodulatory. The bioactive peptide is derived from spirulina and has protective benefits when applied to nutraceutical ingredients like foods or pharmaceuticals.9 Probiotic blend as discussed in Reds HxⓇ helps support digestion and gut health to support an individual’s immune system. Green Tea Leaf Extract has a wide variety of health benefits. The component in green tea, catechins, has been studied to treat metabolic syndromes such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular risk factors.†10
Alfalfa Grass Powder according to WebMD shows that Alfalfa provides 13% of our daily recommended vitamin K, which helps prevent blood clots.11 Vitamin K, along with iron and chlorophyll have been shown to promote blood production which helps individuals with anemia. Alfalfa also has benefits in steading an individual’s blood sugars, because it is a high fiber rich food.†11
Just to summarize, powders are beneficial to fill nutritional gaps and ensure you are getting your daily nutrients from fruits and vegetables. However, powders are not a substitute! It is extremely important to add fruits and vegetables to your daily meals!†
Any further questions about filling your nutritional gaps and recommendations feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com†
1. Northwestern Medicine. Do superfoods exist? Northwestern Medicine. https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/nutrition/superfoods-through-the-decades. Accessed April 4, 2022.
2. Levers, K., Dalton, R., Galvan, E. et al. Effects of powdered Montmorency tart cherry supplementation on acute endurance exercise performance in aerobically trained individuals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 13, 22 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-016-0133-z
3. Clifford T, Howatson G, West DJ, Stevenson EJ. The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease. Nutrients. 2015;7(4):2801-2822. Published 2015 Apr 14. doi:10.3390/nu7042801
4. Steinberg FM, Bearden MM, Keen CL. Cocoa and chocolate flavonoids: implications for cardiovascular health. J Am Diet Assoc. 2003;103(2):215-223. doi:10.1053/jada.2003.50028
5. Neufingerl N, Zebregs YE, Schuring EA, Trautwein EA. Effect of cocoa and theobromine consumption on serum HDL-cholesterol concentrations: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;97(6):1201-1209. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.047373
6. Kechagia, Maria et al. “Health Benefits of Probiotics: A Review.” ISRN Nutrition 2013 (2013): n. Pag.
7. Grohmann T, Litts C, Horgan G, et al. Efficacy of Bilberry and Grape Seed Extract Supplement Interventions to Improve Glucose and Cholesterol Metabolism and Blood Pressure in Different Populations-A Systematic Review of the Literature. Nutrients. 2021;13(5):1692. Published 2021 May 17. doi:10.3390/nu13051692
8. Bigleyj. Health benefits of resveratrol – and should you take it? Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/resveratrol-benefits/. Published January 25, 2022. Accessed April 5, 2022.
9. Sambit Sarkar, Mriganka Sekhar Manna, Tridib Kumar Bhowmick, Kalyan Gayen. (2020) Priority-based multiple products from microalgae: review on techniques and strategies. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology 40:5, pages 590-607.
10. Chacko SM, Thambi PT, Kuttan R, Nishigaki I. Beneficial effects of green tea: a literature review. Chin Med. 2010;5:13. Published 2010 Apr 6. doi:10.1186/1749-8546-5-13
11. Contributors to WMDE. Alfalfa: Health benefits, nutrients per serving, preparation information, and more. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-alfalfa#:~:text=A%20single%20 serving%20of%20 alfalfa,can%20help%20people%20with%20 anemia. Accessed April 5, 2022.