16 Superfood Powders to Add to Smoothies, Baking and More
Integrating nutrient-dense super powders—from maca to matcha—into your diet may boost energy, combat stress, improve skin health and strengthen your immune system. Here are 16 easy-to-incorporate superfood powders and where to find them.
What’s your super powder
Acai, camu camu, turmeric, spirulina: Every month there seems to be a trendy new superfood that splashes across the internet with promises to fix gut health, strengthen nails and reduce stress levels. But while they may seem like crazy fads, many of these ingredients have been used in natural medicine around the world—from India to Peru—for centuries. When dried and powdered, certain berries, roots and leaves can provide a vitamin- and antioxidant-dense boost in water, lattes, smoothies and baked goods—especially if you’re worried about your nutrition levels. The big thing when it comes to superfood powders? “Treat them like food,” says holistic nutritionist and Genuine Health spokesperson Joy McCarthy. “Variety is the spice of life and it’s good to mix it up and not eat or drink the same super powders every single day.”
These 16 superfood powders are worth a second look, including some of McCarthy’s absolute favourites such as turmeric, matcha and maca.
Superfood powders: Acai
All super powders aren’t created alike as far as taste is concerned, but acai berry is one that’s a delight to eat—sweet-meets-tart with a flavour somewhere between blackberry and dark chocolate. Acai is known for its high level of antioxidants (which help fight damage to cells caused by external stressors like UV radiation and pollution), fibre, healthy fats and calcium, plus it’s low in calories. Check out the Navitas Organics blog for delicious recipes using acai powder, including acai berry tarts and acai cherry gelato.
Navitas Organic Acai Powder, $28 for 113g, healthyplanetcanada.com
Superfood powders: Bee Pollen
Bees pick up flower pollen on their travels and mix it with nectar and their own secretions to create bee pollen to feed their young. It’s packed with protein, B vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and most people use it to increase energy prior to a workout or busy day. Some people even claim it helps with seasonal allergies, although there’s not a lot of evidence to support this claim. Try sprinkling it on yogurt, granola or salads or make a bee pollen smoothie.
Beekeeper’s Naturals 100% Raw Bee Pollen, $25 for 150g, beekeepersnaturals.ca
Superfood powders: Beetroot
Beets, or beetroot juices and powders, have high levels of vitamin C, folate (important for a healthy metabolism) and manganese (needed to prevent infertility, bone malformation and seizures). Beetroot also contains antioxidants that may help lower blood sugar and blood pressure, and is high in dietary nitrate, which has benefits for the cardiovascular system. Use it in soups, brownies, cupcakes and smoothies. (We’ve got plenty of recipe ideas!)
Nature’s Way Beet Root Powder, $23 for 150g, healthyplanetcanada.com
Superfood powders: Broccoli
One scoop of Koyah’s broccoli powder contains 20 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement and 20 percent of vitamin K (which may improve memory and bone health). Use it instead of kale or spinach powder in smoothies and as a healthy addition to dips and salad dressings. Just avoid applying heat, says McCarthy, “as the enzymes will be destroyed.” The same is true for chlorella and spirulina.
Koyah Organic Broccoli Powder, $32.50, amazon.ca
Superfood powders: Cacao
Incredibly high in antioxidants, as well as iron, magnesium and dietary fibre, cacao is good for the heart and can reduce blood pressure and lower bad cholesterol. It’s not the same as cocoa, which is processed and loses most of the health benefits that are found in raw cacao. Try cacao powder in just about any chocolate-flavoured recipe you can find, including chocolate chia seed pudding.
Prana Organic Raw Cacao Powder, $9.50 for 200g, well.ca
Superfood powders: Camu Camu
A fruit that’s native to the Peruvian Amazon, Camu Camu is a potent source of vitamin C (one serving contains 1100 percent of your daily required dose, which is more than nine times the amount found in a medium orange) and may be able to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Mix it into smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt or even add it to your tea (so long as the water isn’t boiling hot).
Kapok Naturals Organic Camu Camu Powder, $21 for 85g, well.ca
Superfood powders: Chlorella
Chlorella is a common supplement recommended by holistic healthcare practitioners because the green microalgae is rich in chlorophyll and beta-carotene—typically only available when eating a wide variety of fruits and veggies— as well as vitamin C, iron and protein. It’s typically used to promote better immune system function and manage blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. Use chlorella powder in these Hunger Kicker Chlorella Cacao Balls.
Now Organic Chlorella, $23 for 113g, vitasave.ca
Superfood powders: Collagen
“The benefits of supplementing with collagen are numerous,” says McCarthy. “It is, after all, the most abundant protein in the body. There are research-proven benefits for skin including improved skin hydration because collagen nourishes the dermis and increases the manufacture of hyaluronic acid, which can hold 1000x its weight in water. There are also benefits for joint health, cardiovascular function, bone-mineral density and overall well-being.” Add flavoured collagen powder to water, or try McCarthy’s Matcha Collagen Latte with unflavoured powder.
Genuine Health Clean Collagen in Pineapple Berry, $35 for 301g, genuinehealth.com
Collagen powder isn’t the only option available. Here’s where to find collagen bars, pills and more.
Superfood powders: Lucuma
Native to Peru, Chile and Ecuador, the lucuma fruit has a naturally sweet caramel or maple-like flavour. Though the raw fruit is hard to come by in North America, its powdered form makes the perfect sweetener for smoothies, energy balls and desserts—especially for diabetics or those watching their blood sugar. It contains B vitamins, calcium and iron and is rich in antioxidants.
The Gut Lab Lucuma, $18 for 135g, thegutlab.ca
Superfood powders: Maca
The root of the maca plant, also known as Peruvian ginseng, has been used in Peru for thousands of years. “I love maca for boosting energy,” says McCarthy. “It’s also a really great adaptogen that helps the body with stamina and resiliency when combatting stress.” Try it with raw cacao (two super powders in one go!) or maple flavour.
Vega Maca, $35 for 90g, myvega.ca
Superfood powders: Maqui Berry
Maqui berry is grown in Chile and was originally used in medicine by the indigenous Mapuche peoples. As with many super powders, it’s a potent source of antioxidants and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Its fruity flavour makes it a great addition to smoothies and smoothie bowls, juices and raw bars or desserts. (This superfood can also be found as a topical ingredient in some beauty products.)
Organic Traditions Freeze Dried Maqui Berry Powder, $26 for 100g, well.ca
Superfood powders: Matcha
Powdered green tea leaves whisked with hot water to make a traditional Japanese beverage, matcha has long been touted for its antioxidant benefits, as well as its ability to improve concentration. Choose a ceremonial-grade powder that’s bright green and drink it as a tea (McCarthy recommends adding raw honey if you’re not a fan of the taste) or use a spoonful in a smoothie bowl with banana, spinach and agave syrup for a tasty breakfast or snack. Learn more about the benefits of matcha here.
Tao Tea Leaf Organic Japanese Ceremonial Grade Matcha, $27 for 113g, taotealeaf.com
Superfood powders: Moringa
Sometimes called the “miracle tree” in its native India, moringa’s dried leaves are turned into powder for use in western countries. The benefits of ingesting the powder as part of your diet may include blood sugar and blood pressure regulation, as well as protection of organs like the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs. Mix it with hot water and add to almond milk and coconut sugar for a morning latte, or try it as a thickener in soups and sauces after the cooking process is complete.
Ecoideas Organic Moringa Powder, $20.50 for 225g, well.ca
Superfood powders: Spirulina
A type of blue-green algae, spirulina is high in plant-based protein, iron and chlorophyll. Take it if you’re looking to fight allergic rhinitis, repair muscles or stabilize blood sugar. It can also be useful for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, as well as improving blood pressure and weight. One thing it won’t do? Provide vitamin B12. “Despite popular belief, spirulina is not a good source of bioavailable B12,” says McCarthy. If you’re vegetarian or vegan and deficient in B12 (typically found in animal products), she suggests talking to your natural healthcare practitioner about a good B12 supplement brand and dosage.
Organika Spirulina Powder, $34 for 454g, vitasave.ca
Superfood powders: Turmeric
Turmeric is one of the buzzier super powders when it comes to cooking, nutrient supplementation and beauty products, and that’s because it’s a spice (also called “Indian saffron”) that has been shown to have a wide variety of health benefits. Use it for joint pain, inflammation and issues related to the stomach, skin and liver. Try one teaspoon of ground turmeric in McCarthy’s Lazy Lady Turmeric Latte.
MegaFood Daily Turmeric Nutrient Booster Powder, $25.50 for 59g, vitamart.ca
Superfood powders: Wheatgrass
Though it’s taste isn’t much to celebrate, wheatgrass has a wide nutrient profile and contains a good dose of vitamins A, C and K as well as folate, biotin, riboflavin and manganese. Use it to support immune and digestive health by mixing it with water or juice (just not citrus juice) to create a shot with major health perks.
Flora Organic Wheat Grass Powder, $36 for 225g, florahealth.com
Next, discover some unexpected benefits of pomegranate.