We use cookies in order to be able to offer you a better online experience. By using our website, you agree that we may place cookies on your device. Data Protection Declaration hide hint

Superfoods – a comparison

Going healthy with kale and goji berries

They are heralded as miracle foodstuffs. Food logistics companies like the Nagel-Group are increasingly supplying supermarkets with chia seeds and similar products . They are regarded as healthy, nutritious, and easier to digest.

The legends about exotic plants such as chia seeds, goji berries or moringa are full of stories of people who found miraculous cures for the most serious illnesses or those who have gone through life without any health issues. Against the backdrop of superfood trends emerging in Europe, these legends have been gaining a new momentum for some years now.

Promotes health and well-being

"Superfood has been a hot topic for a year and a half to two years due to media coverage," says Angela Clausen, nutritional scientist and food expert at the consumer advice centre in North Rhine-Westphalia. "New and different foodstuffs are always being labelled as superfoods, primarily in the English speaking world. What we consider boring, let's say kale, was considered to be the ultimate superfood in New York last year," she adds.

European consumers mainly know these super plant products from distant countries of South America or Asia. The supermarket shelves across Europe are adorned with foodstuffs which are believed to have medicinal properties. However, you do not have to import superfood from distant countries, you can source them locally.

Broccoli vs Moringa

Broccoli is one of the superfoods which can be locally sourced. Its competitor is moringa, which comes from the Malabar region in India. Moringa leaves have such high concentration of provitamin A that only 15g of fresh moringa leaves provide the daily recommended intake of vitamin A; just 10g of powdered moringa leaves provide one third of the daily recommended intake. Moringa also contains vitamin K, E, B2, iron, and manganese. Broccoli, which can be locally sourced, may not be as high in vitamin A, however one portion (150g) of broccoli covers the entire daily requirement. It is not very high in Vitamin K and E, but it contains an abundance of vitamin C. Broccoli also scores extra points because of glucosinolates, which occur as secondary metabolites in plants.

Blueberries vs Goji berries

Blueberries are another European superfood. These berries are said to have special health benefits. The berries supposedly prevent thrombosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Dried blueberries are also said to be effective against gastrointestinal diseases. The tannin in the berries has also been found to be helpful in the treatment of inflammations and wounds affecting the skin and the mucous membrane. Locally sourced blueberries can thus compete with goji berries, especially when it comes to taste.

Regional alternatives to exotic superfoods

"If you consider superfoods as just nutrient-rich foodstuffs that contain not only vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants but also flavonoids and beta-carotenes – so-called secondary metabolites – then we are talking about a whole gamut of dark red and dark green fruit and vegetables which can be sourced locally," says Angela Clausen. She adds, "These include cabbage varieties which contain glucosinolates, plants belonging to the onion family which contain sulphides, and all types of berries. Aronia berries, cherries, blackcurrants, and even nuts are great superfoods which are available locally. We have at least just as many superfoods in Europe compared to what we import from distant countries. However, the exotic nature of these imported foodstuffs also plays a role for buyers."

Photos: © Elena Schweitzer - stock.adobe.com, © tunedin - stock.adobe.com, © kuvona - stock.adobe.com

Recommended by the editors