Time To Tap Into Your Superpowders

Oct 9, 2022, 17:37 IST

superpowders - beetroot powder

Everything you need to know about these four plant-based powders that promise to boost your nutrition

The buzz around superfoods goes on, and changes almost every month. If you’re health-conscious, you’ll want to know about these plant-based powders that are sure to boost your nutrition.

superpowders - cacao powder

Cacao Powder
For some time now, we’ve been hearing about the wealth of nutrition in cacao powder. Health-giving compounds in cacao include phenylethylamine, an organic compound known to improve athletic performance, decrease depression and enhance weight loss, and antioxidants such as flavonols that are reported to reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. One tablespoon of cacao contains almost 2 grams of fibre – always a good thing – and it is also known to help the weight loss journey along.

Choose natural or raw cacao, rather than Dutch-processed cocoa – the processing might compromise the valuable antioxidants.

Cacao works well in chocolate-flavoured recipes, and it can also be added to spice rubs or marinades for meat. 

superpowders - hemp powder

Hemp Powder

If you’ve been hearing about the health benefits of hemp powder, but were hesitant to use it because of its ‘high’ reputation, here’s what you need to know: although hemp is from the same genus of plant – cannabis – as marijuana, hemp contains less than 0.3% of THC by dry weight and will not cause any psychoactive effects. 

Rich in protein and a whole raft of amino acids that aid muscle recovery and growth, hemp offers plenty of fibre, magnesium (essential for optimal bone health) and omega-3 fats that benefit the heart.  It is also known to improve gastrointestinal health.  

Add hemp to oatmeal or quinoa, and to post-workout smoothies. You can also replace some of the flour in pancakes with hemp powder. 

superpowders - flax meal

Flax Meal

Flax lives up to its hype. It tastes great and the healthy fat it contains helps to reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol and promote heart health. The lignans in flax are reported to balance hormones and perhaps link to a lower breast cancer risk. Because its soluble fibre helps to slow down digestion, it can also help to control appetite and aid in weight loss. Research has shown that it also helps fight depression and improve immunity.

Grinding the hard-shelled whole flax seeds into a powder frees up its nutrition to be easily absorbed.  However, grind in small quantities because flax quickly turns rancid; you can store it in the fridge or freezer to keep it fresher for a while.

Flax meal is a great addition to homemade energy bars and cooked vegetables. It can also be used instead of breadcrumbs.

Beetroot Powder (main image)
Beets contain nitrates, which are converted to nitric acid in the body. Nitric acid works to widen (vasodilate) your blood vessels, increasing blood flow to your muscles as they work and helping them perform more efficiently.

Beet powder offers more concentrated nitrates than whole beets.

Blood pressure numbers have also been shown to be kept in a healthy range by the same nitrates that occur naturally in beets, and they also fight inflammation in the body. 

Whip beetroot powder into smoothies or yoghurt, add to brownies and other baked goods, and drink – mixed into water – a half hour before you hit the gym. 

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