Superfoods are everywhere these days, but are they really worth the type? Their impressive nutritional profile suggests that they might be.
That’s why we’ve put 9 popular superfoods up against regular foods to highlight the differences. From spirulina to maca powder, find out why it’s worth adding them to your diet, below.
The deep dive
Pretty impressive, right? Want to know more about each of these swaps?
Here's everything you need to know about these popular superfoods and what they offer.
- Spirulina vs. spinach
- Cacao vs. cocoa
- Wheatgrass vs. kale
- Flaxseed vs. herring
- Manuka honey vs. regular honey
- Acai vs. cranberries
- Turmeric vs. bananas
- Chia seeds vs. soybeans
- Maca vs. porridge
Spirulina is fast becoming one of the most popular health supplements, and for good reason.
It’s packed with a wide range of nutrients and antioxidants which may be beneficial for various aspects of health.
But how does it compare to something simple, yet healthy, like spinach? Check out the side-by-side comparison below:1,2
|Nutrients||Spirulina (tbsp)||Spinach (cup)|
Spirulina trumps spinach when it comes to iron contents, offering almost two and a half times more of it - as well as more protein and magnesium!
We all know and love cocoa powder for making chocolate bakes, but how does it compare to cacao?
Equally as chocolatey but with added nutrients, here’s how the two match up:3,4
|Nutrients||Cacao powder (3 tbsp)||Cocoa powder (3 tbsp)|
Cacao powder offers double the amount of magnesium than cocoa powder, plus just under five times more calcium!
While wheatgrass doesn’t sound the most appetising, there’s a reason it has a cult following.
It contains a whole host of important nutrients, vitamins and minerals – but how does it compare to kale? Let’s find out:5,6
|Nutrients||Wheatgrass (1 tbsp)||Kale (1 tbsp)|
Just one tablespoon of wheatgrass powder contains almost three times more iron than a whole cup of kale. It boasts over four and a half more fibre contents than kale!
Okay, it sounds like a weird comparison, but hear us out.
Both flaxseed and herring are known for their omega-3 content, but which comes out on top? Dive into the detail below:7,8
|Nutrients||Flaxseed (1 tbsp)||Herring (1 tbsp)|
Flaxseed takes the biscuit with almost 2 and a half times more omega-3 per tablespoon, than 40g serving of herring – plus more fibre!
Honey has been used for centuries to sweeten up food and drinks, as well as for its antibacterial properties – but where does manuka fit into this?
A much more natural, less processed alternative, manuka honey is fast becoming a favourite in the world of superfoods. Check out the nutritional differences below:9,10
|Nutrients||Manuka honey (1 tbsp)||Regular honey (1 tbsp)|
Scientific research has found that manuka honey offers stronger antibacterial properties than regular honey – especially those with a higher Unique Manuka Factor!11
Acai is the key ingredient in those tasty-looking smoothie bowls all over social media.
But is it actually any better than something like the humble cranberry? We’ve compared the two in this table:12,13
|Nutrients||Acai powder (1 tbsp)||Cranberries (1 tbsp)|
Turmeric is the perfect accompaniment to many curries and even drinks, but why is it hailed as a superfood?
When compared to the classic banana, you’ll see why:14,15
|Nutrients||Turmeric (12g)||Bananas (2 large)|
Just 12g of ground turmeric contains four times more manganese than two large bananas!
Another favourite of health fanatics, chia seeds are known to be an excellent source of omega 3.
Soybeans are also known to be a great source of omega 3. But which comes out on top? Discover the winner below:16,17
|Nutrients||Chia seeds (2 tbsp)||Soybeans (1/2 cup)|
Just two tablespoons of chia seeds have a whopping seven times more omega 3 than half a cup of soybeans.
Maca is a Peruvian plant that has been used for centuries as both food and medicine.18
But did you know that it’s a great source of fibre? We’ve put maca head to head with porridge to see which wins on fibre contents:19,20
|Nutrients||Maca powder (1tbsp)||Porridge (100g)|
There’s a clear winner when it comes to fibre, as a tablespoon of maca powder contains over eight times more fibre than 100g of porridge!
The final say
It’s clear that superfoods have earnt their right to being ‘super’, especially when compared to regular grub.
To find out how you can use these superfoods in your everyday meals, check out our superfood recipes for tasty and nutritious ideas.
Last updated: 4 May 2022