One benefit of scrolling through Instagram these days is catching glimpses of stunning photos of brightly colored foods – many of them made good for you with the addition of superfood powders. But that intergalactic food trend has been hard to come by in the UAE, unless you ordered or imported from abroad. Enter Superfoods.ae, the Dubai-based company that launched in October to do that for you, selling bright blue spirulina and The Dragon Slayer, which is a freeze-dried, hot pink pitaya powder derived from dragon fruit.
Both are superfoods, and as livehealthy.ae can attest, they taste great. The Blue Spirulina completely lacked that fishy taste the green varieties can have.
Founder Laetitia Friggit-Konaté got into superfood powders two years ago, after moving to Dubai. She wanted to boost her diet with vitamin and mineral supplements – but add a little magic and color, too.
“I noticed some products I loved were very hard to find here in the UAE,” she says. “I love superfood powders, and I try to offer the most original and fun ones, making sure that they do not have a bad taste.”
Superfoods.ae is currently offering blue spirulina powder, which derives its blue pigment, or phycocyanin, from blue-green algae. It contains nutrients, minerals, protein, good fats, iron and vitamins A, C, B and E.
She also has hot pink pitaya, which is native to South America, derived from the pink cactus fruit and which contains vitamin C, iron, gut-protecting albumins and is also high in anthocyanin, an antioxidant. And like many other supplements, they don’t come cheap: both powders cost Dh150 per 50 gram package.
The supplements also offer protein and, if you are a counter, considerable calories. That’s 380 calories, for blue spirulina, with 38 grams of protein, five grams of fiber and 18 grams of naturally occurring sugar per 100 gram serving. The Dragon Slayer, which is freeze-dried, is 210 calories, including 1 gram of protein, two grams of fiber and 11 grams of naturally occurring sugar per 100 grams.
Whether superfoods are worth the money and what actual impact they have on health requires more research and is still up for debate, depending on which expert you ask. However the global superfoods powders market has been forecast at a compounded annual growth rate of eight percent between last year and 2022, according to the most recent market research by Technavio, which cited their rich supply of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals as a key factor.
Friggit-Konaté says she has new products on the way in 2019 and isn’t done experimenting, either, so keep an eye on her company’s Instagram.
“My next challenge is to make rainbow spring rolls, with blue, pink and purple rice noodles,” she says.
Featured photo: Unsplash
Ann Marie McQueen
Ann Marie McQueen is the founding editor-in-chief of Livehealthy and host of The Livehealthy Podcast. She is a veteran Canadian digital journalist who has worked in North America and the Middle East. Her past roles include features editor for The National, trends writer and columnist for the Canadian newspaper chain Sun Media, and correspondent for CBC Radio.