Today’s interview is going to shine some light on the importance of healthy eating, the truth about modern-day industrial farming, ways of how to consume nutrient-rich food despite the challenges of the modern life, and some interesting relationships between the choice of your diet and the effects it has not only on the health of your body and your mind, but also on the health of the planet and our local and global human communities.

I had a chance to interview Kristen and Michael from www.yoursuperfoods.eu, a Berlin-based company that outsources superfoods (really nutritious foods) from a variety of places in a eco-friendly and fair way, with an aim to help people live healthier lives through the consumption of natural, pant-based diet.

Michael and Kristel of Your Superfoods. Photo credit: yoursuperfoods.de

Q: How did the idea behind Your Superfoods come about?

Kristel: We are both incredibly passionate about health and nutrition, and it really is the driving force behind the company. I am a total health geek and nothing makes me more excited than showing people that healthy eating doesn’t need to be complicated! There are 3 main things that made me who I am today: 1) I have struggled with eczema and allergies since I was a baby; 2) I played tennis at a professional level; 3) both my mum and my boyfriend got cancer. These things made me increasingly curious about the power of healthy food: I started researching how and why people get cancer and how it could be prevented; I learned firsthand that eating healthy food before and after tennis practice increased my energy levels and sped up my recovery; I also noticed that the severity of my eczema depended directly on what I ate.

Michael: We met playing pro-tennis at the university, so keeping an active lifestyle is incredibly important for both of us. However, for me, everything changed when I was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago – at the age of just 24. During recovery, rebuilding my immune system and strength, I realized how powerful it is to fuel your body with a healthy, whole-food diet. I researched further and discovered that a healthy diet can even prevent major diseases like cancer and diabetes – I was amazed by how little people around me knew about it, so I made it my personal mission to educate and inspire people to fuel their body with the best natural whole foods.

And so we decided to start Your Superfoods – because we believe good nutrition should be available for everybody and we want to inspire people to eat well in order to live their life to its fullest potential.

Q: What are the super-foods and why are they getting all the media attention these days?

A: Superfoods are whole-foods that are particularly rich in a variety of nutrients. They are great for supporting your overall health, especially these days when we all live busy lifestyles and can often find it hard to find time to take care of ourselves. They are very ‘trendy’ at the moment it’s true! The media attention is a blessing and a curse – not all food that have been labelled superfoods are all that ‘super’, but a bit of googling and looking at the individual benefits, shows which ones are worth your attention!

Q: Why are regular people not getting enough nutrients from their food?

A: It is a combination of people not eating the right foods, and modern foods not having as much nutrients in. Over-farming and irresponsible consumerism has led to there being an emphasis on quantity rather than quality when it comes to produce. Quite simply, not all foods are as rich in micronutrients as they should be! Also, people just aren’t eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables – we found out that as much as 80% of the western population don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables a day, and this really shocked us! It’s part of the reason we started this company in the first place – to make it easier for people to get more vital nutrients into their diet.

Q: What is the process of making Your Super powder mixes and how come the valuable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants get preserved despite the processing?

A: The quality of the ingredients is super important to us. We only want to use ingredients with optimum nutritional content, no pesticides or nasty chemicals, and we work hard to find the best sourcing partners, providing the best quality, organic ingredients. The farmers we work with understand what we are trying to achieve, and therefore we can be confident of the quality. The ingredients are dried and pulverized at the source, soon after harvesting, to ensure they maintain their nutrients. The quicker they can be dried, the more nutrients are maintained! The powders are then shipped to Germany (or within Germany), where they are tested in the 3rd party independent labs to ensure the quality and to be checked for the presence of any microbiology, pesticides, heavy metals – anything we don’t want to be eating. The finished products are tested again, so we are 100% sure that our mixes are the best quality.

Q: Why taking this kind of nutrient-rich powder mixes in our food is better than taking pill supplements?

A: Not all powders are necessarily better than pill supplements. The difference with our mixes compared to a pill is that they are completely natural: you can be sure of what you’re putting into your body and of where it came from. The nutrients in a superfood powder come from nature, and haven’t been brewed up in a lab.

Q: What are the best ways to consume Your Superfoods powder mixes? Please give a few examples.

A: Really, the sky is the limit! We love adding them to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, dips, salad dressings, pancakes… The berry-based mixes work really well in just water, and you can make shots out of any of them by mixing them in a small glass of water or plant-based milk :).

Q: Where do you get your raw materials from and how do you work with the local communities from which you outsource them?

A: We try to source locally where possible, so many of our ingredients come from within Germany and Europe. Many of the more tropical ingredients need to be source elsewhere – we have a page on our website showing where all of our ingredients come from. We try to work with independent farmers who are an engaged part of, or who work to support, their local community. For example, our Baobab is sourced from Senegal. Baobab trees can age up to 200 years, are never owned by anyone and the fruits can only be harvested by women. Our partner is a company based in Senegal that has a long-term relationship with the local people. They work closely to support the community and those who harvest the fruits, pay them a fair price and then manage the drying and the processing so that the fruit can be sold on.

Q: What do you think is the future of nutrition? What in your opinion will a human being consume in 100 years from now?

A: Plant-based! I recently read an article about how a plant-based diet is the best thing you can do for the planet. If we all ate a plant-based diet we would be healthier and the planet would be healthier.

Final Thoughts:

I really connected to the idea that the future of nutrition is about eating plant-based diets. There is no dogma behind this idea – just more self-awareness and a lot of practicality. Self-awareness is what we cultivate through yoga, meditation, and variety of other awareness-based techniques and modalities. As we become more aware of ourselves and how out choices affect everyone and everything on this planet, we basically realize how interconnected we all truly are, hopefully taking responsibility for the state of our personal health, as well as the health of the Being around us.