You will finde useful background information in the IMPAG Blog reports.

Blog

Get inspired by us!

SUPERFRUITS – An apple a day keeps the doctor away

7

Jun

Superfruits

It has been known since the 19th century that an apple a day can truly work wonders (1).  This is because apples have a high content of fibre, flavonoids and polyphenols, which help our body to combat oxidative stress and stimulate metabolism. Furthermore, they contain countless organic substances such as vitamins (C, A, B1, B2, B3, B6, E), minerals and trace elements that strengthen the immune system. That makes the apple a superfruit, and so one of the true superfoods.

Superfoods/superfruit? According to Wikipedia, “superfoods” is a marketing term used to describe foods with alleged health Benefits (2). Unlike in other nations, foods in the EU may only be sold as “superfoods” if there is scientific proof of their effectiveness (3, 4) 

The term superfood was adopted at the beginning of the 20th century without any official or legally binding definition of the term. The Oxford English Dictionary describes it as a “nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being” (5, 6). The European Food Information Council states a very similar definition of superfoods as “foods – especially fruit and vegetables – whose nutrient content confers a health benefit above that of other foods” (7, 8). 

The Internet has developed its own community that swears by superfoods. They give similar definitions to those above: “A true superfood delivers a certain or several nutritious, active or vital substances in very large amounts, and significantly more than ordinary foods.” And a true superfood/superfruit can, but doesn’t have to, originate from very distant regions. Yet, superfoods also grow right on our own doorstep. This also includes, alongside apples as mentioned, pears, strawberries, elderberry, oregano, parsley, stinging nettle, dandelion, asparagus, spinach, and many more (9).


Antioxidant properties increase the value added of superfruits even further


Common to many superfruits is that they not only offer many nutrients but also have a relatively high ORAC value (ORAC = Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). This value represents the antioxidative potential of a food in terms of how well it can neutralize free radicals. The higher the ORAC score, the stronger the antioxidative capacity of the tested product. The human daily consumption of ORAC units is stated at 5,000–7,000, where a value >10,000 µmol TE/100 g is considered high. Superfoods and superfruits have up to 15–30 percent higher antioxidative content than conventional foods. Since free radicals can influence the aging of skin, researchers believe that foods with a high ORAC score have a rejuvenating effect (10, 11). When consumed regularly, superfruits can thus have a positive effect on the skin’s appearance.

SUPERFRUITS – enticing not only as foods, but also for cosmetics


The antioxidative and other positive properties of superfruits provide a benefit not only when eaten, but also when applied directly on the skin and even in cosmetics. At the same time, there are a multitude of very interesting extracts from superfoods that have been developed for cosmetics.

  • For example, Moringa extract is hugely popular in both the food industry and in cosmetics. Moringa Leaf Powder has a measured ORAC score of >60,000 ORAC 27.297 µmol TE/100 g (12). Originating in Northern India, the drumstick tree is now used in many countries not only as a source of food but also for medical purposes. The huge richness in nutrients and vitamins of moringa leaves also helps to combat malnutrition. In humans, the zeatin contained in the leaves is said to accelerate skin regeneration enormously and slow down the aging process (13). Studies on skin cells have demonstrated a protection against the negative effects of heavy metals and cigarette smoke, while studies on hair have shown a repairing and anti-pollution action.
  • Another potent extract comes from sea buckthorn (4,580 μ mol TE/100 g) (14). Given its content of vitamins C, E and B12, iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium, this wild fruit strengthens our immune system. It is also anti-inflammatory and promotes wound healing (15).  In cosmetic studies, an epigenetic regulation of collagen synthesis has been observed, which leads to greater elasticity and increased density of the skin.
  • Pumpkin seeds are also noteworthy. They are very rich in proteins and as sources of vitamins A, B, C and E, as well as the trace elements potassium, calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc (16). Cosmetic studies confirm a positive and soothing effect on sensitive skin.
  • Yacon is more exotic. Also known as Inca root, it originated in the Andes, but now also grows in parts of Germany. It is said to regulate blood lipid levels, promote digestion, and have favourable effects on metabolism Overall (17). Yacon uses inulin, among other substances, as a reserve carbohydrate and is therefore a natural source of fructan, which has come to be known as a prebiotic (18). This prebiotic action can also be used in cosmetics. Studies have shown that it has a positive effect on the growth of an important bacterium that lives on our skin (S. epidermis). If our microflora gets out of balance, it can affect the skin’s pH. Further cosmetic studies have shown that the pH is optimized when a Yacon extract is applied on the skin.
  • Exotic, and still not well known, is Rambutan. 100 grams of the Rambutan fruit contain 40% of our daily requirement of vitamin C. As an efficient antioxidant, it protects the cells against oxidative stress and boosts the immune system.  The seeds and leaves also have health advantages. The oleic acid they contain can help to lower cholesterol levels (19), and the leaves have an antipyretic (fever-lowering) Action (20). The seeds, fruit shells and leaves have proven their worth in cosmetics. The seed extract has a positive action on the scalp and hair, the fruit shell extract is moisturizing, and the leaf extract has a skin-rejuvenating effect similar to retinol.


And there are many, many more exciting active ingredients that come from superfruits. So don’t just eat them – do your skin a favour, too! 

 

Literature:

  1. BMJ 2013; 347 doi: doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7267
  2. de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfood
  3. BBC News: Superfood ‘ban’ comes into effect. 2007
  4. www.marathonfitness.de/athletic-greens-test-alternative-preis
  5. de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfood
  6. en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/superfood
  7. de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfood
  8. www.eufic.org/de/ - Stichwort Superfood
  9. www.zentrum-der-gesundheit.de/superfoods-liste-ia.html
  10. orac-info-portal.de/was_ist_orac/wie_ist_ein_orac_wert_einzustufen/
  11. mysuperfruit.de
  12. orac-info-portal.de/orac_produkte/orac_vergleichslisten/
  13. www.zentrum-der-gesundheit.de/moringa-oleifera.html
  14. www.superfoodly.com/orac-value/sea-buckthorn/
  15. www.geo.de/wissen/gesundheit/17199-rtkl-superfoods-sanddorn-herbstliches-wildobst-als-vitaminbombe
  16. www.bauch.de/ernaehrung/superfoods/superfood-kuerbiskerne
  17. www.myhomebook.de/gardening/yacon-pflanzen
  18. www.ernaehrungs-umschau.de/news/18-01-2016-yacon-superfood-aus-den-anden/
  19. www.foodgroove.de/rambutan/
  20. goodsuperfood.net/rambutan/

Leslie Schlüter

Senior Product & Sales Manager

During my studies in biology I never thought I would end up in sales in the Personal Care industry. But as life goes, it happened about 7 years ago. I postgraduated in business administration and the mixture of scientific content (anti-pollution, microbiom, epigenetics...) and sales is a thrilling experience for me. I have been working for IMPAG in Germany since November 2017.
 

My biggest hobby is food...and sports (jogging, swimming, cycling, diving...) to indulge the former without a guilty conscience. But as I don't like cooking, my husband is taking over for me.

Contact us

IMPAG Group
Communications

Raffelstrasse 12
8045 Zürich
Switzerland

Phone: +41 43 499 25 00
 

Email