35 Nourishing Functional Foods To Add To Your Pantry

0
12

As we emerge from our homes to embrace the warmer weather, fears of the “quarantine-15” have people paying extra close attention to their diets. Weight loss companies are seeing a surge in sales as a result and the global market for health and wellness foods continues on course to reach its projected value of $1 trillion by 2027. While excess weight has been found to be a risk factor for complications due to COVID-19, worrying about the number on the scale only adds more stress to our already-taxed bodies. As people have gained pandemic pounds, they’ve also become more anxious, depressed and sleep-deprived. Foods that nourish rather than deprive the body are needed now more than ever.  

See also  For living legend Pierre Gagnaire, cooking has always been a question of love

Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” And while the relationship between what we eat and physical health outcomes is well-known, a growing field of research known as nutritional psychiatry is finding that what we eat affects our mental health too. For example, foods that promote the balance of bacteria in the gut affect the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which regulate mood and play a role in the development of psychiatric disorders. As the pandemic has taken a toll on our mental health, treating our food as medicine is a self-care strategy that’s easily overlooked.   

Unfortunately, it’s not so simple to put into practice. While food by its very nature is designed to fuel our bodies. The demands of modern industrialization and mass production have reduced the nutritional value of many shelf-stable foods. Promising minimally processed ingredients, plus added adaptogens or superfoods to boost nutrition, functional foods aim to fill the void. And people have been eating them up in quarantine—from the home chef experimenting with vitamin-packed spice blends to the busy mom who needs a quick brain-boosting snack. With such a wide variety of options on the market, it’s no surprise the pre-2020 trend is now booming.   

“It’s not a fad. The superfood category has been trending for some time,” says Reno Rolle, founder of superfood company Boku. “With COVID, that trend has really gotten a shot in the arm with people’s increased awareness of the importance of building immune function. Food is fuel and thank goodness more people are starting to realize it.”

Whether you’re looking to boost the immune system, sleep better or feel less stressed, these functional foods go beyond nourishment to fuel the body and mind. Creative and delicious, they also represent some of the most innovative plant-based offerings on the market.


Wander Magic Chili Oil ($14)

“It’s the idea of taking the best of everything around the world that I’ve tasted and putting it in a jar,” founder Ada Yarungsee tells TSTIME. “Good food is good food, but good energy is magic!” This oil gets its “magic” from Ashwagandha—an adaptogen that calms the nervous system—and organic Thai chili peppers for a spicy kick. Made with extra virgin olive oil harvested using traditional methods, the smooth, tangy condiment supports small and independent farmers in the southern region of Italy. The functional food brand makes adaptogen-infused Umami Sprinkles and Maca Syrup too.

Bada Bean Bada Boom Everything Bagel Bean Snacks ($17.99)

This popular superfood brand is using protein- and fiber-packed broad beans to make addictive snacks that deliver a nutritional punch. Claiming to boast five times the amount of fiber and triple the protein of your average potato chips, they make a satisfying vegan, gluten-free alternative to your typical munchies—and crunchy salad-toppers too. Fans of Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel seasoning will love this flavor, but with 13 others to choose from—ranging from Spicy Wasabi to Mesquite BBQ to Sweet Cinnamon—it’ll be hard to resist the best-selling Boom Box variety pack.

Nature’s Path Smoothie Bowl Superfood Granola ($7.99)

Antioxidant-rich blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are rolled with fiber-packed chia seeds, gluten free whole grain oats and dried coconut for melt-in-your mouth clusters that make a crunchy addition to smoothie bowls or a satisfying fruity snack on their own. Lightly sweetened with honey and coconut sugar, you would never guess the granola dishes up greens too—like spirulina, wheatgrass, chlorella and barely grass. The sweet snack also contains avocado and coconut oils for a dose of healthy fats.

Enspice Seasoned Salt ($14.49)

Packed with 21 vitamins and minerals sourced from 10 organic plants (think, chlorella, kelp and maitake mushrooms), this is not your ordinary salt. Whether used as a grill seasoning or sprinkled as a garnish, Enspice blends—a diverse collection ranging from Taco Seasoning to Chipotle BBQ—add both flavor and nutrition to any meal. The food company takes meeting our daily dietary needs seriously—for every container sold, a meal is donated to a child in need through the Enspice Children’s Foundation.

Mmmly Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie ($7.45)

With tiger nuts, almonds and hazelnuts as the main ingredients, these cookies are packed with healthy fats for fuelling the brain, plus agave fiber and apple cider vinegar for prebiotic gut support. While most low-carb, low-sugar treats rely on sugar alcohols, these sweet treats keep it simple with sugar sourced from apples and monk fruit. The dark chocolate chip is a classic, but the dairy- and gluten-free line makes equally delicious banana chocolate, sweet almond and blueberry shortbread flavors too. 

Boku Umami Seasoning ($21.99)

With 20 medicinal mushrooms, three types of sesame seeds and fiery spices like cayenne and habanero—this umami-packed blend sure lives up to its name. Created by a father of three as a way to sneak vegetables into his children’s diet, the superfood seasoning was designed with nutrition in mind. Nutritional yeast serves up B-vitamins and 18 amino acids while turmeric tames inflammation.  

Kashi GO Keto-Friendly Cereal ($4.99)

While this beloved all organic, plant-powered brand is known for their cereals, bars and waffles made of whole grains, their latest innovation is a grain-free alternative made of chickpea flour, and protein from lentils and peas. Not only do the beans dish up a hefty serving of protein and fiber, they’re rich in vitamins and minerals like folate and magnesium. Lightly sweetened with monk fruit extract, the Cinnamon Vanilla infuses some cinnamon bun flavor into your breakfast bowl while the Dark Cocoa is the perfect snack for when the chocolate cravings hit.    

Treats From The Earth Keto Buns (Prices Vary)

These moist, soft buns swap your typical flour for flour made from almonds and coconuts, plus psyllium husk, for 20 grams of fiber per serving. Pumpkin seeds deliver a hearty dose of protein while flaxseeds and coconut oil offer healthy fats. Whether eaten as toast at breakfast or a burger bun at your next barbecue, the 100% plant-based buns are a versatile bread alternative that will satisfy vegans and non-vegans alike.

Akua Jerky ($29.99)

From the Rosemary and Maple BBQ to the Hibachi Teriyaki, every flavor of this jerky delivers the health benefits of kelp—a brown macroalgae rich in vitamins and iodine, a mineral that supports the thyroid and metabolism. The soft, chewy seaweed, available for purchase on functional mushroom marketplace The Multiverse, contains immune-boosting shiitake mushrooms and apple cider vinegar for digestion support too. The innovative food company is now using their regeneratively-harvested kelp to make kelp burgers too, with superfoods like nutritional yeast, mushrooms and coconut amino acids.

Mycro Immunity Honey ($65)

Each of Mycro’s three honeys contain a high-potency blend of adaptogens and herbs formulated to address specific needs. The Immunity combines elderberry—the fruit of the Sambucus tree commonly used to treat cold and flu symptoms—with medicinal mushrooms and Ashwagandha to reduce anxiety. Vanilla, cacao and rose give the sweet paste an earthy, fruity flavor, making it an uplifting addition to teas, toast or simply spooned straight from the jar.

Good To Go Strawberry Macadamia Nut Snack Bar ($23.94)

Upgrade your strawberry scone with these soft baked bars, which swap regular flour for almond flour for a hit of plant-based protein. They also support the digestive system with prebiotic apple cider vinegar and fiberous organic chia seeds. The high-protein, cookie-like bites are available in eight flavors—think, chocolate TSTIME and blueberry cashew—while they’re new Savory Bites harness the power of pumpkin, hemp and sunflower seeds for a functional, gluten-free alternative to crackers.

DADA Daily Cheesy Cauliflower Popcorn Florets ($46.25)

This vegan Smartfood alternative delivers all the satisfaction of cheesy popcorn, with none of the corn or dairy. Instead, nutritional yeast—a protein alternative packed with amino acids—replicates that umami mouthfeel. For a zestier bite, the gluten- and dairy-free snack line also makes the cauliflower florets in a guacamole flavor made with lime juice and Jalapeño. 

Maya Moon Golden Drinking Cacao ($36)

Maya Moon blends whole bean cacao, sourced from small farms in Ecuador, with organic turmeric to make a hot chocolate-meets-golden milk fusion that warms the body and soothes inflammation. Coconut milk powder offers the brain healthy fats while ginger and black pepper support digestion—when combined, the three ingredients activate the curcumin in turmeric for maximum absorption. Free of dairy and lightly sweetened with maple syrup, all you have to do is add hot water or milk.

Supernola Honey Sweet Goji Clusters ($32.99)

From energizing red maca root to antioxidant-rich goji berries to fibrous chia seeds—there are no shortage of superfoods in these chewy bites. Lightly sweetened with raw honey and coconut sugar, each cluster offers seven grams of plant protein. Available in six flavors—like Dragon Fruit Lemon Zest and Pineapple Ginger Fusion—everything is dehydrated, rather than baked, to maintain all the flavor and nutrition of Supernola’s powerhouse ingredients.  

Eat Gold Organics Big Orgasm ($13)

Whether it’s relieving menopausal symptoms, stimulating milk production or quieting the mind before bed, Eat Gold Organics has a dark chocolate for seemingly every need. “The one for doing it” is made with libido-boosting cayenne and strawberries, plus maca for energy and medicinal mushrooms for reducing stress. Lightly sweetened with organic coconut sugar, the 70% fair-trade chocolate makes an indulgent snack that is better suited to the bedside table than the kitchen pantry.

Potli Shrimp Chips ($10)

Third generation sauce and spice maker Felicity Chen pays homage to her heritage with a functional spin on shrimp chips—a popular snack in many Asian households. Each bag delivers 10mg of CBD through the inclusion of Potli Hemp Olive Oil, made from cold-pressed, single origin olives infused with broad spectrum hemp. Launched in honor of AAPI month, this soothing savory snack is the latest from the brand known for their hemp-powered pantry staples, like spicy CBD-infused chili oil and a dreamy honey made with 6mg of melatonin.

Clevr Rose Cacao Superlatte ($28)

Endorsed by Meghan Markle and Oprah, this line of latte powders has struck the perfect balance of function and flavor. Their latest release is a floral dark chocolate elixir, containing probiotics and 1000mg of mood-enhancing adaptogens, like dopamine-boosting Mucuna and energizing cacao sourced from regenerative farms in Ecuador. With oat milk and coconut cream powder as the base, all you have to do is add hot water for a foamy pick-me-up that can be sipped any time of day.

GoNanas Crackly Banana Bread ($7.99)

GoNanas easy mixes are ideal if you’ve still got early pandemic cravings for banana bread but don’t feel up to baking. Better yet, they support the body too. Eggs are swapped for flax meal while whole grain, gluten free oat flour is a high source of fiber and protein. This Crackly edition uses the prebiotic millet in place of walnuts, to give the nut-free bread some crunch and digestive benefits. Their recently released instant banana bread is the perfect pantry addition for solo dwellers and busy home cooks.  

88 Acres Watermelon Butter ($14.99)

From reducing blood pressure and inflammation to promoting bone strength and endurance, mineral-rich watermelon seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. Made with just three ingredients, this sweet nut butter delivers all the benefits of the underrated seed, plus more protein than your average peanut or almond butter. The family-run business makes equally delicious and functional butters made of sunflower and pumpkin seeds, plus seed-powered bars, granola and dressings too.

Pretty Little Potion Ocean Potion ($48)

This sweet powder gets it’s striking blue hue from spirulina—a powerful plant-based protein known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The minty vanilla flavor makes it versatile—a subtle, sweet addition to salad dressings, baked treats and of course, smoothie bowls. Inspired by the loss of her dad to cancer, the health-conscious founder Adelia Yolanda has tailored each of her colorful potions to serve specific functions—like the Mermaid, a bright purple potion that energizes with butterfly pea and acai.

Lil Bucks Turmeric Lemon Myrtle Clusterbucks ($8.99)

Lil Bucks clusters use sprouted buckwheat as their base, an adaptogenic grain packed with protein, fiber and antioxidants. These spicy-meets-citrusy clusters relieve inflammation with turmeric from Diaspora Co.—a fair-trade spice company working to empower Indian farmers—and Australian Superfood Co. lemon myrtle, which supports Indigenous Australian communities. If you like this crunchy granola alternative, Clusterbucks makes a calming Chocolate Reishi and energizing Matcha Cookie Crunch flavor too.

Down to Cook Adda Veggie Protein Mix Indian Masala Blend ($18)

These plant-based protein mixes easily transform fresh veggies into vegan patties, balls or crumbles—making them an ideal pantry staple for the busy, health-conscious cook. The Masala blend combines soothing ginger with anti-inflammatory turmeric to create an Indian-inspired meat alternative that’s as functional as it is flavorful. Containing 11 grams of pea protein per serving, the plant-based mixes also come in Original, Herby Roasted Garlic and Chipotle Adobo. 

Rooted Life Foods Adaptogen Butter ($15.95)

Inspired by a 10-year-long struggle with fibromyalgia, Rooted Life Foods founder and registered dietitian Ashleigh Fabian is using one of her favorite childhood snacks—peanut butter—as the delivery system for her go-to adaptogens. A rich, creamy addition to toast, oatmeal and desserts, this peanut butter goes above and beyond your average spread with the inclusion of organic Reishi mushrooms and Ashwagandha—two adaptogens known to reduce stress, inflammation and fatigue.

Mid-Day Squares Fudge YAH ($46)

From energizing maca to mineral-rich sorghum to stress-relieving Sacha Inchi protein—these bars are packed with superfoods to fuel the body. Dates, dark chocolate and coconut sugar give the squares a fudge-like texture, making them more like a decadent dessert than a quick, on-the-go snack. 

Ashapops Turmeric Garlic Popped Water Lily Seeds ($19.99)

Mother-son duo Asha and Jai are bringing the Ayurvedic superfoods they grew up eating in India to the U.S. with their line of popped water lily seeds. Rich in fiber and potassium, the seeds deliver a nutritious boost without compromising on cravings for a crunchy snack. Spice-fans will like this flavor made with inflammation-taming turmeric, or the Chili Lime, while those with a sweet tooth won’t want to miss the Dark Chocolate, made with organic coconut sugar. 

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Ground Coffee ($20)

Inspired by the Finnish tradition of brewing mushrooms as a coffee alternative, Four Sigmatic infuses their coffee roasts and latte mixes with powerful adaptogens to energize the brain and body. The Mushroom Ground Coffee combines organic, Fair Trade Arabica beans with 250mg of Lion’s Mane and 250mg of Chaga mushrooms, for a dark, nutty brew that avoids the crash. It’s one of their bestsellers, but their non-caffeinated offerings, which swap coffee for cacao and herbs known to boost focus, are equally as energizing.

Butterfly Pink Panther Nut Butter ($11.99)

The latest release from this nut butter brand is a hot pink spread that’s as eye-catching as it is functional. Pitaya, also known as dragon fruit, supports the immune system while cashews, walnuts and macadamia nuts deliver healthy fats. The organic, vegan, sugar and gluten-free line makes several other functional flavors too, like Chocolate Reishi and Blue Dream—a striking butter made blue with protein-rich spirulina.

Malua Vanilla Almond Prebiotic Bites ($19.95)

Growing up in Brazil, health coach Carolina Poli would regularly eat prebiotic-rich green bananas to help with digestion and clear her skin. Now, she’s on a mission to make gut microbiome approachable with her line of superfood prebiotic bites—available in three flavors. The Vanilla Almond blends almond butter, vegan protein and green banana powder with warm vanilla and date syrup, resulting in a gut-friendly snack reminiscent of grandma’s sugar cookies.

Irvins Salted Egg Salmon Fish Skin ($6.75)

Born from a seafood restaurant in Singapore, this popular chip company is best-known for their use of salted duck egg yolk—an ingredient commonly used in Asian countries like Indonesia, China and Singapore. Irvins’ latest rendition replaces potato chips with salmon fish skins, a potent source of B-vitamins, marine collagen and omega-3’s. The rich egg yolk and salmon flavor is balanced out with spicy chili and aromatic curry leaves resulting in the perfect, umami-packed crunch. 

Non Verbal Resilience Bar ($15)

This rich, dark chocolate bar features a powerful blend of Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs (think, astragalus and Reishi mushrooms) to support the body’s immune, nervous and respiratory systems. Made with fair trade cacao and organic, unrefined coconut sugar, each of Non Verbal’s five bars are designed with Chinese and Ayurvedic practitioners to target specific health needs—like stress, skin and focus.

OM Mighty Mushroom Broth ($24.99)

Ten years of producing organic mushroom products have made this superfood brand a go-to in the functional food space. Their conveniently packaged, single serve broth blends—available in four flavors—are some of their best-sellers, and for good reason. Each umami-rich powder contains more than 2000mg of organic mushrooms—like Shiitake, Reishi and Lion’s Mane to support memory, focus and nerve health.

Sonhab Adaptogenic Almond Butter Flower Bon Bons ($28)

Filled with antioxidants and minerals, Sonhab’s ethically-sourced Tanzanian dark chocolate offers health benefits on its own. But add seven adaptogens, and you’ve got a sweet treat that promises to relieve anxiety and improve your mood too. Containing goji and longan berries for reducing stress, and mimosa bark to promote happiness, the handcrafted, almond butter-filled bon bons make for a unique fruity, nutty dessert.

Seed+Mill Pantry Pack ($58)

Containing seven times the amount of calcium found in cream cheese, Seed+Mill’s organic tahini is a decadent, vegan alternative to your usual dairy spread. The star ingredient is roasted Ethiopian sesame seeds, which are known to encourage collagen production and reduce cholesterol due to their high protein, copper and zinc content. This pack pairs the tahini with two seasoning blends—togarashi and za’atar—to add some sesame seed-powered spice to the pantry. 

Rainbo Forest Juice Maple Syrup ($31)

This functional sweetener supports brain function, immunity and the nervous system thanks to the infusion of Chaga, Reishi and Turkey Tail mushrooms. Made with the sweet sap of Canadian maple trees, the organic syrup is perfect for drizzling on pancakes, sweetening desserts or simply enhancing a cup of tea.

Brainbow 4 Pack ($15)

Containing 1000mg of brain-boosting adaptogens, like Cordyceps and Gingko Biloba, these truffles are designed to improve mental performance. The convenient packaging makes them an easy quick bite, but with such a rich, velvety texture, they’ll more likely encourage you to slow down and savor the moment.

.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here