Over the years, the social and economic development in different nations has led to increased consumption of refined grains, meat, fruits, dairy, and vegetables as people have become wealthier. The shift in food consumption has led to an increase in non-communicable ailments such as cancer, coronary heart disease, type II diabetes, or obesity. In response to the increased diet-related diseases, the need for healthier diets has led to an increase in demand for superfoods (functional foods)-foods with multiple benefits.

Superfoods are the food items; cereal, dairy, vegetables, fruits that claim to have exceptional health benefits because of the high levels of nutritional contents. Their superior nutritional qualities are thought to have been produced naturally without or with the least technological intervention unlike in most functional foods. This surge in demand for superfoods for healthy diets is more popular to the high- and middle-income earners. You will find that these foods are primarily consumed far from their origin centers.

Superfoods

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Dark Leafy Greens

· Collard greens

· Kale

· Turnip greens

· Swiss chard

Berries

· Blackberries

· Strawberries

· Raspberries

· Cranberries

· Blueberries

Green Tea

Legumes

Nut and seeds

· Peanuts

· Hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds

· Almonds, cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts.

Garlic

Other superfoods include:

o Seaweed

o Mushrooms

o Sweet Potato

o Avocado

o Salmon

o Turmeric (Curcumin)

o Ginger

o Olive Oil

o Kefir (And Yoghurt)

o Eggs

o Quinoa

Importance of Superfoods

· Cancer

· Stroke

· Heart disease

· Immune deficiency

· Arthritis

· Emphysema

· Respiratory diseases

· Parkinson’s disease

The high nutrient contents in these foods help the body ward off diseases and keep your body healthier. They help in weight loss, reduce the effects of aging and improve energy levels. The fiber prevents digestive problems and diabetes. They further help in reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. They protect the organ from toxins, reduce inflammation, regulate metabolism and lower cholesterol.

Impact of superfoods on Agribusiness

1. Increased in the farming of tree crops

The farming of tree crops such as macadamia and avocados has grown rapidly. You will find that you will have good revenues if you produce the right quality; you’ll supply to the international supply chains. It has been noted that African countries have invested in this business as the market prices are good at the moment. East and Southern African countries are globally competitive because they have the right agro-ecological conditions to build profitable new industries.

2. Increased livestock farming

Another area that superfoods’ surge in demand has impacted is the livestock farming business. Africa’s demographics have an emerging middle class with increasing affluence and increased demand for more protein-based diets. Poultry farming is also on the rise, even with small-scale farmers. Pig breeding has further been on the rise.

3. Better processing industries

African countries’ governments are concentrating on competitively-priced and high-quality basic foodstuffs. Getting the right price points and quality products will make consumers buy locally produced products. Groundnuts and maize processing units are on the rise. The main objective is ensuring that the food is safe, well-branded, and well-packaged.

4. Mono-cropping

One disadvantage of the high-demand superfoods is mono-cropping. Farmers are growing the same crop in the same field year after year. This depletes soil nutrients. The monocrops further require large amounts of herbicides and pesticides. These chemicals are synthetic. The residues leach into the soil and pollute groundwater supplies. Some chemicals remain on the crops.

5. Nutrients-rich soil

Studies have shown that most superfoods, fruits, and vegetables consume large amounts of calcium, proteins, vitamin C, riboflavin, and phosphorus from the soil. Since superfoods are organically grown, without harmful chemicals, it contributes to healthier and more nutrient-rich soils. This supports water conversation and combats soil erosion.