For the past few months I’ve been on a superfood kick. What are superfoods? These are nutrient dense foods that I add to my dishes or into my favorite smoothies. A friend of mine recommended that I read the book Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future by David Wolfe. A whole new world of rich & nutritious foods opened up for me. Superfoods have been part the greatest civilizations & cultures of the world and they are incredibly nutritious. Eating for me is no longer about just “eating” for the sake of calming my hungry belly or because it’s 12 o’clock now so it must be time for lunch automatic .
I’ve become extremely conscious of what I consume and how the food will affect my body, my mind and my spirit. In other words, I purposefully eat the right foods for my body to make sure I am getting the ultimate nutrition combined through the antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, good fats from the foods that I consume. I was hooked on the superfoods and went on a shopping spree buying and trying different kinds of superfoods.
Here’s what I ended up adding to my daily diet and a basic introduction into each superfood:
1) Spirulina: This is a blue-green algae that is found in fresh water, natural springs and saltwater oceans. It is rich in vitamin C, calcium, vitamin A, B12, iron, omega-3s, omega-6 fat GLA. It is also a great source of plant protein, it is a blood cleanser, and it assists in providing the raw materials for DNA repair, anti-oxidant and also helps the digestive tract by helping balance the gut flora with its microbial effects. My favorite way to consume this is to add the powdered form into my smoothies or as an added ingredient into my salads. You can get it as supplemental pills too. Make sure you research the company that you choose to purchase our spirulina from. If you’re going to purchase the powder form check for freshness from the supplier. (Source: Natural News)
2) Raw cacao beans: Besides absolutely loving its byproduct chocolate, raw cacao beans are powerful anti-oxidants, they contain around 621 anti-oxidants 19 times more than blueberries, helping heal the skin, protecting us from the crazy free-radicals that damage the skin and you can get a concentrated source of magnesium, chromium and vitamin C with just one of these little tiny beans. My favorite way to consume them is to grind up the beans and add them into my smoothies or homemade raw chocolates. (Source: High On Health)
3) Bee Pollen: Made by bees, this contains over 96 nutrients of protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids and numerous vitamins/minerals and is considered to be a “complete food”. Some of the benefits known includes reducing cholesterol, fight cancer, reduce allergic symptoms, increase endurance and energy, improves the immune system, can help lower stress. Something to consider, if you’re allergic to bees it’s best to avoid bee pollen. (Source: WebMD)
4) Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO): Very nutrient dense in vitamins A, D, E and K, enzymes, quinines, fatty acids and hormones. This is not only a superfood but also a sacred food going back to the biblical times. Because of its deep, rich pigmentation, FCLO is known for its dense micro nutrients that are up in the thousands. It’s reported that there are over 3000 derivatives of hormone or vitamin D. FCLO goes through a natural lacto-fermentation process that allows the natural vitamin A to be turned into different metabolites that makes it more easily absorbed by the body. (Source: Green Pasture Blog)
5) Goji Berries: These berries are from China and the vitamin A found in goji berries has compounds that can help with anti-aging by minimizing damage from free radicals, as well as protecting vision, prevent heart disease boost the immune system, lower cholesterol, and prevent cancer and other illnesses with its antioxidant properties. It is also known for increasing calmness, happiness, improves your quality of sleep and overall positively increasing mental well-being. My favorite way to consume this is eating them as dried berries, grinding and adding them to my smoothies, or putting them into raw chocolates. (Source: WebMD)
Since I’ve added these into my diet, my overall well-being has improved significantly as most noticeably my energy and endurance. The list above are not the only superfoods out there. There are many, many more and I’m discovering them constantly. So just do your research and also check with your doctor or nutritionist to see what will work best for you. Each person is different.
Photo credit: Erika Thorpe