What Are Super Foods?
These foods provide a lot of nutrients in small quantities and can easily be added to the daily diet. Superfoods are a class of the most potent, super-concentrated, and nutrient-rich foods on the planet. These ancient foods have been used by native people for centuries for increasing physical and mental energy, weight loss, neutralizing free radicals, and reducing pain and inflammation. Try adding some of these favorite superfoods to your daily regimen. Superfoods can be added to smoothies, beverages, baked goods, yogurt, oatmeal, salads and used as a topping for many vegetable dishes.
Top 10 Superfoods
Cacao (Raw Chocolate) — I think raw chocolate is perfect for this season, as most people are craving warming/soothing foods that are sweet and it can be paired up with all the lovely holidays spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg). Cacao is the nut of the Amazonian tree and is considered a high antioxidant food, rich in magnesium, iron, manganese, chromium and anandamide (bliss/euphoric chemical). I love using raw chocolate because it satisfies my sweet cravings, elevates my mood & energy and its also a natural aphrodisiac. Raw chocolate increases cardio vascular flow and is a great superfood to add to smoothies before a workout/run, as it can support the body for longer endurance.
Spirulina (Blue-Green Algae) — Spirulina provides protein, minerals, trace elements, phytonutrients, amino acids, and enzymes. This blue green algae is a concentrated source of Chlorophyll. I like to use 1-2 tsp of this superfood powder in my daily smoothies, knowing that it provides protein and other nutrients.
Goji Berries — These red sweet berries are a traditional Chinese medicine food for over 5,000 years and are used for longevity, strength building, and endurance. This superfood contains 18 kinds of amino acids, including all 8 essential amino acids, up to 21 trace minerals, high amounts of antioxidants, iron, polysaccharides, B & E vitamins, more beta carotene than carrots, more iron than spinach and much more vitamin C by weight than oranges. I love using these nutrient-dense berries in my salads as a replacement to cranberries and other sweetened dried fruits. Goji berries are naturally sweet (no sugar is added) and pair up nicely with kale, arugula and all the fall/winter bitter leafy greens. I also like to mix them with my nuts as a pre-work out snack for extra energy. A handful of these berries provide so much energy and fill me up, so I don't reach for any junk/processed foods for snacks.
Bee Products (honey, pollen, and propolis) — Bee pollen is a complete food found in nature containing nearly all B vitamins especially vitamin B-9 (folate) and all the 21 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Honey, in its organic, wild, raw, unfiltered state is rich in minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, and enzymes. If your metabolism can handle sweeteners, honey is the best. I love to use bee pollen in my smoothies and at times with oatmeal for extra vegan protein and also to strengthen my immune system during the flue season. I use raw honey in my teas and love the taste of this natural nutrient dense superfood. I also like to use raw/organic honey as a spread sometimes over toast with organic grass fed butter and or almond butter. When I use this natural sweetener, I crave less sweets as honey really satisfies that sweet tooth and helps with weight loss in that regard.
Camu Berry — High in Vitamin C and a great source for rebuilding tissue, purifying blood, enhancing immunity, and energy. Camu berry is one of the best anti-depressants, immune building, and eye-nourishing superfoods.
Sea Vegetables (kelp, dulse, nori, hijiki, bladderwrack, chlorella, etc) — Are rich in nutrients from the ocean and sun. Sea vegetables help remove heavy metals, detoxify the body of radioactive iodine, provide numerous trace minerals, regulate immunity, and decrease the risk of cancer. Seaweeds benefits the thyroid, immune system, adrenals, and hormone function.
Medicinal Mushrooms (Reishi, chaga, maitake, shiitake) — High in polysaccharides and immune enhancing components, medicinal mushrooms are adaptogenic herbs/superfoods and help regulate adrenals hormones.
Maca- Maca helps with energy and endurance as it contains high amounts of minerals, zinc and Iron and this powerful root was used by Incas before doing a battle as it helps with stamina.
Baobab- Baobab helps with alertness and feeling energized as it contains high levels of antioxidants, vitamin C, and minerals which help with energy, immunity and supports the nervous system.
Kombucha- Is a fermented health beverage full of probiotics (good bacteria), vitamin B12 and B6, helps with digestion, increasing energy and strengthens the gut's immune system.