The term “Superfoods” has been circulating a lot lately and many people are wondering what exactly does it mean? Superfoods are the most potent, super-concentrated, and nutrient-rich foods on the planet. Think of them as supermen and superwomen that are helping your immune system to flourish, while they fight for your health and destroy free-radicals. They can also help with elevating serotonin production, cleansing of organs and even improve hormone function.
Here are my favorite superfoods that are easy to add to your daily meals.
1. Cacao (Raw Chocolate) —Cacao is one of the highest antioxidant foods on the planet as it is rich in antioxidants, magnesium, iron and manganese. Raw Chocolate can help improve cardiovascular health, build strong bones, act as a natural aphrodisiac, elevate your mood and increase energy. Try making my raw cacao brownies and cookie dough with this video.
2. Goji Berries - Goji berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and can sometimes be regarded as a longevity and strength-building food. Goji berries contain 18 kinds of amino acids, including all 8 essential amino acids, up to 21 trace minerals, high amounts of antioxidants, iron, polysaccharides and B & E vitamins. Sprinkle a few berries on your smoothie, morning cereal or your salad for a nutritional punch.
3. Maca - This adaptogenic superfood has been a staple in Peru for centuries of years as it helps to increase energy, endurance, strength and even boost libido. It can also help balance hormones and relief hot flashes. Dried maca powder contains protein, nearly 20 amino acids, including 7 essential amino acids. If you would like to try it, begin with adding a ¼ teaspoon to your morning smoothie and see how it makes you feel. You may find that you don’t need your morning coffee anymore!
4. Hemp Seeds— Hemp seeds are packed with protein, iron, amino acids and vitamin E as well as omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3’s can help with healthy brain function and have been shown to combat inflammation. Hemp is also perfect food for growing children and adults looking to increase protein intake. Sprinkle some hemp seeds on your salad or just eat them as a protein-rich snack.
5 Algae (spirulina and chlorella)— Spirulina and Chlorella provide a vast array of minerals, trace elements, phytonutrients and enzymes. Chlorella is also known for helping pull heavy metals from the body and purifying blood. I like to add a teaspoon of chlorella to my smoothies or take a few chlorella pills in the morning on empty stomach.
6. Astaxantin – Astaxantin is a carotenoid that comes from microalgae. It helps fight the damage of sun rays and acts like a natural sun-block. I take it in supplement pill form if I had too much sun exposure or right before spending time out in the sun.
7. Camu Berry – Camu Camu is the highest source of Vitamin C and therefore is great for enhancing immunity and boosting energy. I like to add a ¼ teaspoon of camu camu to water and take it as an anti-oxidant shot when I feel run down.
8. Sea Vegetables (kelp, dulse, nori, hijiki, bladderwrack, etc) — Power-packed with nutrients, sea vegetables help remove heavy metals, detoxify the body of radioactive iodine and provide numerous trace minerals. Seaweeds are especially good for the thyroid and hormone function. To add more sea veggies into your diet, simply sprinkle some of dry kelp or dulse on your food. They have a salty taste and are therefore a great replacement for table salt.
9. Medicinal Mushrooms (Reish, Shaga, Cordyceps maitake, shiitake, etc.) — Medicinal mushrooms are terrific adaptogenic superfoods. They are perfect for boosting your immune system and supporting your adrenal glands in times of stress. When I feel stressed, I like to take a few capsules of Mushroom Optimizer Blend (sold at Whole Foods Market) that features several kinds of medicinal mushrooms.
10. Coconut Oil - Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides, which can be easily used for energy, support your thyroid function and can help boost your metabolism. It is also known for its anti-fungal properties, which can help kill harmful pathogens. Add a few teaspoons of coconut to your morning smoothie for an extra boost of energy, put it on small cuts or simply use coconut oil instead of lotion!
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