Simple Pleasure #42: Superfoods
What is a Superfood? It is not a food that flies around in a cape… although they should because they practically have super powers! Superfoods, in a nutshell, are foods that have a dozen or more unique properties, not just one or two. Superfoods are both a food and a medicine; they have elements of both. They pack a heavy punch of the most potent, super-concentrated, and nutrient rich foods on the planet. See… practically superpowers!!! You are about to find out why superfoods have made my simple pleasure list.
Here is a list of some more common Superfoods:
- Goji Berries
- Aloe Vera
There are many more but I’m just gonna stick to the basics. Please understand that I’m only giving you a handful of the benefits that superfoods offer. If you are really interested in learning more then I would suggest you do more research on the Superfood/s that stand out for you. Most of the info here is quoted from the book “Superfoods” by David Wolfe. The book has a ton of information and recipes, some of which are really easy to make and have you feeling like you have superpowers.
Coconuts and coconut products (coconut cream, butter and oil) have improve digestion and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and amino acids. They contain healthy antiviral, anti fungal, and antimicrobial saturated fatty acids, helping to naturally fight off viruses, bacteria, and fungal overgrowth. They help regulate and support healthy hormone production.
Goji berries boost immune function, increase alkalinity and vitality, provide liver protection, improve eyesight and blood quality, deliver anti-aging compounds, and possess a number of additional outstanding qualities. I love to soak goji berries in water and use the water to make a tea. Or I just soak them directly in the tea for an added antioxidant boost!
Cacao is raw chocolate just fyi, just in case you didn’t know. This is where all the claims that dark chocolate is good for you come from. Cacao contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world. Read that last sentence again… pretty amazing huh?! High in magnesium, a great alkaline mineral. Rich in iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin C, and omega-6 fatty acids, plus a bunch of other good-for-us vitamins and minerals. Cacao also contains significant quantities of essential amino acid Tryptophan, which is a powerful mood-enhancing nutrient. No wonder why so many of us feel good when we eat chocolate. When buying dark chocolate, the higher the cacao percentage the better.
Maca is a root, once it is harvested it is dried then powered, which is how is mostly consumed. Maca is a powerful adaptogen, which means it has the ability to balance and stabilize the body’s glandular-hormonal system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, and musculature. It is known to improve the following conditions (plus more): anemia, chronic fatigue, depression, infertility, menopausal systems, poor memory, and stress tension.
This is my favorite of the Superfood family. Mostly due to the fact that hempseeds are packed with 33 to 37 percent pure digestible protein, and when in their raw form, are one of nature’s richest source of complete protein. No other single plant source has the essential amino acids in such an easily digestible form, or has the essential fatty acids in as perfect a ratio to meet human nutritional needs!
The gel of raw aloe vera contains vitamins A, C, and E, the minerals sulfur, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and chromium, as well as antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, enzymes, sterols, lignin’s, and most importantly, polysaccharides. It is also crucial for any weight loss and fitness programs it has been shown that when you ingest aloe, you can lose weight and also gain lean muscle mass.
It is believed that spirulina is so rich in nutrition that you could live on spirulina alone for quite some time! Crazy! It consists of 65-71 percent protein (the highest concentration of protein found in any food). It is a complete protein. Spirulina is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, E, and K. It is an abundant source of chlorophyll. It does have any interesting taste so I suggest to experiment with small doses of it first. You can add it to smoothies or salad dressing. You can even sprinkle it on top of your salads.
I think by now most people have tried or at least heard of Acai. Usually consumed in a smoothie or “Acai bowl“. Acai contains high levels of essential fatty acids (omega-3, omega-6) as well as omega-9 and monounsaturated oleic acid (oleic acid is a beautifying oil). Acai contains extremely high levels of antioxidants. According to research, Acai appears to help regenerate and produce stem cells. Is an excellent source of dietary fiber and is low in sugar.
Doesn’t reading all of that make you want to run out and find all of these fabulous foods? It does me… and I did. Here is a recipe that I have adapted from the Superfoods book mentioned above. Iv’e changed it up a little from the original to include all of the above superfoods. This will make a lot of smoothie. Save some for later, share with a friend or cut the recipe in half.
Berry Superfood Bonanza
4 cups of coconut water
3 tbsp. goji berries
3 tbsp. cacao powder
1 tbsp. cacao nibs
1 tbsp. maca powder
1 tsp. spirulina
1-2 tbsp. sweetener (I use raw honey or agave)
1.5 cups frozen organic berries
1/2 packet of frozen unsweetened acai (you can find it in the freezer section of the grocery store)
1 tbsp. hempseeds
1 small pinch of Celtic sea salt
1/4 leaf fresh aloe vera gel
Blend it all up in a high powered blender. Enjoy with a smile knowing that you are ingesting superpowers! Here’s to being superhuman!!!