By: Stephanie Heino
These days the term “superfoods” is being used everywhere in order to define foods that are calorie sparse and nutrient dense, meaning they pack a lot of punch for their weight as far as goodness goes. They are superior sources of anti-oxidants and essential nutrients – nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves. We all may be adding more salads and vegetables to our diets, and the concern over the quality of foods grown on mineral depleted soils makes superfoods an intelligent choice. I use superfoods daily as part of my smoothies, green juices and salads and they really give me another level of energy and I feel great and nourished all day. Keep reading for some interesting health benefits of a few of them.
Also known as lycium or Chinese wolfberries, gojis are native to the Himalayan region of China and Tibet. These small, red berries have been used by Chinese herbalists for thousands of years to help eyesight, boost immune function and promote longevity. Many of the documented health benefits of the berries are related to their high antioxidant concentration. Carotenoids, a specific type of antioxidant found in goji berries have been shown to help protect eyesight. Packed with antioxidants, B vitamins, iron, and complete protein, goji berries are certainly deserving of their superfood status! Dried goji berries make an excellent snack, and are also used in muffins, raw desserts, salads and energy bars! Although they are most often eaten in dried, whole berry form, goji berries are also available as a powder juice or supplement.
Here is a recipe to goji energy bites, which are just so delicious!
The endless health benefits of Acai should not be underestimated. They have the highest nutritional composition of anything you can eat in the world (wow) and as a result they can give the body a large number of nutritional requirements that it is typically short on.
The most significant health benefit of Acai berry is that it reintroduces nutritional elements that the bodies ought to have, but are typically just not present in our diet. Eating more of these nutrients aids the body in functioning the manner it’s supposed to. This helps the body to reach a healthy equilibrium.
Acai berry in different forms (I prefer the freeze dried powder) can be put into everything from salad dressings, smoothies and your tea. It takes some getting accustomed to. It tastes kind of like a combination of chocolate and berry. There are a multitude of ways to incorporate the health advantages of Acai as part of your nutrition plan and the advantages justify the effort. Acai berries aids in increasing your energy level and your metabolism so your body will use more calories naturally that you will discover helps you to lose weight and helps you to feel a lift in energy.
Camu Camu Fruit
The Camu camu fruit is believed to be the world’s most abundant source of vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin often used to strengthen the immune system. It gives you as much as 60 times more vitamin C per serving than an orange. This antioxidant-rich berry from the Amazon is also a plentiful source of potassium, calcium, protein, beta carotene, amino acids and powerful phytochemicals. The most common way to bring it into your diet is to by raw organic dried camu camu fruit powder mixed into your smoothie.
Spirulina is one of the most nutritious and concentrated food sources on the planet. As a result, it’s appearing more frequently all the time in natural foods and beverages, such as green foods and drinks, energy bars and oral supplements.
Spirulina consistently boasts an amazing protein level of 60 percent on average—making it a protein source for vegans/vegetarians. And spirulina’s protein is biologically complete, containing all of the essential amino acids needed for human health. Spirulina is similar to sea vegetables such as dulse, kelp, nori, Kombu, arame, and wakame. Along with its cousin chlorella (another one of my favorites), spirulina is a member of the “blue-green” family—but this family is actually not truly algae. Check out an amazing green smoothie recipe here, containing almost every superfood in this article!
I myself use maca mainly for its energy boosting effects. Many people use maca for its virility and fertility boost benefits as well. Maca is a real libido booster and people or couples who would like an enhancement in that department should start taking maca regularly. It has been described as the best natural supplement out there for virility and libido for both men & women. Women usually use maca for hot flashes, and for treating and relieving PMS symptoms. Maca works amazingly for regulating hormones. This also makes maca great for anyone with mood swings and stress in their life.
On top of all these things, maca is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s loaded with amino acids, carbohydrates, and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E. It’s rich in almost every mineral! Maca is one of the most potent plant-based sources for Vitamin B12, which is great news for vegans or for people who do not eat meat. Rich in protein as well, at least 10% of the maca root weight is protein. It comes in a bunch of different forms; capsules, powder and liquid, and just like many of the other superfoods it is super easy to add to your smoothie for a great boost. If you don’t have a smoothie every morning, the capsule form may work better for you, to ensure you’re getting consistent doses every day for maximum effect!
Hemp seeds are of exceptionally high quality in terms of amino acid composition and protein structure, the latter affecting digestibility and utilization by the human body. Hemp protein contains all of the essential amino acids in more nutritionally significant amounts and at a ratio closer to “complete” sources of protein (like meat, milk and eggs) than all other oil seeds except soy. It is delicious to boost your morning smoothie with, or sprinkle on top of your quinoa porridge or oatmeal.
People are going crazy for chia seeds, which have gained attention as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also an excellent source of fiber at 10 grams per ounce (about 2 tablespoons), and contain protein and minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Including chia seeds as part of your healthy diet may help improve cardiovascular risk factors such as lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. Chia seeds can be eaten raw or prepared in a number of dishes. Sprinkle ground or whole chia seeds on cereal, rice, yogurt or vegetables. The seeds are very absorbent and develop a gelatinous texture when soaked in water making it easy to mix them into cooked cereal or other dishes. So delicious! Check out this post about healthy breakfast options featuring a delicious chia seed porridge!
Bee pollen is the food of young bees and is comprised of approximately 40% protein. It is considered one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods. It contains nearly all nutrients required by humans. About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be used directly by the body. Such highly assimilable protein can contribute significantly to one’s protein needs.
Bee pollen contains all the essential components of life, such as proteins, free amino acids, vitamins, including B-complex, and folic acid. The percentage of rejuvenating elements in bee pollen is much higher than those present in brewer’s yeast and wheat germ. Bee pollen corrects the unbalanced nutrition in the body, which is very common today since we consume so many nutritionally incomplete foods, often with added chemical ingredients, which expose us to physiological problems. I would suggest using bee pollen as part of your smoothie, delicious and healthy!
Again, check out our Organic Beauty Superfood Smoothie Recipe to incorporate many of these amazing ingredients!
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