In my last post I was talking about superfoods and shared 5 superfoods that are common in our part of the world and excellent additions to our diets. In this post I will share 5 additional superfoods that are excellent for your health and wellbeing and tell you a little what they do that makes them so good for you!
What is a “SuperFood”??
A superfood is defined as a food that is exceptionally nutrient dense. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals.
5 “Exotic” Superfoods
Chia seeds - are a meso-american warrior food! The Aztec warriors would carry chia seeds with them when they went off into battle. Chia seeds are a complete protein rich in fiber, potassium, iron, manganese, calcium, phosphorus. They are also rich in Omega 3s, Omega 6s and antioxidants like vitamin C. They have the capacity to absorb approximately 10x their weight in water which serve to remove toxins and impurities, cleaning out your digestive system and boosting your immune system! All this from very tiny seeds! =>Add them to your organic greek yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, salads etc.
Raw, Organic Cacao - is the original chocolate and yes, it is a superfood. In its raw, pure, unadulterated form it is rich in antioxidants, iron, chromium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus and more! It is also rich in tryptophan, a powerful mood enhancer, that is essential in the production of serotonin. =>Raw organic cacao nibs or powder can be added to your smoothies, juices, chia pudding, oatmeal, etc and you can make delicious raw desserts with it too!
Maca - one of my favorite superfoods. Maca is a Peruvian superfood that is rich in vitamins B1, B2, C & E and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron. It also contains traces of zinc and selenium. Maca is an adaptogen and is excellent at balancing hormones. It is great for women with menstrual issues, PMS symptoms, fertility (in men and women), menopausal symptoms and lack of libido. Maca is also excellent for helping one manage stress and conditions such as anemia, fatigue, poor memory, tuberculosis, depression and malnutrition. =>Raw, organic maca powder can be added to your smoothie, yogurt, anything with raw cacao powder (they work well together), desserts and juices.
Hemp seeds - are a complete protein source and are rich in Omega 3s, 6s and 9s which are all essential for brain function and beautifying for the skin. Hemp seeds are rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, potassium, sodium, silicon, copper and others. They contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids needed to maintain a healthy human life. =>Hemp seeds can be eaten as a snack or added to your salads, salad dressings or smoothies and raw hemp protein powder is an excellent protein source for athletes and can be used in smoothies, shakes or juices. Hemp milk is an excellent, and healthier, milk substitute.
Coconut - whether you eat the meat, oil or drink the water the health benefits are numerous. Coconut improves digestion and aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. It is a powerful anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-fungal which helps support a healthy immune system. It improves the utilization of blood sugar and can lessen the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Coconut supports healthy hormone production and help increase metabolism. Coconut water is excellent for hydration. =>Always cook with coconut oil, organic preferably. It is one of the few oils that doesn’t turn rancid at high heats. Eating 1 tablespoon (1 tsp if solid) of coconut oil first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, helps boost your metabolism encouraging your body to burn fat. Add coconut oil to your fruit and veggie smoothies. Coconut meat can be used in desserts, smoothies or as a snack.
There you have it! These are the 5 superfoods that I recommend adding to one’s diet despite their exotic origins. The health benefits from these are powerful and they work well together. A smoothie with coconut oil, raw cacao powder, and raw maca powder gives your body energy, boosts your immune system, protects your body from free-radical damage, balances your mood and hormones. You can even add chia seeds and hemp protein powder to boost that same smoothie to up your protein (and the health benefits). How does it get better than that??
My Favorite Superfood Smoothie concoction??
Green Berry Super Smoothie
3 organic kale leaves, destalked
1 cup organic blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup organic strawberries, fresh or frozen
1 tbsp organic coconut oil
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp raw maca powder
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
2-3 tbsp organic hemp powder or hemp seeds
Purified water/unsweetened almond milk/coconut water - as much as needed for your preferred consistency
=>Blend well and drink up!!
This is one of my favorite ways to start my day. It is tasty and loaded with nutrients! If it’s too ‘green’ tasting, add some more berries. Your body will thank you!
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