It is my belief that whole food is medicine. Eating natural,wholesome, un-chemically tampered foods can be the most nutrient-rich and beneficial. Super foods are believed to carry superior nutrition; they carry a solid source of dietary fiber and countless vitamins and minerals. Most offer phytonutrients, or plant-based nutrients considered to be extremely beneficial to your overall health. They are packed with antioxidants, which support the body's immune system and may reduce the risk of heart disease and other illnesses. They are free of added sugar, which can be damaging, as well as low or free of saturated fats. Generally speaking, Super foods hold the capacity to help reduce the risk for chronic diseases while improving physical health.
They are nature’s medicine- boosting the immune system, cleansing the body, and aiding in serotonin production. Who wouldn’t want to add Super foods to their grocery list? Below are a few you can begin to add to your meals to enjoy nature’s cure for overall health.
1. Goji Berries: These are the most popular nutrient-packed red berries. They have a similar taste to raisins and are a great source of protein. They contain different amino acids and trace minerals such as zinc, iron, copper, selenium, phosphorous and calcium. Goji berries are also high in antioxidants to aid in any un-wanted toxins. Boosting immune function and an increase in alkalinity could also be a favorable result from consuming these delicious berries. Goji berries go great in oatmeal, smoothies, Greek-yogurt or just as they are.
2. Spirulina: This is a type of algae that provides minerals, phytonutrients, and enzymes. It is one of the world’s highest sources of complete protein. It is packed with iron, chlorophyll, and antioxidants. One could substitute whey protein powder with Spirulina protein powder to increase immunity function. Very potent, I recommend trying a few different brands and flavors to find the one best for you.
3. Raw Chocolate or Cacao: It is by far the highest antioxidant food. As a chocolate lover, this one is my absolute favorite! Of course the raw form of chocolate has the most health benefits, so avoid any chocolate that has excess amounts of added sugar or has been processed. In its raw form, chocolate provides an array of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, manganese, and chromium. Not to mention, an almost instant mood and energy booster.
4. Raw Honey and Bee Pollen: Packed with vitamins and minerals, raw honey and Bee pollen are rich in minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and probiotics. Probiotics are friendly bacteria with a number of health benefits. Consuming this in moderation is key! Honey is still a form of sugar, when monitoring your health it is important to keep a watchful eye.
5. Coconut and Coconut Oil: Coconuts and Coconut oil is essential to the immune system as it contains antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil is the most stable of all the commonly used fatty acid sources due to its high composition of saturated fats. The composition of fat in coconut is important because it reduces the free radical load on our bodies, resulting in improved digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and amino acids. You can replace your olive oil for coconut oil when you cook; it is actually most stable in high temperatures.
The next time you go to the grocery store, consider perhaps adding a few of these Super foods to your list. No doubt these foods in their natural form can result in giving our bodies the natural nutrition they need for optimal functionality. Perhaps making a few swaps with what you have already incorporated in your diet will demonstrate the benefits from consuming nature’s medicine.
Rosie Acosta is a sunny California native of Mexican heritage, she writes about her passion for Yoga and Mexican Food. She transforms her grandmother's hearty recipes into organic healthy alternatives for a healthier lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter: @RosieAcosta FB: facebook.com/organicmexicangirl and visit her website organicmexicangirl.com