Superfoods are basically foods that are much richer in vitamins, minerals, nutrients, electrolytes and phytonutrients, but also much poorer in calories than any other usual foods. They’ve been described as foods with a high phytonutrient content. Phytonutrients are plant compounds which are thought to have health protecting qualities.
Although these foods are wonderful for you, don’t feel like you need to have them in your diet. If they’re available and you want them, then that’s great. But if it’s out of your budget or you can’t find them, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I think a good goal is to continually strive to improve your eating! Focus on eating variety of real whole foods like organic fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds, spices and herbs and you will be fine! If you do choose to incorporate some of these super foods into your diet, it can be done pretty easily. You can add them pretty much in any dish you are making, depending on the taste. I suggest taking specific super foods when you feel you need some extra boost of energy or feel you have some deficiency. Add these super foods in your morning muesli, smoothies, raw desserts, salads and get the vitamins you need without taking any pills and supplements ;). Besides these super foods there are so many fruits, veggies, nuts seeds, legumes, spices and herbs that give lots of health benefits. So balanced and plant-based eating is essential for good health! Find more nutritional information about each fruit,veggie and spice etc here.
I use raw cacao in my desserts and making homemade chocolate. Flaxseed is good substitute for eggs and I also sprinkle it over salads and put in my homemade rye bread. Coconut is my all-time favorite, I use it in foods, in my hair and on my skin. Goji berries are good to put in morning muesli or use in raw desserts. Honey is good remedy for different skin and health problems and natural sweetener for desserts, beverages etc.
1. Maca powder
Maca is a root that comes from Peru. You will mainly find it as powder because it doesn’t grow in all climates so, it is dried and powdered to be exported in the rest of the world. Maca is amazing for balancing hormones and is beneficial to both women (relief of PMS symptoms and menopause) and men (enhanced fertility). Maca is also a great adaptogen that helps decrease stress levels, enhance strength, stamina and libido as well as providing great energy and endurance. It works with the rhythms and needs of your own body.
Maca is rich is calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vit B1, B2, C, E and iron. It contains lots of trace minerals like zink and selenium and is great for menstrual imbalances, lack of libido, infertility, menopausal symptoms and stress but also for conditions such as anemia, fatigue, depression, poor memory, tuberculosis and malnutrition.
2. Pure, raw organic cacao
YES, chocolate is a superfood! But I am not talking about the sugary, packaged chocolate bars you find at the supermarket. I’m talking about the real, original, raw, pure cacao. You can use the beans, which are quite bitter or you can find it in powder in any health food store to make amazing desserts and raw chocolate.
Chocolate is rich in antioxidants, magnesium, iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, copper, vit-C, phosphorus and more. It’s also rich in tryptophan, which is a powerful mood-enhancer, crucial in the production of serotonin, which diminishes anxiety and has the same impact as love in our brain. That’s why chocolate is often associated with love and Valentin’s day.
3. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are a complete protein rich in fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and manganese. Just one tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 grams of fiber. So adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to your breakfast (cereals, smoothies, juices, etc.) is a great way to increase your fiber intake.
But chia seeds are also very rich in vitamin C, Omega 3 and 6 and antioxidants. They absorb lots of water (about 10 times their weight). When you soak chia seeds, they will absorb lots of liquid and create a gelatine-like substance, which will clean your digestive and immune systems by moving all the toxins and impurities to the bowels.
4. Coconut (water, flesh/meat, oil and butter)
The water inside the young coconut is an isotonic drink full of electrolytes and can even be used in blood transfusions. It is rich in potassium, is ideal for proper rehydration and has strong antiviral properties. It also contains kinetin, which keeps the coconut young despite the fact that it’s under the sun all day long. Kinetin has the exact same effect on our body and keeps you young.
Coconut meat is high in protein and fiber and is a great saturated fat (essential to our body). It’s been proven that the saturated fat in coconut oil supports the immune system, thyroid gland, nervous system and skin.
Coconut oil and butter are also a very healthy saturated fat and are perfect for cooking as it’s the only oil/butter that stays stable when you heat it (even olive oil is not perfectly stable when you heat it). Thus, using coconut oil for cooking is much safer and healthier than any other oils.
Spirulina is a Blue-Green Algae, which thrives in alkaline lakes. It contains over 65% of complete protein (300% more than fish, meat or poultry, with 0 cholesterol). Spirulina is also very rich in chlorophyl, iron (about 58 times more than spinach), antioxydants, beta-carotene and essential fatty acid Omega 3 and 6.
You can choose to use powder – which is the most powerful way as it’s directly absorbable by your body – and add it to your juices and smoothies. Spirulina is also great for people who have digestive issues as it helps improving the absorption of nutrients by your body.
6. Goji berries
Goji berries are a berry-fruit found in Asia and America. They are usually dried before being exported elsewhere in the world.
Gojis are probably one of the most nutritious berry-fruit found on the planet. They are a complete source of protein and amino acids, contain lots of trace mineral as well as vit B1, B2, B6, E and C. They are extremely rich in antioxidant, which protects you from the ageing process and free radical. They are also well-known to improve vision, boost libido, sexual function and immune system.
7. Hempseeds and oil
Hempseeds and oil are one of the rare complete source of protein (33% to 37% of its weight) and are packed with life-force energy and enzymes. They are rich in Omega-3, 6 and 9 which are all very important for brain functions and considered a quality beautifying oil.
Hempseeds and oil are great to boost your immune system and bring balance in your essential fatty acids, thus are also decreasing inflammation. They deliver a balanced array of amino acids and are rich in minerals such as phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, sodium, silicon, copper and many others.
8. Flaxseeds and oil
Flaxseeds (or linseeds) and their oil are one of the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our health as our body doesn’t produce them on its own. The problem in our societies is that the big majority of people consume too much Omega-6 fatty acids and not enough Omega-3. However, the balance between both is absolutely vital to be healthy. Flax seeds and oil is one of the rare food that contains Omega-6 and 3 (EFAs – essential fatty acids) in perfect balance for the human body. EFTAs are vital for brain function, energy production, oxygen transfer and strengthen immunity. Omega-3 fatty acids help to fight and prevent inflammation and many degenerative conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, etc .
9. Bee Products
There are several “super foods” that are created by bees. These include Bee Pollen, Bee Propolis and Raw Honey
- Raw Honey – Raw honey is unpasteurized (unheated) and has a milkier look to it than the pasteurized kind found in most supermarkets. Raw honey contains bits of bee pollen, propolis, and broken wing fragments. Raw honey contains 27 minerals, 22 amino acid, and 5000 live enzymes. This helps greatly with your digestive system and also helps fight off disease. People have been known to take raw honey to help with indigestion, nausea, clean wounds, sooth sore throats, relieve allergy symptoms, and even as an anti-aging product!
- Bee Pollen – Bees collect pollen on their legs while moving from flower to flower looking for nectar. It’s actually the dust sized male seed of the flower.
Pollen is very high in carbohydrates and protein. It contains almost 7 times the amount of protein in beef! Some common uses for bee pollen are for an energy booster and a weight loss supplement.
- Bee Propolis – Propolis is the stuff bees coat their hive in. It’s used to protect the hive from predators and disease.Its strong antibiotic properties have been used for years by alternative medicine practitioners. It has been known to protect and strengthen the immune system and has been used to fight against colds and flu.
10. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a perennial succulent that grows in a wild and seems to do best in tropical and sub-tropical areas. It has been deemed a superfood after research studies identifying its seventy-five healing compounds including natural steroids, antibiotic agents, amino acids, minerals and enzymes. Aloe vera has been used since Egyptian times as a skin moisturizer, and healer for burns, cuts, bruises, acne and eczema. This is mostly due to the high concentration of natural sulphur (MSM) that it contains. Aloe juices alkalizes the digestive tract preventing over-acidity, a common cause of indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn and ulcers.