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Dun Dadadaa Superfoods

Look up superfoods and you’re likely to find berries, broccoli and quinoa. Seeing as we have noted many of your standard sorts of superfoods you can get in your local supermarkets I did some research into superfoods and came across some more out of the ordinary choices, the type you would either never know or laugh at the idea of it. So to mix it up I figured I would cut down some information I have found elsewhere for you if you want to take your superfood eating to the next level.
Why should you eat superfoods?
Obviously, it’s for the health benefits that they offer. These foods are rich in nutrients and work wonders in keeping your mind and body healthy. But, this is not all. Once you start consuming superfoods on a regular basis, you will start noticing the difference in not just how you feel, but also how you look.
Eating these foods regularly makes your body healthier, helps you flush out toxins more frequently and leaves you with a healthy glow. It also helps you maintain your weight. Superfoods in fact contain all the right nutrients in the right proportions.
Typically superfoods contain antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, polysaccharides, enzymes and glyconutrients to name a few. However, the best part is that these foods are clean and pesticide free, organic sources of these nutrients, so in effect they act faster and work better.
1. Goji berries – are typically found in Asia and America. What makes these so popular is that they can grow well in harsh weathers of both extremes. Goji berries are deep red in colour and are often dried and eaten as raisins. So, why are they good for you?
• Increases immunity
• Protects liver
• Improves eyesight
• Improves quality of blood
• Prevent ageing
2. Açaí – This South American fruit used by the Amazon people of Brazil for many years. Some of its well known benefits are:
• Helps people sleep better
• Makes the immune system stronger
• Slows down the ageing process
• Regulates the levels of cholesterol in the body
• Improves vision
• Improves circulation and functioning of the heart
• Reduces inflammation
• Detoxifies the body
3. Cacao – There’s always some sort of research being conducted on chocolate and every time the findings are always positive. This goes to show that chocolate is indeed good for us, but if you’ve noticed, the findings are always in favor of dark chocolate, a chocolate with very little sugar content. If you travel a little backwards and see, the origin of chocolate, that is, the cacao beans are actually much more than a source of chocolate.
• Increases blood flow to the brain and enhances brain function
• Has a high concentration of anti oxidants such as polyphenols, catechins and epicatechins. Anti oxidants as we all know are the holy grail of youth and a disease free life.
• The magnesium in cacao is good for the heart, helps prevent constipation and even eases menstrual cramps.
• Cacao also has iron, which makes it a great weapon to fight against anaemia.
• Cacao contains chromium, a trace mineral which works wonders to maintain the balance of blood sugar.
• Manganese, another trace mineral that can be found in cacao is great when it comes to building up of haemoglobin.
• Zinc, another mineral that cacao contains is known for its essential role in enhancing our immune system.
• Raw cacao contains vitamin C as well which has its own gamut of uses.
• Raw cacao contains essential omega 6 fatty acids. An important thing to note is that cooked and processed chocolate contains rancid omega 6 fatty acids or trans fats which are not healthy for you.
• Cacao beans contain certain compounds that can trigger weight loss, make you feel good and improve your mood considerably.
• The fiber in cacao beans works wonderfully to cleanse the digestive system. .
4. Maca – Maca is typically found in the Andes, at a high location where the land is barren and weather conditions extreme. These harsh conditions could probably be the reason why the maca root is full of nutrients which makes it a highly valued superfood. Maca root in its various forms, either powdered or cooked has been traditionally consumed by the people of the Andes for many years and in recent times, scientists are recognizing it for its immense nutritional value. Here’s how it can help you:
• Increases stamina and libido
• Helps the endocrine system function properly, thereby eliminating hormonal imbalances
• Lowers anaemia and alleviates menstrual discomfort and cramps
• Is also known to be effective in fighting stomach cancer and tuberculosis
• Rich source of fatty acids and sterols
• Has a good concentration of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sulphur, potassium, phosphorus as well as vitamins such as B1, C, B2 and E
• Known to help women deal with menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings
• Works wonders at reducing the symptoms of altitude sickness
5. Spirulina – Spirulina is a specific type of blue green algae making it rich in proteins, and it has become quite popular as a nutrition supplement. Spirulina is classified among algae but to be truthful, it lies between the plant and animal kingdom because of its cell structure and metabolic functions that make it a step above regular plants but not quite in the animal kingdom yet.
• Contains plenty of vitamin A, E, B complex and C.
• Is a rich source of minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron.
• Has plenty of antioxidants that help in getting rid of free radicals to keep you young and healthy; these antioxidants are also known to help in fighting cancer
• Has a unique blue green colour that is pretty much one of the reasons why this superfood is a cancer fighter.
• Helps in building protein, which is even better than soy.
• Is rich in GLA or Gamma Linolenic Acid. GLA is an essential fatty acid that helps in keeping the heart healthy; people have also found it to be useful in controlling weight and PMS problems.
• Helps digestion and it also diffuses the appetite so that you don’t feel that hungry.
• Contains beta carotene in a form that is even more potent than what is found in carrots.
• Contains lutein, which is really important for the eyes.
• Contains phytonutrients such as polysaccharides, sulfolipids and calcium spirulan which are rather unusual but offer lots of health benefits.
• Helps in making people feel energetic because it balances the immune system and helps your body heal and absorb necessary nutrients.
• Helps in detoxifying our bodies, especially where heavy metals like mercury and dioxin are in excess.
6. Blue green algae – Algae are one of the oldest forms of life on earth and blue green algae are certainly one of the oldest. These simple plants have a bad reputation because they are often responsible for water blooms that clog lakes and cause harm to marine life. However, blue green algae have their uses as well and even have plenty of benefits. In fact, recent studies have concluded that blue green algae like Spirulina are actually a powerful superfood full of nutrients and goodness.
• Are rich in antioxidants that are essential to fight free radicals that cause disease and ageing.
• Are known to relax blood vessels and lower the lipid content of blood.
• Help people who want to control their weight or lose weight faster. It’s worth noting that blue greens have plenty of nutrients but very little calories, which make it such an ideal superfood.
• Help in lowering the blood pressure.
• Contain a high amount of protein and help in keeping blood sugar levels in control. Also helpful in cleansing the body so people who are fasting can take it without any qualms.
• Aid the growth of intestinal bacteria, which is good for digestion.
• Lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
• Help in neutralizing bad breath
7. Marine Phytoplankton – has been the blue whale’s food for as long as it has existed.
The marine phytoplankton has been on the earth for billions of years and was instrumental in getting human life started on the planet because of its ability to give out oxygen.
We already know how well Spirulina and blue green algae work for us, the main benefits are:
Marine phytoplankton has a huge whopping amount of carotenoids, amino acids and minerals. Some of these fight ageing and others help in fighting disease causing free radicals.
• Trace minerals found in marine phytoplankton like zinc, selenium, magnesium, strontium, chromium and iodine are helpful in many ways right from fighting cancer to controlling thyroid function and reversing neurological disorders.
• Marine phytoplankton contains phytochemicals which are great for removing toxins from your body, helping in circulation and preventing abnormal cell division that usually leads to cancer.
• Helps preventing diseases that cause degeneration of the body and mind
8. Aloe – Aloe is well known today for many reasons, be it for providing soft and supple skin or to help assuage mild burns or probably even help in diaper rash. But, did you know that aloe vera is also a superfood and can be consumed because it provides some really amazing health benefits?
Aloe vera has long been recognized for its superficial effects on our body but now scientists are realizing that this plant is quite a potent superfood as well. Here are some of the benefits it provides:
• Helps maintain the balance of good bacteria in the intestine so that digestion is good
• Helps people suffering from allergies and helps in keeping blood sugar normal.
• Contains trace minerals such as calcium, selenium, zinc, chromium and magnesium, which are really good for health.
• Polysaccharides help in keeping the immune system healthy.
• Detoxifies the body and even gets rid of harmful bacteria from the body.
• Contains sterils, which greatly reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
• Helps in healing and preventing fungus infections.
Aloe can be taken in the form of juice, smoothies, soups, dips or even salad dressing and it will provide all the much needed nutrients without a hitch. Hilary one of our trainers has just started with a supplement company who stock Aloe so if it is something you would like to know more about or to order email hilary@pt-me.co.uk
9. Hemp seeds – Hemp as we know is an extremely versatile product of nature and right from ropes to paper, hemp has been instrumental in making our lives easier. However, in recent times, hemp seed has slowly gained popularity as a superfood because of its powers in keeping us healthy.
Consistent research is being conducted on this aspect but we do know that hemp seed helps us in the following ways:
• Hemp seeds are rich in essential amino acids and fatty acids that are required for a healthy life; in fact, hemp seeds are better than meat, eggs and soy, traditional sources of protein because of its amazing amino acid profile.
• It has calcium, iron as well as other minerals such as zinc, magnesium, copper and manganese.
• Hemp seeds are known to alleviate the symptoms of those suffering from eczema.
• Hemp seeds are richer in omega-3 than walnuts.
• Hemp seeds are ideal for vegans who do not eat meat at all as it meets all their protein requirements.
• Hemp seeds make your immune system stronger and helps you fight diseases better.
• Hemp oil derived from hemp seeds is the best possible EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) supplement there is.
10. Coconut – water found inside the shell is pure because of the many filters it has had to pass through till it reached the center.
Did you know that tender coconut water is very similar to the plasma in human blood? So, whenever you drink coconut water mixed with some other fresh juice, preferably a green leaf one like wheat grass, you’re giving your body an amazing boost of power and energy.
Soft coconut meat has its own uses as well but here’s a look at what coconut water can do for you:
• Those suffering from cholera can find great relief in tender coconut water because of its sodium and albumin content.
• For people with kidney stones, drinking coconut water helps in tackling the pain, while protecting the kidneys from bad calcium sources.
• Coconut water, at times, is used as a substitute for blood plasma because of its purity.
• Coconut oil and coconut cream contain Medium Chain Fatty Acids, which are instrumental in making the immune system stronger.
• Coconut oil contains antioxidants such as pregnenolone that are highly useful for the body.
• Coconut cream and coconut oil help in balancing the blood sugar level and enable you to without food without feeling the onset of hypoglycemia.
• In young coconuts, the meat inside is soft and is excellent for creating breast milk.
11. Camu Camu – If you thought that tanking up on Vitamin C will keep colds away, you’re right. But don’t rely on just citrus fruits for this. Take a look at the Camu Camu berry, which can be found in the South American rainforests. This berry contains the highest amount of Vitamin C in any botanical source and you might be surprised to learn that while a lemon can contain 0.5 percent Vitamin C, the Camu Camu berry contains up to 4 percent! A huge leap indeed.
The Camu Camu berry is not just full of Vitamin C but also contains calcium, potassium, phosphorus and iron. Amino acids such as leucine, serine and valine are also present in this excellent superfood. Other vitamins that are also found in the Camu Camu are thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.
Here are some of the benefits of the Camu Camu berry:
• The huge amount of Vitamin C content ensures that your immune system works in top condition
• Helps improve your eye sight considerably
• Great for the skin
• Keeps away colds and other viral infections
• Keeps your tendons, collagen and ligaments strong
• Helps in keeping your lungs healthy
• Works at reducing inflammation considerably
• Regular consumption of Camu Camu helps you keep your cool in stressful times
• Helps in keeping organs like eyes, brain, heart, skin and liver in good working condition
12. Noni – This Polynesian fruit has been in the news for quite some time and all for the best possible reasons. People the world over have started acknowledging the benefits of the noni fruit and researchers are giving it the status of superfood. The noni fruit has a strong smell and taste and is not palatable at first, but it takes a bit of getting used to. However, regardless of its taste, the noni is one of the most wonderful gifts of nature as it is power packed with nutrients that can fight numerous diseases and has loads of other benefits for you as well:
• Noni is rich with antioxidants that fight free radicals effectively, keeping you younger and healthier
• Other compounds such as selenium help in keeping the skin glowing, fresh and healthy
• Then there’s xeronine which works wonders for your cell structure and helps in cell regeneration
• Glycosides fight free radicals while scopoletin has anti-inflammatory properties
• An exciting new study shows that noni helps stimulate the white blood cells and kick starts the immune system to work effectively
13. Bee Pollen – Bee products are slowly gaining a wide acceptance in the world of nutrition and people are waking up to the fact that bee products are natural and wholesome superfoods. A relatively unknown bee product is bee pollen which has become hugely popular for the numerous health benefits it offers.
• One thing common to all superfoods is the antioxidant levels which are really high in bee pollen. These antioxidants help you lead a healthier and longer life.
• Bee pollen is renowned to be an excellent aphrodisiac and is known to increase sexual health
• If you are low on stamina, try bee pollen as it helps you bounce back faster after exercise and lets you increase your performance levels
• Those suffering from allergies should be relieved to know that bee pollen lowers histamine production which is the key cause of allergies
• There are lots of B vitamins in bee pollen that works wonders for your skin and prevents wrinkling and aging
• Bee pollen is also great for those who are suffering from Type 2 diabetes because it restores mineral and metabolic deficiencies
• Bee pollen is also known to help those who have colitis, constipation, anemia and bronchitis
• Bee pollen has an astonishing number of vitamins – eighteen in all, fourteen fatty acids and is 15% lecithin
• Bee pollen actually has more protein than meat, eggs or cheese.
Make sure you buy raw bee pollen to ensure highest quality.
14. Propolis – Propolis is a resin that bees collect from tree bark and use it in the honeycomb as a sort of veneer or glue, which filled up cracks and helped create doorways. What’s amazing is that propolis is actually a nutrient packed superfood that people are recognizing now for its amazing disease fighting powers. It’s as good as penicillin, only better. If that’s confusing, read on:
• Propolis is antibacterial, antifungal and a completely natural antibiotic that does not produce unfavourable side effects
• It is packed with flavonoids which help in healing wounds faster and better. In fact when it is applied topically, it fights all sorts of bacteria and microorganisms
• Propolis contains minerals, amino acids, fats, vitamin E, C , provitamin A and B complex
• The bioflavonoids in propolis are extremely useful in repairing the blood vessels and making capillaries stronger
• Studies have indicated that propolis was one of the ways in which mouth ulcer could be controlled
• Research has shown that propolis helps in the treatment of arthritis, asthma and various other allergies
• It’s also interesting to learn that propolis works against MRSA, the bacteria that actually resists antibiotics and causes danger to many patients
15. Honey – By honey, we don’t mean the supermarket variety that you normally use to drizzle over toast or pancakes. You need raw honey for some benefits that you were probably unaware of. For instance, did you know that:
• Raw unprocessed honey is the richest source of live, healing enzymes which go a long way in sharpening your IQ and making you more mentally alert
• Honey has medicinal benefits and can be used to heal wounds as well
• Honey can help people suffering from diarrhea, infections, gastrointestinal problems and various other ailments by alleviating their symptoms greatly
• Honey is easily digestible and is a great energy boost for the body
When buying honey, look for raw and organic honey that has not been processed and is stored in glass jars.
16. Royal Jelly – Here’s another little known bee product that has gained the status of superfood in recent times. Royal jelly is a thick, milky substance that is secreted from the pharyngeal glands of a special group of nurse bees. Bees that are earmarked for becoming queen bees are fed with royal jelly while worker bees are fed with only pollen and honey. While this bit of information is fascinating for those interested in apiculture, what is more enticing is that royal jelly is an excellent source of nutrition and offers great benefits to us as well. Here’s how it can help:
• Royal jelly contains B5 and other B vitamins as well as amino acids and a host of minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and manganese.
• Royal jelly gives a burst of energy. It’s like caffeine without the flip side
• It contains a good amount of pantothenic acid and has an ideal combination of proteins, fats and carbohydrates
• Acetylcholine is an important fluid that is required for the proper functioning of nerve impulses between nerve fibres and this helps in thinking properly. Royal jelly is a rich source of acetylcholine and even helps those suffering from Alzheimer’s
• Helps in the treatment of glandular and hormonal disorders
• Prevents atherosclerosis and fights heart diseases as well
• Research with cancer cells has shown that royal jelly has a significant effect upon them, particularly in reducing them, truly making it an amazing superfood
Sources – To get the full unedited version of the article including how these superfoods are normally available to buy and some health food warnings go to www.bewellbuzz.com
This blog post is purely for information purposes, PT-ME is not there to prescribe or replace the advice of your doctor. I would recommend asking the health food store for more advice and guidance and consulting with your doctor if you are unsure of any of the above if considering introducing into your everyday life.