WHAT IS A SUPERFOOD?
How often have you seen or heard superfoods mentioned? Dr. Oz, dubbed America’s doctor, is a big proponent of them. Walking down the aisle of the grocery store you see the word superfood labeled on products enticing you to buy them. Companies are touting their products as either containing superfoods encouraging you to buy their product because they know you’re concerned about your health. But do you really know what a true superfood is? Want to know fact from fiction? Read on because you’re going to learn what truly makes a food ‘super’ and understand why they made our top 10 superfood list!
By definition, a superfood is an organically grown raw food that is exceptionally nutritious, easily digestible and contains proportionately higher quantities of nutrients than other foods. It’s relatively easy to understand what a superfood is, but with vague wording it encourages manufacturers to jump on the latest health trend and label their products as having superfoods. Since there are no labeling laws nor any specific percentages to render a product a ‘superfood’, anything is game. What if the superfood product contains ingredients that work against your health like sugar, gluten and soy? This again is where labeling can somewhat be misleading and potentially counterproductive and downright damaging to your health.
In order to be a true superfood a food must contain the following attributes:
- Vitamins, minerals, proteins and fatty acids
- Antioxidants and phytochemicals that strengthen the body and immune system
Cacao is touted as being a superfood but it contains caffeine, therefore it is considered addictive. It’s not that super if you become addicted to it, which is why cacao is not found on our list.
Superfoods have the characteristics to assist in the prevention and elimination of disease and premature aging. They are meant to help with efficient elimination and promote the presence of healthy intestinal flora. Superfoods are an excellent, permanent daily dietary choice. No food, however, now matter how “super”, can stand alone or replace a complete and well-rounded diet.
Heed caution however when buying into superfood labels as they are without any regulatory oversight. Some foods that are included on superfood lists may indeed be bad for you if you have certain health conditions, even if they are good for everyone else. The biggest concern would be for those with compromised immune systems and allergies.
OUR TOP TEN SUPERFOODS
Contains B-17 laetrile known to selectively destroy cancer cells. It’s the number one pick because it contains all of the characteristics a superfood should have. There is much controversy over whether or not wheatgrass contains gluten. Wheatgrass is a baby blade that has not matured into seed therefore making it gluten free. However, when running wheatgrass through juicer make sure none of the seeds that had been planted to grow the grass are attached to the wheatgrass blade. This is when contamination from gluten could occur. Juice 1 oz. on an empty stomach.
BLUE-GREEN ALGAE, SPIRULINA AND CHLORELLA
Contains more than 65 vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Found in pill, liquid or capsule form.
Special pre-cautions and warnings:
Blue-green algae products that are free of contaminants, such as liver-damaging substances called microcystins, toxic metals, and harmful bacteria are possibly safe for most people. Do not use any blue-green algae product that hasn’t been tested and found free of mycrocystins and other contamination. E3live’s AFA blue-green algae guarantees the safety of their products and backs their testing. For more information please visit their website at www.e3live.com
One of the richest plant sources of minerals found in the ocean. When I first embarked on my health journey I had no idea the benefits to consuming sea veggies let alone the multitude of them. Sea vegetables are one of the richest plant sources of minerals found in the ocean. They offer a variety of unique phytonutrients and antioxidants, are an excellent source of vitamin K, B-folate, magnesium, iron and calcium, and the B-vitamins riboflavin and pantothenic acid. Not enough? Try measurable amounts of antioxidant vitamins C and E. Usually found dried. Soak to reconstitute.
Aloe vera is the very few foods that contain vitamin B-12, making it a great choice for those on a strict plant based diet. The aloe vera plant is high in vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, enzymes, steroids and the mineral germanium, which supports the immune system. Relieves gastrointestinal issues and cuts intestinal mucous. Drink 1 oz. daily.
All coconut meat contains lauric acid, which helps fight bacteria from intestinal parasites and wards off countless infections. Eating coconut meat helps fight gas, constipation, ulcers and other digestive ailments. Coconut also supports thyroid function and can help prevent goiter because it naturally contains iodine. Organic, extra virgin, first cold pressed oil is best. Use in desserts or for sautéing.
AÇAÍ AND GOJI BERRY
Acai Berry – Research performed on the açai berry has focused on possible antioxidant activity due to the plethora of phytochemicals it contains. Theoretically, it can help prevent diseases caused by oxidative stress such as heart disease and cancer and can play a role in the body’s cell protection system.
Use pulp only products and add to smoothies.
Goji Berry – What can we find eating a handful of goji berries?
- more beta-carotene than carrots and zeaxanthin (an antioxidant which protects the eyes)
- B-complex vitamins
- 500 times more vitamin C than oranges
- Vitamin E, a rare find in fruits
- excellent source of selenium (thyroid health) and germanium
- 21 trace minerals (the body requires 52)
- linoleic acid
- polysaccharides which strengthens the immune system
- 18 amino acids (including the 8 essential ones)
Known for its ability to increase stamina, energy and sexual function. It has been touted as an aphrodisiac and as a way to improve sexual performance and fertility. Maca’s beneficial attributes include fighting off anemia, chronic fatigue, depression, poor memory, stress/tension, energy, stamina and athletic performance. It has been known to relieve symptoms of menopause, PMS, can balance the endocrine system, hormones and thyroid function. Add maca powder to smoothies and desserts.
Bee pollen is considered to be a vegan food product as the pollen is considered a waste product, the bees have not collected it for their own purpose. The question remains however whether humans have exploited the bees to obtain the pollen balls.
Bee pollen contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids (fats) and up to 40% protein. It boasts 22 amino acids and more than 90 nutrients. It comes from the pollen that collects on the bodies of bees. Bee pollen may also contain bee saliva.
Because bee pollen contains trace amounts of the plant material that may trigger allergies, it could lower sensitivity to local pollen allergen and reduce the production of histamine.
Special precaution and warnings : bee pollen may trigger an allergy. Start off with a very small dose and gradually increase the amount of bee pollen ingested to avoid a severe allergic reaction. Those taking warfarin, a blood thinner, may want to check with their doctor before taking bee pollen. Bee pollen boasts 22 amino acids and more than 90 nutrients. Add to soups, salads, smoothies.
Hemp nuts or hemp seeds nuts are the shelled inner portion of the hemp seed. Hemp seed for food consumption is not the same as the leaf which is used for marijuana that contains the psychoactive drug THC. Hemp actually an eco-friendly plant used to make anything from paper, protein powder, to building materials, bedding and clothing.
Hemp offers a myriad of benefits; one being that it is a complete protein. Hemp nuts are approximately 33-35% protein. A mere two tablespoons of hemp nuts contain 11g of protein! Another big plus is its near perfect ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 with that ratio being 4:1. Hemp also contains omega-9s.
Last but not least…
CHINESE HERBAL MUSHROOMS
Reishi mushrooms – Speeds relief from cold sores and herpes. Has anti-viral benefits. Taken in powdered or pill form.
Cordyceps – Nutrition found in cordyceps include protein, carbohydrates, sterols, oils, vitamin B1, B2, B12, E and K. When harvested from the wild it is considered to be a superior product
Chaga – Chaga’s most potent ingredients is a substance also found in high quantities in wheatgrass. That enzyme is called SOD, superoxide dismutase. This enzyme halts oxidation, which is responsible for oxidizing and damaging tissues, resulting in aging. Chaga, like many other mushrooms, are rich in beta glucans, which have immunomodulating activities. In laboratory studies chaga demonstrates anti-cancer activity due to its beta glucans, and anti-inflammatory, antiviral and immune stimulating properties.
ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. ANY CLAIMS TO HEALTH BENEFITS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THE INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE MEDICAL CARE, DIAGNOSE, TREAT, PREVENT, MITIGATE, OR CURE DISEASE. WE BELIEVE IN THE INDIVIDUAL’S INFORMED RIGHT TO CHOOSE THEIR OWN HEALTH CARE METHODS. AS ALWAYS, CONSULT WITH A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY SELF-HEALTH PROGRAM.
Love this? Share it!