It's likely that we have all heard the term “superfood” before. Usually when we hear that we think of avocados or kale. But there are many, many more unknown ones that are just waiting for you to try!
• Acai- Grown in the Brazilian rain forest, these berries can be consumed raw, juiced or in powdered form. Packed with antioxidants, omega 3s and omega 6s, acai berries have the potential to prevent heart disease, diabetes and other conditions.
• Beetroot- Beets have been used for health in Russia, Poland and Ukraine for hundreds of years. It helps keep the blood clean, by helping the liver and kidneys. Beets can be eaten raw, cooked, juiced or powdered.
• Cacao- Usually chocolate isn’t a word that is associated with health, but more as a treat. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate because it is raw and less processed than cocoa and our traditional chocolate bars. It is full of antioxidants, heart healthy minerals and vitamins, and cholesterol lowering properties.
• Camu camu- I’m scratching my head at this one too. These fruits are found in Peru, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. One of the main uses of this fruit is for it’s anti-viral properties, helping with cold sores, shingles and the common cold. It can be eaten raw, dried, or in supplement or powder form.
• Chia seeds- I know we’ve all heard of these, and no, they don’t have anything to do with the well-known Chia-Pets! The Mayans and the Aztecs consumed chia seeds because of their ability to provide energy- in fact, chia is the Mayan word for “strength.” They provide powerful antioxidants, protein, and essential amino acids. They do not have a flavor, so they can be added to essentially anything! It is popular to use them to top yogurt, oatmeal, etc.
• Goji berries- These ancient berries are found in China, Mongolia, and Tibet. Goji berries are soaring in popularity, because of the phenomenal health benefits. Beta carotene, vitamin C, fiber, iron, vitamin A and more. You can eat them raw or dried. They can be added to smoothies, yogurts and even salads!
• Hemp seeds- Believe it or not, but hemp seeds are technically a fruit. They are chock full of omega 3 and 6, have tremendous anti-inflammatory properties, and may relieve symptoms of asthma, arthritis, eczema, psoriasis and seasonal allergies. They also are a great source of protein.
• Inca berries (or golden berries)- Although they hold a sour taste, these relatively unheard-of berries are very nutritious. They are higher in antioxidants than apples, broccoli, pomegranate juice and even Goji berries! That’s a lot of antioxidants, and they help protect against damaging free radicals. Since they are sour, it’s pretty brave to eat them raw, so you can bake them into breads, muffins, make them into jams or chutneys.
• Lemons- I bet you didn’t know that lemons are a superfood and one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They are high in potassium and vitamin c. Although they are highly acidic, eating lemon can help relieve symptoms of indigestion and heartburn, as well as bloating. They can also help freshen your breath! The easiest way to consume lemon is by squeezing it or infusing it into your water. Very refreshing!
• Maca- I recently did an article on the benefits of maca powder, but it’s always good to repeat them! Rich in vitamins C and E, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium and amino acids. It’s heart healthy, and good for your skin. It also decreases skin sensitivity. It comes as a power, so you can add it to smoothies, juices and oats.
• Moringa- I know, I haven’t heard of it either. That’s because it is relatively new to our side of the world. It originates in India and it often referred to as “The Miracle Tree,” due to the numerous medicinal properties of the leaves. They contain 25 times the amount of iron you’d get from spinach, 7 times the amount of vitamin C from eating oranges, more vitamin A than carrots, more calcium than milk and more potassium than a banana. Impressed yet? They may help with skin conditions, headaches, diabetes, etc. Let’s break it down- 46 different antioxidants, 36 anti-inflammatories, and 90 nutrients. The leaves have a taste similar to spinach and are available mostly in power form which can be added to juices and smoothies.
• Nutritional yeast- That doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it? It is an inactive form of yeast that has been cultured, grown, killed with heat, processed and then dried. It is full of B vitamins, protein and fiber. Nutritional yeast has a taste that has been compared to cheddar cheese. It can be sprinkled over pasta, salads, popcorn, etc.
• Spirulina- This is a natural blue-green algae that is harvested from non-contaminated ponds and is considered one of the most potent nutrient sources available. Rich in calcium, iron, proteins, amino acids, antioxidants, and B vitamins. It may help relieve symptoms of fatigue, hayfever, diabetes, stress and anxiety. It comes in the form of tablets, or powder, and can be added to juices and smoothies.
Have you heard of or tried any of these superfoods? Are you going to try them? Let us know below!
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“Top 15 Superfoods to Get into Your Diet.” Dr. Axe, draxe.com/nutrition/what-are-superfoods/.
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