We all know how to be healthier: stop eating crap, eat good things, stop being sedentary and move more but why are we not getting the results?
Stress. It’s a concern for us all, impacting our immunity, gut health, suppressing our nervous system and depleting vital nutrients. We can love ourselves more, by using superfoods, making our nervous system our ally, not our enemy.
Superfoods are nutrient dense and they replenish us.
Mushrooms, berries, cacao, spirulina, bee products, coconut products, maca and sardines.
Here are 8 superfoods that you can easily fit into your current every day eating plan:
What’s powerful about superfoods is that you don’t need much to make a powerful impact. Do not be deterred by the price as you don’t need to use much and when stored in the fridge, they can last you for much longer.
Our food industry doesn’t create food to serve you, they create it to serve their pocket books. Superfoods are important because they are nutrient-dense whole foods. Nutrient dense means they are packed full of so many nutrients and give you more bang for your buck, so to speak. In other words, spending less money on cheap, packaged and processed foods are devoid of most if any nutrients and wreak havoc on your health.
Here are a few to start with:
Reishi is great for immunity, stress reduction. You can eat whole or use as a tincture or tea.
Chaga is so powerful for immunity, longevity and reducing the inflammatory response in the body.
Cordyceps are good for supporting our adrenal glands, fatigue and infection. Your adrenal glands, two walnut shaped glands located in your lower back, produce hormones that help regulate your stress response.
All berries are beneficial and here are some favorites to try today:
Load up on blueberries, acai and goji berries, they are full of antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress. Acai (pronounced: “ah-sigh-EE”) is wonderful for smoothie bowls with other superfoods added. Goji berries are so powerful, growing in high elevation on the side of a mountain, they pack a powerful punch. Goji’s look like little red raisins.
You have full permission to indulge in chocolate! Stick with the highest percentage dark chocolate you can. Look at the grams of sugar and avoid products with refined sugar if you can.
I remember years ago when I started nutrition school, I taught my dad to make a smoothie. He was so excited to show me when I came over what he was creating and I saw he pulled out Hershey’s cocoa powder… I hated to burst his bubble, but it is not the same thing. Cocoa powder is sugar powder.
Cacao is native to the Amazon and comes from a bean. It’s crushed up to make this chocolate powder. No sugar is added and there are 40 times more antioxidants in cacao than in blueberries! Add to baked goods, smoothies, homemade chocolate, oatmeal and more.
My number one recommendation to people who need one superfood to help get their body strong and rejuvenated is spirulina. It is basically the perfect food, so nutrient dense you could survive on it alone (if you had to obviously).
I recommend Hawaii sourced (see below for the one I use) and most importantly start small with how much you use. Maybe use half a teaspoon in a smoothie or smoothie bowl to try it and see how you feel.
Note: I said, “how you feel”. Spirulina isn’t known for it’s taste, it’s a blue green algae and tastes like seaweed. You don’t consume this for taste, you consume it for optimal health and to add in supercharged nutrients into your body for healing.
You can mix it with other fruits or banana or raw honey if needed. Spirulina is an excellent source of B-12 for all people, particularly vegans.
In the future, I’ll make a whole post on bee products because it deserves this time and space. Bee pollen, manuka honey, raw honey, propolis, royal jelly… these are all so powerful for healing sickness, infection and boosting immunity.
Bee products, particularly local ones, help with allergies and sinus issues. I strongly recommend that you support your local bees by planting more flowers and not using chemical sprays in your yard that could harm them.
Also, invest in only locally sourced and raw honey or bee products. These bees pollinate the flowers locally, which means they are picking up the antidote, so to speak, for the local allergies in your area. So when you consume local bee products, you help yourself build immunity to your local area.
It doesn’t benefit you to use honey from areas other than your own backyard, so to speak.
Visit localharvest.org to find a farmers market or the local farmers near you
Use it on your skin, eat it, use it before your shower if you have very dry skin (yes before the shower). Do this for a week and you’ll see why I recommend it. If you are not dry, you can use it after the shower. Consume it within your coffee, smoothies or use it for cooking. Coconut oil is good for frying as it has a high smoke point.
Coconut water is so incredible for hydration before and after workouts or on super hot days. Coconut products support our healthy fat, teaching our body to burn more fat while regulating our blood sugar. It’s also a superfood that gives you a ton of energy. Have a teaspoon if you are feeling tired or fatigued.
I buy big tubs of it because I use it so much:
Maca is a root that is often sold in powder or capsule form. You can also buy it in tinctures. Use it sparingly as it increases the sex drive and labido!
Maca is for energy and hormone regulation, endurance and reducing oxidative stress. Start with a little bit in a smoothie or mixed with oatmeal and see how you feel.
I know, I know. The taste isn’t appealing to everyone and yet sardines are one of the least contaminated sources of fish and they are so nutrient dense, providing you with protein and essential fatty acids that reduce inflammation. They provide calcium, balance blood sugar and are great for hair, skin and nails.
I liked to get them in the can with olive oil.
My 10 year old son loves them so much.
I love hearing from you! What superfoods are you digging these days?