It is common knowledge that broccoli is high in calcium, citrus fruits in vitamin C, and beef is high in iron. But do you know about superfoods? Beyond basic nutrition, superfoods are hitting the market. These foods have potent therapeutic properties backed by clinical research. Much like a medicine acts powerfully in the body in healing, so are these foods medicinal. Your food has the potential to become your medicine.
Incorporating superfoods into your diet can be easy. Refined, processed food is a relatively new invention, while these superfoods have been around forever. Traditional cultures have long used them as their staples and they are now becoming widely available. For those of us struggling to get enough nutrients out of the diet, superfoods may be the answer.
For centuries people have been eating chocolate. However, those who live in cultures that have had cocoa trees for ages know of the health benefits of the raw bean. Now, because of the research that has been conducted into the health benefits of eating raw cocoa beans, as well as other indigenous "superfoods," they can be found in almost every health food store.
Acai and Goji Berries
Superfoods have health benefits as reported by people who use them. For example, those who eat the goji berry as part of their diet tend to have better circulation and fewer incidences of heart disease. Goji is high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids which help to protect the heart, improve circulation, strengthen blood capillaries, build collagen, and act as a major antioxidant, as well as regenerating other antioxidants like vitamin E. They also tend to balance blood sugar. Another antioxidant fruit is the acai berry. This fruit has particularly good heart protective benefits, with its strong antioxidant anthocyanins and rich levels of vitamin C and E.
For those who prefer to take supplements, superfoods like mangosteen can be found in a concentrate pill. This fruit is high in xanthones, a polyphenol anti-inflammatory nutrient. It is also an antioxidant. The benefit to taking a pill in concentrated form is that you are assured a standardized level of the active ingredient.
There are superfoods, like hemp seed, that contain all the essential amino acids as well as a balanced ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 essential fatty acids. These foods are particularly great for preventative health care. For example, wrinkles are a product of decreased protein synthesis in the body. Often times we get wrinkles with age because our body has lost its digestive youthfulness. The specific protein in the skin that keeps it looking supple is called elastin. To build elastin, we need enzymes which a processed food diet does not provide. Often times the common superfoods are meant to be taken raw which includes all of the natural enzymes present in the plant. Great for the skin!
Age related degeneration is inevitable. However, we can improve the overall quality of our lives by adding healthy foods. In conjunction with a wholesome diet, eating superfoods can be like supplementing with multivitamins.
Aaron Ander is a holistic health care consultant and educator with a background in nutrition, iridology, reiki, biochemistry, and muscle testing. With many personal health challenges as a child, Aaron struggled his way to good health and overcame disease using natural means alone. This success led to a diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition and a relentless pursuit of the roots of illness. He has visited and lived on organic farms in an effort to understand what constitutes a truly holistic life. Aaron currently lives with family in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, where he writes articles for the holistic health community and has a healing practice. To contact Aaron please visit www.naturalpathhealing.com.