The big five of Superfoods
In my time living in South Africa, I remember the locals being very proud of their big 5 of wildlife, Buffalo, Lion, Elephant, Leopard and the almost extinct Rhino. But what are the big 5 of Superfoods, which powdered supplements make you roar on rising in the morning and which sap your energy and burn you out.
Although highly marketed, delicious, energizing, exotic and with great aphrodisiac properties I am not carried away by the Sexy Chocolate campaign of cacao as a Superfood, in my personal experience overuse of it especially the sweetened product of Raw Chocolate with Agave and other sugars can tax and over stimulate the adrenal glands even fatiguing them leading to a whole host of problems and Chocolate can tend to be quite addictive.
What do I look for in a Superfood, something the gives without draining the bodies resources.
Favourite additions to Smoothies and Shakes can vary with personal preference, on my experiential journey, here is my top five, what’s yours ???
I first came across this gem in a pod on the island of spice, Zanzibar. Packed with benefits and not normally even considered by most as a Superfood, easily added to cooked foods and warm Indian chai, so not limited to raw smoothies.
The health benefits of cardamom include gastrointestinal protection, cholesterol control, control of cancer, relief from cardiovascular issues, and the improvement of blood circulation in the body. It is useful for curing dental diseases and urinary tract infections such as cystitis, nephritis, and gonorrhea. Cardamom possesses aphrodisiac properties and is also used as a cure for impotency, erectile dysfunction, and premature ejaculation.
In India, cardamom was traditionally considered as an herb and was one of the ingredients in Ayurveda (the ancient Indian science of medicine and lifestyle) and traditional Chinese medicine. It was believed to be a remedy for teeth and gum infections, throat problems, congestion of the lungs, pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of the eyelids, gastrointestinal disorders, disintegrating kidney, and gall bladder stones, and was also used as an antidote for poisons and venoms.
Cardamom is also nutrient rich in vitamins and minerals with high concentrations of Manganese, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc which makes it a great all around addition to smoothies and food. It’s also one of the best breath fresheners out there.
No other berry can match pound for pound the Acai berry for vitamins and antioxidants, in the dried powdered form a much cheaper alternative to the various varieties of over priced organic berries you buy at the organic shops and if you know where to look you can find wild berries in abundance on wild lands and in local forests so why would you dish out your hard earned cash.
Acai is an indigenous berry commonly found in the rain forests of the Amazon. This antioxidant-rich fruit has been heralded for centuries as a healing, immune-stimulating, energy-boosting fruit. An exotic relative of the blueberry and cranberry, research has shown that this antioxidant-rich berry may be able to support in the prevention of diseases associated with oxidative damage, not to mention many other health benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels and helping to keep cells strong against the invasion of free radicals.
Acai berries contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
They are also rich in omega fats: Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 and have a high content of amino acids and protein, which help with the growth, repair, and maintenance of body tissues.
Further, they are rich in B-complex vitamins and vitamin-K. Contain very good amounts of niacin, vitamin C, B-6 and riboflavin.
Ranking number 3 on my Superfoods list and with good reason with all it’s healing potential is Chlorella.
A single-celled green algae, Chlorella was probably one of the first organisms here on earth. It’s ancient. Fossil records indicate chlorella was around at least 540 million years ago! Not only has its simple, powerful design survived millenniums of global change. But its design has also laid the groundwork for many other forms of life…
Studies have shown that Chlorella benefits the entire body by supporting healthy hormonal function, good cardiovascular health, helps to negate the effects of chemotherapy and radiation, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and aids in the detoxification of our bodies.
The rich green color comes from the high concentration of chlorophyll. We are all told to eat more leafy green vegetables for good health, but sometimes it can be difficult to get the recommended 5-7 servings of vegetables a day recommended by nutritionists and doctors of functional medicine.
While juicing is another option, the time involved is simply too much for most people. Frankly, most green leafy vegetables pale in comparison to the health benefits that Chlorella can provide.
If you have mercury fillings in your teeth, if you have been vaccinated, if you eat fish regularly, if you have been exposed to radiation, or if you consume foods from China you may have heavy metals lurking in your body. It is important for your overall health and wellness to be proactive in detoxing heavy metals and toxins.
One of Chlorella’s most significant health benefits is that it wraps itself around even stubborn toxins residing in our bodies including lead, cadmium, mercury, and uranium and keeps them from being reabsorbed. Regular consumption of Chlorella helps to keep heavy metals from accumulating in our body’s soft tissues and organs in the first place.
Radiation therapy or chemotherapy are the most common forms of cancer treatment today. Anyone that has gone through either of these treatments, or known anyone that has, knows what a toll they take on the body. Chlorella’s high levels of chlorophyll have been shown to protect the body against ultraviolet radiation treatments while removing radioactive particles from the body.
Two other benefits of Chlorella are strengthening of liver function and immune system.
Spirulina is a microalgae that has been consumed for centuries due to its high nutritional value and supposed health benefits. Today, popular lifestyle personalities endorse Spirulina as a secret, potent “Superfood,” a “miracle from the sea.”
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that grows naturally in oceans and salty lakes in subtropical climates. The Aztecs harvested Spirulina from Lake Texcoco in central Mexico, and it is still harvested from Lake Chad in west-central Africa and turned into dry cakes.
Imagine a plant that can nourish your body by providing most of the protein you need to live, help prevent the annoying sniffling and sneezing of allergies, reinforce your immune system, help you control high blood pressure and cholesterol, and help protect you from cancer. Does such a “Super food” exist?
Yes. It’s called Spirulina.
Spirulina is an excellent supplement for those looking to improve their eye health. This blue-green algae is very rich in vitamin A, and this vitamin is exceptionally important for healthy eyes. For this same reason, eating more carrots has long been recommended to those looking to improve their eye health, but Spirulina actually has ten times the vitamin A concentration gram per gram of carrots.
Spirulina is very high in bio-available iron, making it beneficial to those with anemia or pregnancy, with reduced risk of constipation Spirulina is a good source of vitamins B-1(thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3(nicotinamide), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-9 (folic acid), B-12 (cobalamin), vitamin E, and vitamin K1 and K2.
It is also a source of potassium, chromium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. It has four times the antioxidant ability of blueberries and is an goodsource of protein: gram per gram more so than beef, poultry, fish, and soybeans.
For a Vegan, having discovered in The Philippines the Moringa leaf was a dream come true. It provides many essentials that many people in this modern world with our ever changing and adapting diets are deficient in. Also in some places I have traveled there was lack of access to good organic green leaves to enjoy that daily big salad bowl, here is a wonderful solution which can be added to smoothies.
Having said all this on my journey I am beginning to feel the blender is not the solution, did our ancestors have such a device, no…. they foraged and gathered berries, wild herbs, mushrooms, roots and other wild edibles. It can be a wonderful boost from time to time when your not getting the optimal nutrition for one reason or another. Such is life….
Also nicknamed the wonder leaf, Moringa is like a grocery shopping basket in powder form, check out the stats below as a rough guide.
So do yourself a favour, do your homework on these beneficial supplements and get in contact with your bodies needs, ask your body, use it as a pendal to feel what resonates with you at any given time,