Superfoods are are just that; SUPER foods. They are vibrant, vitality inducing, nutritionally dense foods. They are powerful sources of plant based protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, good fats like omega- 3’s, essential fatty and amino acids and other traditional boosts that when consumed on a regular basis have anti-inflammatory, disease fighting, anti-aging, health and performance promoting benefits.
There are many many many amazing foods out there. The ones that I stock my kitchen with and which are my go to super foods are:
Maca, goji berries, chia, hempseed, cacao beans (raw chocolate), lucuma, chlorella, bee products such as raw honey and pollen, maqui and acai berry. All have unique medicinal, traditional, and delicious applications in my kitchen.
Maca is a root vegetable grown in the Peruvian Andes. It was sacred to the Incas and has been used as a food and medicine in South America for centuries. It is well known for its ability to help enhance strength and endurance. In fact, Incan warriors would often consume maca before long journeys and battles. It has a malty flavor that is paired exceptionally well with raw cacao in smoothies.
Goji berries also known as wolfberries, are one of the most nutritionally-rich fruits on the planet. Praised for thousands of years in Asia for health benefits including longevity, vitality, and energy, goji berries are now being celebrated in Western cultures for their superfood potential. A good source of potassium, iron, and selenium, they also have B vitamins, calcium, zinc, fiber and even protein. I use these in my Kombucha and in my smoothies.
Chia seeds Mild and nutty flavored, chia seeds were cultivated long ago by the Aztecs and the Maya. The name “chia” comes from the word chian, meaning “oily” in the Aztec language of Nahuatl. The special oils in this tiny superseed are omega-3 essential fatty acids, which may contribute to the maintenance of mental function and normal heart health. Chia is also high in fiber and a good source of calcium, iron and magnesium. I make a raw, recovery Chia Seed Pudding to have on hand after especially challenging workouts. I also use it daily in my smoothies but can be taken simply by adding it into your favorite beverage.
Hempseed has been cultivated for millennia for fiber, clothing, paper, building materials, and of course, food. Rich in zinc and magnesium, which may contribute to healthy immune function and bone health, hemp seeds are also a good source of iron. They consist of 36% protein with all the essential amino acids and have healthy plant fats. With a mild, nutty flavor and pleasantly soft texture, they are easily added to dishes like Quinoa Salad or in a daily Protein smoothie.
Cacao The fruit of the cacao tree contains a small bean from which all chocolate is made. Cacao is an incredible health food in its natural state, filled with energy-boosting nutrients. Loaded with minerals such as magnesium which may contribute to normal bone health and healthy immune function, cacao is also high in copper and manganese. This amazing food has been revered for centuries by cultures such as the Aztec and Maya. It is perfectly paired with maca powder and goji berries in a smoothie and has exceptional flavor in raw food desserts.
Chlorella is an incredible, multi-faceted superfood that is made up of 66% protein and boasts an array of nutrients including vitamin A and iron. A microscopic single-celled plant that grows in fresh water, chlorella’s abundance of chlorophyll gives it a deep, emerald-green color. A potent superfood, chlorella is a great way to introduce detoxifying, alkalizing foods into your diet.I take chlorella daily and notice it when I don’t!
Maqui Berry With a deep berry flavor similar to blackberries, maqui berries are a wild-grown superfruit native to Chile. There, the Mapuche people have been consuming maqui for centuries to help boost strength and stamina. The rich, purple pigment of this amazing fruit indicates the presence of antioxidants such as anthocyanins and polyphenols. Maqui berries also have calcium and iron, as well as vitamins A, C, B1 and B3. Amazing in fruit and or berry based smoothies and also in raw food desserts.
Acai Berry An incredible superfood native to South America, açaí has a complex blend of antioxidants including vitamins A and C, as well as minerals and amino acids. It also has omega-3 essential fatty acids which may contribute to the maintenance of mental and visual function. The dark purple color of açaí comes from pigments called anthocyanins which may contribute to antioxidant defense support. This nutrient dense fruit is a favorite among athletes due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties making it a great recovery food. I use this in my fruit based recovery smoothies.