High on my list of amazing super foods, goji berries pack a healthy punch as being one of the most nutritionally dense foodsin the world, and they make a great snack! They contain a healthy balance and dose of both macro- and micro-nutrients, including a high-quality, plant-based complete protein content containing 18 amino acids (and all 8 essential amino acids) along with a rich source of antioxidants (including carotenes, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin - great for eye health). Goji berries also contain up to 21 trace minerals, like zinc, iron, calcium, copper, and selenium. In fact ounce per ounce goji berries have a higher content of iron than spinach; more vitamin C than oranges; more beta-carotene than carrots; and more antioxidants than blueberries. Goji berries also contain polysaccharides that strengthen the immune system. Also impressive, they are the only plant know to stimulate the body's own natural Human Growth Hormone, aiding us in our anti-aging pursuits. In addition, goji berries have been shown to improve your sleep. It is no wonder then why Chinese monks credit goji berries to greater energy, health, and vitalilty.
Acai Berries Harvested from the Amazon jungleacaiberries are a true super food. They are packed with nutrients, antioxidants, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. Studies have shown these little berries also have great fat-burning and energy-boosting properties.
Cacao (raw chocolate) The delicious chocolate we love to eat is, in fact, super healthy - when eaten in its raw form (cacao) and not mixed and processed with milk, sugar, and additives. This super food has been around for thousands of years and is naturally rich in antioxidants, fiber, iron, magnesium, flavanols, and polyphenols. David Wolfe says, in his book Naked Chocolate: The Astonishing Truth About the World's Greatest Food:
“Every study on chocolate is pointing to the same conclusion: there is something in chocolate that is really good for us. That something is the raw cacao bean, the nut that all chocolate is made from. The cacao bean has always been and will always be Nature’s #1 weight loss and high-energy food. Cacao beans are probably the best kept secret in the entire history of food.”
Try these high energy super food as nibs or as powder. They are great in shakes, desserts, and just eaten raw. Enjoy this super food, but don't overdo it... it does contain caffeine.
Cashew Nuts With a high percentage of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, raw (unroasted) cashews are considered great for cardiovascular health. High in antioxidants, they help eliminate free radicals. High in magnesium, they support bones, muscles, relaxation, and healthy sleep patterns. High in copper, they help support energy production. Raw cashews is a high energy density and high fiber food that is great in promoting both energy and weight loss when eaten regularly in modest amounts. Keep them in the refrigerator as they go rancid quickly at room temperature.
Chia Seeds The chia seed is a power food packed with lavish amounts of heart-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats, (great for the heart, for lowering blood pressure, and reducing inflammation among other things). It also has twice the amount of protein than any other seed or grain (having all 9 essential amino acids), has 5 times the amount of calcium than milk, and is chock full of fiber (making it excellent for weight loss, diabetics, and improving digestion). It also has more antioxidants and nutrients than the flax seed does and has a neutral taste. The abundant amount of soluble fiber forms a gel which slows down digestion, helping decrease the blood sugar levels (great for diabetics). For centuries the Indians of the Southwest and Mexico used this tiny little seed as a staple food. Known as the running food, its use as a high-energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs. See the Chia Pudding recipe in my recipe blog - what a way to start your day!!
Coconut Coconut (and coconut oil) is a remarkable natural fat that gives you quick and long-lasting energy, promotes weight loss, and promotes a healthy immune system. It may seem odd that a fat can do that. The key is that coconut oilis one of the richest sources of healthy fat in the form of medium chain fatty acid (MCFA) and lauric acid. Mother's milk is the only other natural source more abundant in these. MCFAs are easier to digest than other oils and do not circulate in the blood like other fats. They go directly to the liver where they are converted into energy. MCFAs increase metabolism, burning more calories, which promotes weight loss. The lauric acid in coconut oil increases immune function, including anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral actions. This is a great food to add to your diet regime!
Along with a healthy life-style, enjoy these super foods to increase your well being! (I do!)