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The hectic pace of life, environmental pollution and the poor quality of the products we consume are the three main reasons why we should eat superfoods every day.
They are exceptionally beneficial for health, as they reduce the risk of chronic diseases and infections. They also provide a lot of energy, help to purify the body, improve physical health and extend life expectancy.
But what about superfoods?
They are fruits and vegetables with a high nutritional value that contain many antioxidants, proteins, essential fatty acids, minerals, fiber and other essential nutrients that are beneficial for health. The nutritional value is the relationship between calories and micronutrients that a food provides. Most superfoods contain many valuable micronutrients and are low in calories. It should also be clarified that, although exotic superfoods with unknown names are becoming fashionable, we should not despise local ingredients that also fit into this category.
To protect the "super" quality and integrity of these nutrients, a superfood must be organic and raw or very little processed. The rise of these foods has also arisen due to the fashion of raw food, which has more and more followers and interests more people. David Wolfe, authority in the world of raw food and author of the book Superaliments: the Food and Medicine of the Future, has made them known and promoted their commercialization around the world.
It must be said that superfoods are not a modern invention: they have been the source of power for many ancient civilizations such as the Mayans or the Aztecs. However, you don't have to go far to see the healing results of these wonderful foods. Currently, clinics and centers such as The Optimum Health Institute of San Diego, CA and the Gerson Institute, with a clinic in Tijuana (Mexico), offer alternative treatments to patients with diseases as severe as cancer that include a 100% vegan diet, with many foods raw and enriched with superfoods.
To be able to speak in an orderly manner about superfoods, we will classify them as follows:
Vegetables are very nutritious foods, but green ones are even more so. Green superfoods have one of the highest concentrations of easily digestible nutrients, compounds to burn fat, vitamins and minerals. They contain a wide variety of beneficial substances such as proteins, proactive phytochemicals and healthy bacteria that allow us to rebuild muscle tissues, improve the functioning of the digestive system and protect us from diseases and infections.
Green superfoods are extremely rich in chlorophyll - the pigment that gives the color green. The molecular structure of chlorophyll is very similar to that of human blood, and consuming foods rich in chlorophyll has been shown to increase the production of hemoglobin in the blood. Higher levels of hemoglobin in the blood mean a blood with more oxygen (the first element and the most necessary for the cells of the body to flourish).
Within this group we would find all kinds of sprouts and sprouts, green leafy vegetables and foods such as wheat germ, and spirulina and Chlorella microalgae.
Fruits and seeds superfoods
This group of superfoods is known because it contains many antioxidants, which are responsible for fighting free radicals responsible for the deterioration of cells and, therefore, the aging of the body. In a natural way, the body produces free radicals when it metabolizes the food we eat, but what we should be concerned about are those that come from outside due to environmental pollution, tobacco, radiation and highly processed foods.
When the body has high levels of free radicals, the immune system is weakened and diseases appear. In today's society it is very difficult to avoid all these pollutants that surround us; That is why it is very important to take enough antioxidants through a diet rich in superfoods. Let's look at some of these foods:
Raw cocoa It is possibly the food with the highest concentration of antioxidants on the planet: it has 14 times more flavonoids than red wine, and 21 times more phytochemicals than green tea. It is also very rich in magnesium -mineral of which there is a deficit, despite having a balanced diet, due to the poverty of the cultivated soil- and iron -1 serving of cocoa beans (8 units or 28 g) contribute more than 300% of the RDA for iron. It can be found in different formats and it is very good to mix it in smoothies, vegetable yogurts and desserts.
Wild fruits such as Goji berries, originating in Mongolia, and camu-camu and açaí, originating in South America, are fruits very rich in antioxidants, especially in vitamin C (Goji berries provide 500 times more than oranges), they have a very low glycemic index and a lot of fiber. They are sold whole and are very good in salads. Camu-camu and açaí are usually sold in powder form, which can be added to smoothies and green juices. As local wild fruits and with similar properties we have raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
The coconut It is one of the foods with the most electrolytes in nature. Electrolytes are ionized salts in cells that carry energy within the body. Thus, coconut water is the best alternative to artificial energy drinks. Coconut oil is also a superfood for its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It can be used for regular cooking and is especially ideal for the oven, as it is stable at high temperatures.
Hemp, flax and chia seeds They are especially rich in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Flax seeds and chia seeds are especially rich in soluble fiber, which regulates intestinal transit. Those made from hemp are one of the best sources of vegetable protein, since they contain all the essential amino acids and, in addition, they are very rich in magnesium and iron.
The bed It is a root native to Peru that is used as an energy supplement, since it provides strength and resistance; ideal for athletes. It also has very positive effects on the reproductive system, since it regulates menstrual cycles, reduces symptoms, and increases fertility and libido. It is highly recommended to put one or two dessert spoons in the green juice or smoothie every day.
Baobab, the fruit of the "tree of life", originally from South Africa, is marketed in powder form and has more antioxidants than the wild fruits we have talked about. It is very rich in soluble fiber, potassium and magnesium. It is one of the few plant sources rich in calcium and has five times more vitamin C than oranges. Ideal to enrich green juices.
Algae are one of the most nutritionally dense plants because they are enriched with all the nutrients they find in the ocean. They have a lot of iodine, which stimulates the thyroid gland, and they provide eight to ten times more calcium than milk. Its best property is to regulate and purify the blood system, since they alkalize the blood and help eliminate toxic compounds such as heavy metals and radioactive waste from the body. The best known and commercialized are the following:
Nori seaweed, well known, since it is the one used to make sushi.
Kelp seaweed, the one that is most found in the oceans and is often marketed as a fiber supplement.
Wakame seaweed, dark green in color, is usually sold dehydrated. It must be rehydrated beforehand and it is used to enhance soups, stir-fries, stews and savory dishes.
Dulse seaweed, reddish in color, is usually sold in flakes. There is no need to rehydrate before consuming and it is often used to spice up soups, vegetables and salads.
Kombu seaweed, with a very dark green color, is usually sold in dehydrated sheets. It is used to enrich cooked dishes and to cook legumes, as it makes them more digestible and reduces flatulence.
The Egyptians already spoke wonders of them. In Babylon they used them in medicinal practices, and the Indians in religious ones ... And it is that bee products are superfoods from head to toe.
Bee pollen is one of the most complete foods in nature. It is the pollen that bees collect from the flowers in the form of granules. 25% of its content is vegetable protein (as much or more than a beef steak), it provides us with more than 25 vitamins and 25 different minerals, as well as 11 varieties of active enzymes. It is an ideal supplement for people who need more energy, and very successful for those who have seasonal allergies, as it helps fight sinusitis. The yellow-orange color indicates that it is a food very rich in antioxidants.
Royal jelly is a substance secreted by the glands in the head of worker bees. The origin is not very attractive, but it is the exclusive food of the queen bee, which lives forty times longer than the workers. It is very rich in vitamin B5, known to fight stress, fatigue and insomnia.
Propolis is the substance that bees make to cover the hive. It is very antiseptic, as it has antibacterial, antiviral properties and strengthens the immune system. It is used to prevent colds because it reduces coughs, neck inflammation and sore throats.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices have been part of the wisdom of natural medicine for centuries. Their great anti-inflammatory power includes them within the category of superfoods, since inflammation is considered a key factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, arthritis, among others.
Turmeric it is a root with an anti-inflammatory power as powerful as ibuprofen; the difference is that it leaves no toxic residue. It is a spice with protective cardiovascular, liver, digestive and anticancer properties. Helps to improve and eliminate the symptoms of irritable bowel, Chron, arthritis and Alzheimer's. It is very good to season dishes with turmeric or add ½ teaspoon powder to green juices.
Ginger It is another root with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power. It has an antiemetic effect and reduces the sensation of nausea, dizziness and vertigo. It can be as powerful as Biodramina. Its antiviral properties make it an ideal remedy for sore throats, colds, flu and expectorant cough. It is ideal in infusion, or add a piece of root into the juice extractor. It has a very spicy flavor, so a small piece like a thumbnail is enough.
Matcha tea they are green tea leaves delicately ground into a fine powder. It has superior properties to the rest, since the whole leaf is consumed and, therefore, it provides us with many more nutrients and antioxidants than the other varieties. It is a very powerful antioxidant ingredient that helps lower cholesterol and the risk of liver disease. In addition, it contains a unique amino acid called L-theanine, which provides energy to the body and awakens the mind.
Reishi It is a fungus native to China with a tonic and anti-aging effect. It promotes blood circulation, regulates metabolism and the digestive system, combats fatigue, increases alertness, and helps you sleep and rest better. In addition, it strengthens the immune system in such a way that T cells are able to fight cancer cells more effectively. This makes it one of the quintessential anti-cancer foods. It is usually taken in the form of tea or it can also be prepared in soups or sautéed as if it were a vegetable.
Aloe It is known for its healing and refreshing effect on sunburns, but it is not only a topical wonder but, ingested, it is one of the best panaceas. It is a very alkalizing plant with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, especially of the digestive tract. It also helps regulate blood sugar in type 2 diabetes and helps lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It can be taken in the form of juice or you can eat the transparent gelatin inside the leaves, adding it to smoothies or salads.