Superfoods are a buzz word you hear a lot these days, but are they really Super? Turns out, they are! Read up on the most common ones and get some ideas for how you can get them into your pantry, so that you can start getting them into your body!
Coconut oil – is a medium-chain fatty acid, which the body digests not as fat but as pure energy. Coconut oil will speed up your metabolism and contains lauric acid, which is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. It also improves adrenal and thyroid health. Coconut oil is a terrific choice for cooking and roasting, as it supports high heat. Coconut oil can be used topically as a moisturizer and carrier oil for therapeutic grade essential oils, and internally through cooking or simply eating a tablespoon. It is best to get Unrefined, Cold-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil. This will have a slight coconut flavor. You can get it HERE. If you do not like the flavor of coconut, then use Refined, Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil. Keep in mind that coconut oil will stay solid below 76 degrees. Want to know what all you can do with Coconut oil? Check out this list of 101 Uses and Benefits of Coconut Oil from Wellness Mama.
Raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) – Raw apple cider vinegar improves digestion, restores your body’s natural pH, and decreases inflammation. Consuming raw ACV will increase your energy and improve liver function. It contains potassium, pectin, malic acid, and calcium, and it is fabulous as a healthy elixir. Be sure to buy ACV with “the mother”. This is where the raw enzymes and gut-friendly bacteria are contained that your body needs. Since starting to drink an ACV elixir every morning, my seasonal allergies and energy levels have improved immensely! You can get it HERE.
Raw cacao – We could talk for hours about the benefits of raw cacao. Raw cacao is loaded with antioxidants, very high in magnesium (which most Americans are deficient in), is loaded with fiber, and is a great source of natural iron. Raw cacao can be added to smoothies or oatmeal, used in place of cocoa powder in your baking recipes, or used in warm drinks. I love making this healthy hot chocolate drink! You can buy raw cacao at a natural foods store or I get mine in bulk HERE.
Flax seeds – High in omega-3 fatty acids and rich in alpha linolenic acid (ALA), flax seeds supply nutrients such as manganese and magnesium and contain a lot of fiber (great for constipation issues). Flax seeds should be consumed ground, rather than whole. Our bodies do not digest the whole seed well and many of the nutrients will just pass through you instead of being absorbed. Ground flaxseed can be added to smoothies, oatmeal and replace ¼ of flour in your baking recipes. They also make a ‘vegan egg’ that you can use for baking in most instances. To make 1 ‘egg’, whisk together 1 tbl ground flaxseed with 3 tbl water and allow it to sit for several minutes until it gels up. I buy my flax seeds at Costco.
Chia seeds – Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, calcium, and phosphorus, one ounce of chia seeds contains 11 grams of fiber. They are wonderful for relieving constipation and improving heart health. Add these to smoothies (add your liquid to your blender + a scoop of chia seeds and wait a few minutes before adding the other ingredients), homemade granola, breakfast porridge, baked goods, or make a chia pudding with them. There is a recipe for Warm Chia Pudding in you Winter Recipe Guide. Chia seeds can also be a vegan egg replacer. Follow the same instructions listed with the flaxseeds, just use chia seeds instead! I buy my chia seeds at Costco.
Hemp seeds – Complete with the 3, 6, and 9 omega fatty acids you need for a healthy body, 1 tbl per day will provide daily dose need of omegas! Plus, they are high in protein. I use these and chia seeds almost daily. Hemp seeds have be used in all the same ways as flax seeds and chia seeds, except they do not make a vegan egg replacer. I buy my hemp seeds at Costco.
Sea vegetables – Rich in minerals and trace elements including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, iodine, manganese, and chromium, sea vegetables are a natural way to support the adrenals and the thyroid. Can’t get your mind around eating seaweed? Try Maine Coast Kelp Granules. Sprinkle a few teaspoons on your food per week, and you get the recommended amount of iodine that our bodies need without tasting any of the sea weed! Another way to get your sea vegetables is to make this Miso Soup from Dr. Andrew Weil.