Superfoods 101

 

Superfoods-by-Simone-Samuel
via youngandraw.com

 

Superfood is a word thrown around these days and is associated with many  different foods. Superfoods, in definition, are a group of foods that are the most potent, super-concentrated, and nutrient dense. Superfoods have amazing abilities to increase and change the energy and vitality in one’s body for optimum health; boosting immune system, enhancing sexuality, cleansing, detoxifying, and alkalizing. This all being said, superfoods are something you have to be careful incorporating into your diet. They should be portioned correctly and used consistently to see the health benefits. Here are five of my favorite superfoods that all can be bought at Whole Foods, online, and sometimes even in T.J.Maxx (keep your eyes out).

Maca: This superfood contains 5x more protein than a potato and 4x more fiber! It is known for its amazing ability to increase one’s energy, strength, and libido. Dried Maca powder contains more than 10% protein and 20 different amino acids. Maca is a superfood you need to be extra careful with and only portion out one to two tbs per day.

Spirulina, Chlorella & Other Blue Algeas: Spirulina is the highest source of complete protein in the world at 65%. It also provides a wide variety of minerals, phytonutrients and enzymes. Chlorella is another amazing superfood (the #1 superfood on the planet) because of its high chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll is known to reduce inflammation, promote cleansing within the body, improves skin and odor, aids in digestion, and has anti-cancer fighting properties.

Goji Berries: These little red berries are known for their strength building properties and their ability to increase one’s longevity. Goji Berries contain 18 different amino acids (including the 8 essential), over 20 different minerals, high amounts of antioxidants, iron and B& E vitamins.

Cacao: This is the nut/seed of a fruit in the Amazon. It is RAW chocolate and is the #1 source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, manganese and chromium on the planet! Cacao is known to improve cardiovascular health, improve bone strength, boosts mood and energy levels, and increases longevity. Yes, eating chocolate can help your chances of living longer (with other good healthy habits of course).

Bee Pollen: This superfood contains almost all of the B vitamins, including a great amount of folate, as well as all 21 essential amino acids which make it a complete protein. Honey (another bee product) is an easier way to get this same superfood side effect as well. Organic honey is rich in antioxidants, probiotics, and enzymes. Honey is a great substitute in cooking and baking for any type of sugar or sweetener.

alohacacao
via aloha.com

A great easy way to start adding a mix of superfoods into your daily routine for a low price is with the ALOHA line of “Daily Good” dried juices. These are so easy to mix with water, nut milk or toss in a smoothie, yogurt or oatmeal. Each one is packed with a unique combination of superfoods. Want to try them out? Use my code: SUNSF33 for 20% your first order 🙂

Other great superfood companies are Navitas Naturals and Organic Burst.

 

Sunshine & Superfoods Papaya Smoothie

Spring is finally here and what better way to celebrate than with a delicious papaya smoothie recipe featuring seasonal ingredients, and superfoods of course, to get you in the mood. I usually do not gravitate towards fruit smoothies, but this recipe is filled with nutrients and flavor combinations that allow you to sneak in some awesome superfoods and spices to really make it a slam dunk nutritionally. It is perfect for a post workout indulgence!

Spotlight on Papaya:

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Papaya contains high levels of Vitamin C (about 150% of your daily value in just half of the fruit) and Vitamin E, as well as a large number of antioxidants. These antioxidants are known to help fight against cancer as well as many heart related diseases. Papaya is known to boost your immune system because of its cell strengthening properties. This fruit also contains Vitamin A which is known to protect the retinas in your eyes; preventing certain eye diseases and macular degeneration.

Papaya is most widely known to help improve digestion. It contains an enzyme that helps break down proteins in your body which helps gastrointestinal issues and keeps everything moving properly.

Papaya is also known for its amazing affects on the skin. The levels of vitamins and antioxidants in papaya work to fight against skin cell damage. Many nutritionists and natural beauty experts actually rub raw papaya on their skin to help eliminate blemishes, spotting, and heal wounds.

Sunshine Papaya Smoothie

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cubed fresh papaya, peeled and seeded
  • 1/2 cup mango
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp fresh turmeric or 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk (I love Califia Farms)
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp maca powder (I use Navitas Naturals)
  • 1 scoop of plant based vanilla protein powder (I use Sprout Living)

Directions: Put all the ingredients into blender until smooth and enjoy 🙂

For another great way to use papayas check out my papaya yogurt boat recipe.

This article also appears on Women’s iLab to inspire the next generation of female leaders.