What’s so Super about Super Foods?

Roasted tomato sandwich

Super Foods have earned their reputation because they have been found to have more nutrients than other fruits and vegetables. For example, research has proven that walnuts contain twice as many antioxidants as their cousins: almonds, peanuts, pistachios and pecans. Who knew your last loaf of banana bread had so much power packed inside?

Another top performer is the kiwi – one kiwi contains your recommended dose of vitamin C for the whole day.

Berries are probably the most easily recognizable Super Food. We’ve all heard about the wonders of blueberries – they’re little balls power-packed with free-radical fighting anti-oxidants. But have you heard of the lesser-known Acai berry? Acai berries not only have antioxidants, but also amino acids and good fats, like Omega-3s. Studies have shown Acai berries have 10 times the levels of antioxidants that red grapes have, and 30 times more flavanoids than red wine.

Scientists are discovering more about nature’s super powers every day, so my bet is that any whole food you eat – anything that comes off a plant or a tree and remains unprocessed – is going to be called a “Superfood” someday.

Eat Local, Eat Better, Live Better

Watermelon Mango Salad

Eating local isn’t just better for the environment, it’s better for your body. Watermelon, for example, loses much of its beneficial properties if it is stored in a refrigerator rather than at room temperature.

Levels of beta carotene are double and levels of lypocene are 20% higher [in un-refrigerated watermelons], say researchers from the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Lane, Oklahoma, USA. – Medical News Today

The same is true of everything you’ll find in the produce section of your grocery store. When fruits and vegetables are cut from the plant, their nutritional value declines by the hour. And, you can taste the difference between vine-ripened fruits and vegetables, picked fresh, and those that have been sitting in trucks, refrigerators and on shelves for days.

Chopping fruit also causes it to lose nutrients, especially Vitamin C. As soon as you slice open a fruit and expose it to air, it begins to lose vitamins. Vitamin loss happens even faster when the fruits are cut and stored in the refrigerator. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a fruit salad the day before the family picnic – vitamin loss takes some time.

Your body is like a clock; add gunk to the works and it will stop working. I like to tell everyone: Eat better; feel better, look better, live better!

Food Energetics – Doesn’t mean Red Bull

Photo by ThePinkPeppercorn, Flickr

Everyone has heard the saying “you are what you eat,.” The theory of food energetics takes that idea to the next level. Food Energetics approaches nutrition from the perspective of our cave-dwelling, mammoth-clobbering ancestors, who were more intuitively connected to their food sources and better able to pick up the physical and spiritual qualities of their dinners.

When they ate venison, they took on the swiftness of deer; when they ate carrots, they felt connected with the earth. That’s the theory anyway. Early cultures believed that if you ate food that resembled or was symbolically connected to part of the body, it would affect that part. Food Energetics extends that idea even further. Let’s use walnuts for an example. If you pry open a walnut and look at its meat, it looks a lot like a brain. Coincidentally, walnuts have the highest content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, like Omega 6’s, and they are the only nut containing Omega 3 – two of the most important nutrients for supporting brain function.  But, as Almond Joy says, sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. Let’s talk leaves.

The roll of leafy green plants in nature is to breathe. They are the respiratory system of the plant world, and the flawless complement to our bodies functionality. Like some dairy products, leafy greens contain calcium and magnesium, but greens like collards, kale, and lettuces contain the perfect amounts of calcium and magnesium for your body to absorb. Scientists have proven that eating these vegetables supports respiratory and circulatory health, and when you think of how these vegetables are literally a system of veins and arteries, much like our own lungs, it makes intuitive sense.

One easy way to combine these superfoods is to use walnut oil on your next salad. Or, mix a small handful of almond or coconut flour with crushed walnuts and coat a piece of chicken or fish for a supercharged dinner.