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5 superfoods to kickstart your week

 

Start your week off right with 5 superfoods that can fuel and nourish your body.

1.  Goji Berries

Also known as wolfberry, desert thorn and matrimony vine, these potent berries have been used as a medicinal food on Tibet for over 1,700 years.  Goji berries are deep red in color and are often dried and eaten as raisins.

Here’s how goji berries can nourish you:

  • Goji berries have more beta-carotene than carrots, more vitamin C than oranges, and a large quantity of B vitamins, all of which protect against harmful free radicals.
  • They are a great source of potassium and are also a very rich source of antioxidants.
  • Goji berries are known to aid the production of choline, which stops the production of free radicals and prevents degeneration of the brain due to diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
  • Protect the arteries from narrowing down due to build up of plaque along the walls, which can cause heart related diseases.

Goji berries can be added to tea or soups, or you could just eat them as you would raisins. They can also be blended into smoothies.

2.  Maca Root Powder

Cultivated for thousands of years at elevations over 14,000 feet, maca has been an important food and medicinal supplement for villagers who inhabited the Peruvian highlands.

Here’s how maca can nourish you:

  • Increases stamina and libido
  • Helps the endocrine system function properly, thereby eliminating hormonal imbalances
  • Combats anemia and alleviates menstrual discomfort and cramps
  • Has a good concentration of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus as well as vitamins such as B1, C, B2 and E
  • May help with menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings

Maca root is usually dried and powdered and can be consumed as part of smoothies, teas, milk or coffee. Maca works synergistically with cacao so you can combine these two superfoods and create your own SUPER superfood.

3.  Chia Seeds

 Originally grown in Mexico and the Southwest between 1500 and 910 B.C., chia seeds were an important part of the Aztec and Mayan diet. It is said that aztec warriors used chia as their main source of fuel during conquests.

 Here’s how chia seeds can nourish you:

  • Contain one of the highest known plant sources of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6).  EFAs support heart health, decrease pain and inflammation.
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
by slowing down the rate at which complex carbohydrates are digested and then assimilated into the body.
  • Aids in detoxification and elimination
because the high fiber content of chia seeds helps to cleanse and soothe the colon, and absorb toxins while lubricating and strengthening peristaltic action.
  • Great source of plant protein.  Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many other grains.
  • Rich source of antioxidants.  Chia seeds contain even more antioxidants than fresh blueberries
.

Whole chia seeds can be sprinkled on your cereal, salads, or yogurt.  They can also be ground and mixed into smoothies or added to baked goods.

4. Chlorella

Chlorella is a single cell fresh water green microalgae that is loaded with nutrients. It is one of the most vibrant and energetic organisms on earth, able to reproduce rapidly due to its highly active cellular components. It contains more nucleic acids (RNA/DNA) than any other food which gives it a lot of energy-producing potential.

Here’s how chlorella can nourish you:

  • Chlorella is a natural detoxifier and antioxidant helper.  It absorbs heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, and uranium
  • Supports  immune function and  inflammation reduction by directly modulating NF-kappaB , which regulates the inflammatory response.
  • Chlorella contains more chlorophyll than most plants, along with an impressive array of vitamins and minerals: A, D, E, K1, beta carotene, lutein, B vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc
  • Makes your breast tissue and breast milk healthier by binding to fat soluble PCBs and their more toxic derivatives, furans and dioxins.
  • Chlorella supports healthy cholesterol metabolism by helping the liver convert cholesterol into bile – thus supporting the natural process by which your body clears cholesterol. It also helps to sequester the bile in your digestive tract so that the cholesterol is not re-absorbed back into your body.

Add chlorella to your smoothies for a powerful boost.

5.  Cacao Nibs

The cacao tree has been cultivated in Mexico and Central and South America for thousands of years, and it has been so highly valued that some Native peoples once used its seed, or bean, as currency. The Aztecs believed cacao to be of divine origin, and both they and the Mayans used the roasted bean in the famous beverage Chocolatl, together with vanilla and other flavorings.

Here’s how cacao can nourish you:

  • Increases blood flow to the brain and enhances brain function.
  • Promotes cardiovascular health by dilating bloods vessels,  improving circulation, and regulating heartbeat.
  • Has a high concentration of antioxidants such as polyphenols, catechins and epicatechins.  In fact cacao has 4x greater antioxidant levels than green tea.
  • Rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.
You can use cacao beans or cacao nibs to make delicious and powerful smoothies, dips, and desserts.