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Superfoods You Won’t Stop Hearing About In 2019

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Superfoods You Won’t Stop Hearing About In 2019

Penny Megginson Method Retreat Apple

Let’s face it: we often don’t have the time to have a proper meal with fresh ingredients. We rush through a sandwich at our computer desks, we skip meals and end up craving sugar and salt as our body lacks essential nutrients. 

But if we create an easy system for good nutrition in a way that fits into our lives, we would get healthier and feel energized.  

One simple strategy is to start off each morning with a smoothie or vegetable juice which you can add superfoods to. You can also make a smoothie bowl:  just add these superfoods to a yoghurt with berries and nuts/ seeds. Another option is to replace your morning or afternoon coffee with a superfood hot beverage instead.

There are superfoods which can provide extremely high levels of nutrients and anti-inflammatory benefits which help with chronic pain.  Scientists now believe that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, western disease including heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions.  Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation can help prevent and even treat these diseases.

While providing high levels of anti-inflammatory benefit, many of these potent superfoods have also been shown to increase brain function and are great sources of natural energy to ward off fatigue.

These are two superfoods that, in powder form, can be added to a smoothie or smoothie bowl to give you high levels of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits.  I chose them because many feel that spirulina can have a strong “taste” so the rich flavor of the cacao works well together with spirulina.  Try these two together mixed with yogurt or almond milk and fresh or frozen berries.  Just a tip, if you use frozen berries it gives a cold and thicker smoothie which is as good as a milkshake.  

  1. Spirulina
Spirulina Smoothie

Oxidative damage can harm our DNA and cells which leads to chronic inflammation, which contributes to cancer and other diseases.

Spirulina is an excellent source of antioxidants which can protect against oxidative damage.

The main active component is calledphycocyanin, whichgives spirulina its unique blue-green color.

Phycocyanin can fight free radicals and inhibit production of inflammatory signalling molecules, providing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

2. Cacao

With one of the highest concentrations of magnesium, Cacao helps to create high levels of energy and fight fatigue. Magnesium also helps to protect against osteoporosis, reduce type II diabetes, and lowers blood pressure.

  • Improves cognitive function and prevents Alzheimer’s – A Harvard study by Dr. Gary Small, showed that middle-aged people who drank two cups a day had improved memory and increased blood flow to the brain.
  • More Happiness: Some days you just need to find your bliss – cacao is one of the healthiest foods, you can consume. Cacao contains the mood improver, anandamide – known as the bliss molecule, which creates a feeling of euphoria.
  • Aphrodisiac– Another mood-enhancing compound found in cacao is PEA or phenethylamine, which triggers the release of endorphins and pleasurable opium-like neurochemicals. These often release naturally when we fall in love and during sexual activity. (The only other food on earth that contains PEA is blue-green algae.)
  • In addition, these chemicals improve libido, which is probably why chocolate is so popular on Valentine ’s Day or as a token of love. 
  • Cacao boosts brain levels of serotonin, the “feel good” brain chemical. When women are experiencing PMS, serotonin levels drop dramatically. The benefits of cacao are proven to boost the brain levels of calming hormones and restore feelings of well-being.

Skip the sugar in chocolate bars and just use raw cacao nibs, which are essentially pieces of raw chocolate without anything added to it. They’re crunchy, with a deep chocolate flavor that’s a little bitter

An easy way to add the cacao nibs to your diet is to mix them with chia seeds, sesame or hemp seeds and cinnamon and sprinkle it over oatmeal or yogurt

 Or why not try replacing your morning or afternoon coffee with a matcha latte or turmeric latte?

3. Matcha

When you drink matcha you ingest the entire leaf and receive 100% of the nutrients of the leaf.  Matcha powdered green tea has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea. 

One cup of matcha = 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea in terms of nutritional content

Health benefits of matcha:

  • Is packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg
  • Boosts metabolism and burns calories
  • Detoxifies effectively and naturally
  • Calms the mind and relaxes the body
  • Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
  • Enhances mood and aids in concentration
  • Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
  • Prevents disease
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

One of the major health benefits of matcha tea is that it delivers a mega dose of antioxidants in every sip. According to the latest research on antioxidants, matcha is packed with more antioxidants than any other ‘superfood’.

4. Tumeric

Golden latte

An old indian spice with a powerful medicinal compound called Curcumin. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

It has even been shown in research to be as effective as some anti-inflammatory drugs without any side effects.  It works by blocking a molecule that travels into the nuclei of your cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. This molecule is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases.

Curcumin has also been linked to increased brain function.  Within the brain, neurons are capable of forming new connections, but in certain areas of the brain they can also multiply and increase in number. This process occurs due to brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone that functions in your brain.

Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of this hormone, including depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

Interestingly, curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF.  Because of this, it may be effective in delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function.

While it is difficult for most of us to stick to a healthy eating plan, finding easy ways to include powerful superfoods can help against chronic pain or chronic fatigue or even maintain or increase healthy brain function to perform at your best. Add these superfoods to a diet based on vegetables and fruit and healthy proteins and fats and you will feel the difference.

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