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7 Superfoods you must have in your Kitchen
Recently there seems to have been a backlash against ‘Clean Eating’ in the media and we get it. You’re over ‘experts’ telling you that clean eating is THE way or the highway. To be fair so called ‘diet experts’ have been around forever. We say who cares? You don’t have to take their advice just like you don’t have to take ours.
The foods we consume. Our approach and relationship to food will always be complex. We believe that there is no exact right or wrong way and life circumstances can easily derail us when we’re making a good run of it. Life happens – both the good and the bad and that’s cool we rollercoaster with things as they come. What we do believe though is that a common-sense approach on eating more vegetables, healthy lean organic proteins and good fats mixed in with a few superfoods, regular exercise, nourishing relationships and mindfulness training – together – go a long way in helping you feel good about yourself and keeping you energised, ‘Full of beans’ as my Dad would say.
Today’s post is about ‘Superfoods’ in fact seven superfoods we’ve used regularly and work for us. We’ve done two episodes on these seven on V&S TV so do go check them out here: 7 Superfoods – Part 1 + Part 2 here: 7 Superfoods – Part 2
Using these seven superfoods on a regular basis makes us feel like we’re taking responsibility for our own health & wellbeing. Fundamentally though it’s always going to be your choice. Just as it may be your choice to shun this post, believing it’s a bunch of BS (and that’s fine with us too) and carry on eating the way you do. Look if you’re full of energy, focus and you feel great then why change things up?
We reckon though that the days when you eat unrefined carbs (you know white bread, white pasta, white rice being just a few examples) and what is termed as ‘junk food’ is likely to give you an energy rush to begin with quickly followed by a crash. Throw in some foggy brain, lethargy, and our favourite Mr. Bloaty-ness and we’d guess you’re probably not feeling your best, maybe even a little under par.
Over time your body responds to these unhealthier options – your insulin response isn’t as great as it used to be. Your body’s ability to burn fat starts to decrease so we start to see a bit more puppy fat and those ever-increasing love handles. Let’s be honest though this type of food is ADDICTIVE. We’ve all heard about the dangers of sugar, but at the end of the day what passes those lips of yours is YOUR choice. Every. Single. Time.
That’s why we recommend you try adding a few ‘healthier options’ as we believe it’s a good way to balance out our natural tendencies to do #GoodCop and #BadCop. We’ve been using these seven superfoods for years and they work for us. Good health is never a quick fix, it’s about the long haul, about balance. It’s about desire, taste, texture, even how much money you’ve got to spend on food. When you’re on a budget it’s easier to go for the cheap quick fix than invest in something more nutritious that comes with a heftier price tag. And let’s face it, we all flit from GoodCop to BadCop and back again many times in a day.
We’re proposing an idea, a ‘suggestion’. That’s all it is. Why don’t you aim to consume healthy foods 50% of the time and the rest is up to you. These seven superfoods are easy to incorporate into any diet or lifestyle and upfront requires just a little investment from you. Perhaps you need to get yourself a nutribullet, perhaps invest in some frozen organic vegetables the next time you pass the freezer section in your supermarket, rather than picking up the ice cream and oven chips. And of course, buying the superfoods we recommend don’t come cheap, but are worth it in our opinion. We believe staying healthy for the long haul can be done and eating healthily on its own isn’t the answer either – though we reckon it goes a long way in improving how you feel. That’s been our experience!
So here are the seven superfoods we think you must have in your kitchen. We recommend you incorporate these into your diet for at least the next 40 days – perhaps indulging in one every day. Your body and mind will thank you for it. They won’t change your life overnight but they will help you build good healthy habits into your day to day and are packed with tonnes of goodness. They’ve worked for us so hopefully, they’ll work for you too. And if you don’t particularly like one then don’t use it. Like we said everything that passes your lips is YOUR CHOICE. Throw these onto your morning granola, into your smoothie or sprinkle onto your ice cream. The possibilities are endless and you get to choose.
- Is nature’s perfect food containing nearly all the nutrients required for human health
- Great for sexual health: aphrodisiac, fertility, prostate issues
- Improves your strength, stamina, endurance, energy, recovery and muscle growth
- Helps lower your histamine response so can be a useful aid for allergies
- For best results we take 1 tablespoon daily – we tend to sprinkle it onto our yoghurt
- It’s basically chocolate and originates from South and Central America
- The Mayans valued it so highly that it was worth more than gold to them
- Healthiest sweet fix you can get
- Highest level of antioxidants by weight on the planet – sprinkle some onto your ice cream (We did say GoodCop & BadCop were partners in crime)
- Is a great source of bio-available magnesium which relaxes muscles and is great for sleep and relieving muscle soreness
- Very rich in tryptophan which helps you sleep better
- Can also help with mood disorders and mood swings – (might explain why the ladies love chocolate just around their time of the month) Just Saying!!!!
- Easy to consume in tablet form
- Chlorella has the highest concentration of chlorophyll of any plant which means it’s great for:
- Detox: Acts directly on liver, eliminates heavy metals from the body and absorbs and helps remove toxins from the intestines
- Immune Support: Helps strengthen the immune system by increasing the number of white cells and helps fight inflammation
- Includes helpful digestive enzymes so we take about 3 grams a day in tablet form and ensure it is raw and organic
Matcha Green Tea
- Matcha is grown differently from regular green tea. The tea bushes are covered for about 20–30 days before harvest, to prevent direct sunlight. This shade stimulates an increase in chlorophyll levels, which turns the leaves into a darker shade of green and increases the production of amino acids.
- After harvesting, the stems and veins are removed from the leaves. They are then stone-ground into a fine, bright green powder, known as ‘Matcha‘.
- Great antioxidant and good for anti-ageing.
- Does have a nominal amount of caffeine. Monks drink it because it makes them and subsequently can make you feel alert and calm
- It is expensive, in UK it’s £15-20 for a pot that lasts around 2 months if drunk daily.
- It’s also incredibly versatile. Put it into your foods, smoothies and yoghurts, or just add hot water and make tea. So worth it.
- The goji berry is native to Asia
- Best anti-ageing food known to man: because it normalises your hormones which enables your body to better adapt to stress. Stress ages you pronto so it’s great that it lowers your stress hormone ‘Cortisol’
- It’s also GREAT for strength and improving sexual energy
- It is the only whole food source that directly secretes HGH – Human Growth Hormone via your pituitary and pineal glands and HGH is the big anti-ager
- Great for eye health as it has high levels of zeaxanthin
- Consume about a tablespoon daily at breakfast as they are or in smoothies and make sure they are deep dark red, raw, organic and moist. These are the best and we reckon give you the most bang for your buck nutrition wise
- Turmeric is an effective nutritional supplement
- Many high-quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain
- Recently, science has started to back up what Indians have known for a long time… it contains compounds with medicinal properties
- These compounds are called ‘Curcuminoids’, the most important of which is ‘Curcumin‘ – the main active ingredient in turmeric and has powerful anti-inflammatory effects + is a strong antioxidant
- Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%. So pop a bit of pepper into the mix for maximum benefit
- Due to its powerful antioxidant properties, turmeric neutralises free radicals on its own, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes
- Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in the brain
- There is emerging scientific evidence that turmeric aka curcumin may help prevent and alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s, heart disease and depression.
- Drink a turmeric tea or throw some into your curry or smoothie. It only does you good
- And finally it’s pretty cheap. Go to an Asian supermarket. Buy a big container, it’ll last you years
- This is our favourite. In Sanskrit it is known as ‘The tree that supplies all that you need to live’
- Coconut Water – Due to its 9-month natural filtration process coconut water has an incredibly high source of electrolytes – way better than the fizzy, sugary drinks you have when working out at the gym to replace lost energy. Drink Coconut Water instead to replace lost electrolytes.
- Coconut Oil:
- The saturated fat is in the form of ‘medium chain fatty acids’ so is easily metabolised by the body
- We use it for moisturising our hair, as a face cleanser, cuticle nourisher and as food
- Whilst olive oil can be good for your hair it doesn’t actually penetrate the hair shaft and due to coconut oil’s medium chain structure – it does. That’s why in places like India, coconut oil has been revered for eons for giving you long, lush, soft, shiny hair if that’s what you’re after
- Best thing – it literally does NOT get stored as fat, like seriously and is so good for you. Combine hot cocount oil with a head massage. It makes your hair feel softer and stronger, not to mention it’s utter bliss!
- We consume up to 2 tablespoons every day in our smoothies, pour it over our salads and soups or mix it into other hot dishes we make. If you’re game then go direct though we have to admit, that’s not our favourite way of consuming it
- We cook with it because it’s one of the most stable oils for high temperature cooking, whereas oils like olive oil release toxins at high temperatures
- All in all we try to get in about 3 tablespoons daily. Maybe start with one and see how you go
So there you have our seven favourite superfoods that we reckon make a brilliant addition to anyone’s kitchen and health. Try getting into the habit of having one from the list each day of the week and go from there.
Dimple, V&S Founder xo
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