Superfood musthaves E BOOK .pdf
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By Lisa Guy, ND
Top 18 SUPERFOOD Must-haves
Here are 18 top SUPERFOODS that are jam-packed with
goodness and health-promoting nutrients, to prevent disease
and help you reach optimal health and super nutrition.
Spirulina is a type of fresh water algae that possesses many wonderful
healing and health-promoting properties. This superfood is an excellent
source of high quality protein that is easily digested and is considered a
complete protein, as it contains all essential amino acids.
Spirulina is an extremely nutrient rich food, packed with B vitamins
(including folate and B12), needed for healthy nerve function and red
blood cell production, vitamins C, E, D, and beta-carotene for a strong
immune system, and vitamin K, needed for healthy blood clotting and
bones. Spirulina is a good source of minerals calcium, magnesium and
potassium, important for cardiovascular health, zinc for immune
function, and important trace minerals and chlorophyll. Being a good
source of protein and magnesium, spirulina helps stabilise blood sugar
levels and curb sugar cravings, making this superfood ideal for
This health promoting algae also is one of the best sources of gammalinolenic acid (GLA), an omega-3 essential fatty acid necessary for
healthy brain and heart function. Spirulina is rich in a phytochemical,
called phycocyanin, which gives spirulina its characteristic blue hue.
Phycocyanin helps strengthen the immune system and possesses anticancerous properties.
A good maintenance dose is 10 – 20g a day, taken in tablet, capsule
or powder form.
2. RAW CACAO
Raw cacao is one of our greatest live superfoods. Cacao was named
Theobroma, meaning 'food of the gods. It was Mexicans who first
named the pounded seeds 'Chocolate.' Cacao contains high levels of
potent chocolate antioxidants including resveratrol and polyphenols ,
as well as vitamin C. Dark chocolate contains these antioxidants but in
lower levels because they usually degrade when heated. Cacao has
10 or more times the antioxidants of well known antioxidant sources
green tea, red wine and blueberries.
Chocolate when it’s in its raw cacao form, either as raw cacao beans,
nibs, powder or butter, has many wonderful health benefits including
promoting heart and cardiovascular health. Polyphenols in cacao can
prevent bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol from clogging up arteries, lower total
cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. Including cacao in the diet will
also help keep your blood sugar levels balanced due to it being one of
the richest sources of magnesium and chromium. This makes cacao an
ideal food for diabetics and for people on weight loss programs. It’s
when unhealthy ingredients such as sugar and butterfat are added to
make chocolate that it can negatively affect your health.
Cacao beans and nibs can be added to trail mixes or added to muesli,
or the powder used in cakes and desserts or smoothies.
Quinoa (pronounced keen wa) is a highly nutritious ancient grain that is
an excellent source of protein, containing more protein than any other
grain. Eating quinoa can help lower your cholesterol levels as it is a
great source of fibre, helping to promote cardiovascular health.
Quinoa will supply you with a range of important nutrients such as iron
and B vitamins, for red blood cell production and energy, calcium for
strong bones, magnesium for nervous system health, and vitamin E, a
powerful antioxidant. Quinoa is also an ideal grain for diabetics as it
has a low glycaemic index, which will help keep blood sugar levels
stable and prevent sharp spikes in insulin. You can use quinoa in a
similar way to rice, delicious with salads, stir-fries or curries.
4. COCONUT OIL
Coconuts have been a staple
for people from tropical regions
for centuries and have potent
nutritional and healing powers.
The common myth that
coconut oil is bad for you has
been widely dispelled by
current research, giving us
good reason to re-introduce this
healthy oil back into our diets.
Coconut oil is made from the
meat of mature coconuts and contains medium chain fatty acids
(MCFA), which is a type of fat that behaves differently from other fats.
MCFA fats can be absorbed straight into the cell where it can
immediately be burned up as energy, making it less likely to be stored
as fat. This makes coconut oil ideal for assisting in weight loss.
Coconut oil also contains high levels of lauric acid, which helps to
strengthen the immune system and has the ability to attack viruses,
bacteria and other pathogens. Lauric acid and caprylic acid in
coconut oil also protect against candida and yeast infections.
Use extra-virgin unrefined coconut oil, which retains its light aroma and
taste in addition to amazing health benefits. Coconut oil is one of the
best oils to cook with as it won’t turn into harmful trans-fats when
heated at higher temperatures. Substitute it for unhealthy vegetable
oils, butter or margarine, for baking or stir-frying.
Kefir is a fermented milk drink, similar to drinking-yoghurt but with a
more tart taste. Kefir is considered a probiotic food, containing more
than 30 different beneficial bacteria. Including kefir in your diet will help
to promote a healthy balance of intestinal flora, which will improve
your digestion, boost your immune health and help to produce
vitamins B12 and K. Kefir will also provide you with plenty of calcium
and magnesium, to look after your nervous system, and vitamin A and
D, to support good immune function. Kefir is a great source of protein,
being especially abundant in the amino acid tryptophan, which is
known for its calming effect and sleep support. The best way to have
kefir is to drink it on its own, add it to smoothies, or make a salad
dressing with it.
Kale is one of the healthiest vegies around. Like other brassica vegies,
eating kale regularly will help support proper liver detoxification and
reduce the risk of cancer. Kale helps fight cancer as it contains anticancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates, together with high levels
of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega-3 fats.
Kale is an excellent source of dietary fibre, helping to keep blood sugar
and cholesterol levels stable. Kale also boosts high doses of vitamin C
and A, both important nutrients for strengthening immune function. This
super vegie will also provide you with loads of vitamin K, needed by the
body to keep bones healthy and for blood clotting. Ideal added to
salads and stir-fries, kale with its delicious peppery taste, can be eaten
raw or cooked, however steaming kale for around 5 minutes will
enhance its flavour and nutritional value.
7. WHITE TEA
White tea comes from the same tea plant as green tea, however its
leaves are harvested at a younger age. White tea actually contains
even higher levels of antioxidants than green, due to even less
processing. White tea contains antioxidants that have been found to
have many health promoting properties including boosting
cardiovascular health, helping to lower cholesterol, reducing the risk of
cancer and enhancing weight loss. White tea which has a smoother,
gentler taste to green, also contains less caffeine, so it is a better
choice for those who are sensitive to caffeine. Three cups a day is a
great way to reap the health benefits of this super tea.
Avocados with their smooth,
buttery flesh are an excellent
source of heart healthy fats and
other important vitamins and
minerals needed for good
Avocados are an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats,
namely oleic acid, known to help lower cholesterol levels, decreasing
‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and raising ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. These healthpromoting fats will help promote good cardiovascular health.
Avocados also provide carotenoids, lutein and beta-carotene, as well
as vitamin E, which all act as antioxidants helping to protect the body
against free radical damage. Due to their antioxidant and
monounsaturated fat content, eating avocados may help reduce the
risk of certain types of cancer.
These highly nutritious fruits are also a good source of vitamin K,
needed for healthy blood clotting and bones, dietary fibre for bowel
health, and vitamin C for a strong functioning immune system.
Avocados also contain B vitamins such as folate, needed for red blood
cell production, and are a good source of potassium, important for
healthy blood pressure. Avocados are also a good vegetarian source
9. PURPLE BERRIES
Purple berries such as acai, maqui, elderberry, and black current, are
some of the richest sources of antioxidants of all fruits, being around
50% higher in antioxidants than some of the more common types of
berries. Their dark purple colour indicates the presence of high levels of
powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins. Including these berries in
your diet will help protect you from chronic diseases such as
cardiovascular disease and cancer and help to slow down the aging
process. Purple berries like other berries are excellent sources of
vitamins A and C, which are both important immune boosting nutrients.
Chia is the richest plant source of omega-3 fats and exerts a number of
mighty health benefits.These tiny super seeds contain around 32%
omega-3 fats, which are essential for cardiovascular health, needed
for healthy brain and nervous system function, and for soft, supple,
youthful looking skin. Chia seeds are also a good source of dietary fibre
– needed for bowel health, and protein – providing the body with
essential amino acids for growth and repair. Chia seeds contain
calcium – beneficial for bone health, and provide other minerals such
as iron, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins, which will naturally boost
energy levels and health.
The best way to add chia seeds to your diet is to sprinkle a teaspoon
over muesli, porridge and other breakfast cereals. Add seeds to
smoothies, salads, stir-fries or sprinkle over vegetables. Give a nutritional
boost to homemade oat cookies, muffins, muesli slices and banana
Garlic contains sulphur
compounds that have
powerful, immuneenhancing actions. Garlic is
also a good source of
vitamins A, C, and minerals
selenium, sulphur and zinc,
which are all play pivotal
roles in immune function.
Garlic contains anti-tumour
compounds and reduces the production of free radicals that cause
damage to cells in the body.
Garlic can help prevent atherosclerosis by lowering cholesterol and
triglyceride levels, and also has the ability to help lower blood sugar
levels, making it beneficial for people with diabetes.
Eating garlic regularly will help protect you against infections, colds
and flu, as it has anti-bacterial, fungal and viral action.
Some health promoting sulphur compounds are destroyed during
cooking, so eating raw garlic is recommended to reap garlic’s full
health benefits. When you do cook with garlic, add it in at the end to
preserve more of its health-promoting elements.
Throughout history the pomegranate has been admired as a symbol of
health, fertility and rebirth. Scientists today have found that eating
pomegranates can promote good health and help prevent the
development of chronic disease such as cancer.
This delicious vibrantly-coloured fruit is considered a superfood as it is
rich in health promoting phytochemicals, which act as potent
antioxidants that fight free radical damage in the body. Pomegranates
actually contain three times as many antioxidants as green tea and
more antioxidants than red wine. Pomegranates contain many
important vitamins and nutrients necessary for good health such as
vitamin A, C, E and iron and folic acid. However it’s most important
health benefits come from its rich antioxidant content.
Antioxidants found in pomegranates help prevent the development of
certain types of cancers and also help to clear arteries of plaque,
which lowers blood pressure and helps reduce the risk of heart disease
and stroke, as well as lowering bad LDL cholesterol.
Eating pomegranates can also benefit your oral health, as they can
help reduce dental plaque build-up, reducing the risk of gum disease
and bad breath. Pomegranates may also be beneficial for preventing
osteoarthritis as they contain a compound that helps slow down
cartilage destruction, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Pomegranates are delicious eaten on their own, tossed through
summer salads, or as a juice.
Seaweed is a fabulous superfood that is extremely nutritious and
contains extraordinary health-promoting compounds that are not
found in any other plant. Adding seaweed to the diet is an excellent
way to increase your antioxidant intake and help protect yourself from
cancer. Seaweed is also a good source of zinc, needed for immune
health, B vitamins and iron to improve energy levels and iodine,
needed for healthy thyroid function. Seaweed is also a good source of
calcium for strong bones and teeth. There are many different types of
seaweed including kelp, nori, and akrame, which you can purchase
from health food stores and supermarkets. Seaweed can be added to
soups, stir-fries, and salads, or used to make nori rolls.
Tomatoes are no ordinary fruit. Eaten
regularly tomatoes could protect you
from many degenerative diseases such
as cardiovascular disease, premature
aging, cancer and cataracts.
Red tomatoes are the richest source of
Lycopene, a type of carotenoid found in
red fruits that have powerful antioxidant
properties. This extremely efficient antioxidant has the ability to
neutralise oxygen-derived free radicals that cause cell damage, linked
to the development of chronic diseases. Numerous studies have shown
that eating a diet rich in lycopene-containing foods is beneficial for
warding off heart disease and several types of cancers. Lycopene is
known to have anti-cancer properties, particularly against prostate
Fresh tomatoes are the best source, however cooked tomato products
such as pastes, sauces and soups are more concentrated. One cup of
tomato soup contains 7 times more lycopene than one fresh tomato.
Turmeric is one of Mother Nature’s more powerful healers. Long known
for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that
turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of
many different health conditions such as heart disease, obesity and
Alzheimer’s disease. The medicinal properties of this spice are due to
the presence of the antioxidant curcumin.
Curcumin may help protect the heart. Inflammation can stiffen the
heart muscle by stimulating extra collagen to form around heart cells this forces the heart to work harder. Curcumin can help prevent this
Curcumin may also help preserve memory and reduce the risk of
Alzheimer’s disease. India has the lowest incidence of Alzheimer’s in
the world, with just 1% of those over 65 developing the degenerative
brain disease. Alzheimer’s disease is characterised by the build-up of
amyloid protein ‘plaques’ within the brain, blocking connections
between nerve cells crucial for memory. Curcumin reduces the
accumulation of amyloid proteins.
The best way to include more turmeric in your diet is by mixing it
through steamed rice, or rice salad and enjoying in a variety of curries.
This common root vegetable is much more than just a tasty addition to
your sandwiches. This wonderful ‘superfood’ is packed with healthpromoting antioxidants and other essential vitamins and minerals
needed for good health and prevention of disease.
Beetroot has been found to have anti-cancerous properties. Its vibrant
purple-coloured pigment contains powerful antioxidants that help