Viewing entries in
Guides

Pantry essentials: SUPERFOODS

Comment

Pantry essentials: SUPERFOODS

Perhaps you have heard of the incredible health benefits of Superfoods, but you are wondering why they are so special and how to incorporate them into your daily diet. In this post I will share exactly what Superfoods are and why they are so important, as well as my top 6 favourite Superfoods. These are the ones I always have in my pantry which appear in many of my recipes. They are easily available and a great place to get started! So let's get to it.

What are Superfoods?

 Superfoods are the most potent, nutrient-dense foods available in the world. They have an incredibly high nutritional value that is incomparable to normal foods such as fruits and vegetables. These super-concentrated foods are densely packed with antioxidants, enzymes, essential fatty acids, good fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals, and each superfood contains a dozen or more properties. 

Following is a list of the top superfoods categorised into groups. Don't get overwhelmed by this list, I share it for informational purposes. 

Algae

  • AFA blue-green algae
  • chlorella
  • spirulina
  • kelp

Bee products

  • bee pollen
  • honey
  • propolis
  • royal jelly

Cacao products

  • cacao powder
  • cacao nibs
  • cacao butter

Coconut products

  • coconut oil
  • coconut flesh - shredded or flakes
  • coconut cream

Fruits

  • goji berries
  • mulberries
  • incan berries
  • açai berries
  • camu camu powder
  • baobab powder
  • lucuma

Roots and grasses 

  • maca powder
  • wheatgrass 

Seeds

  • hempseeds
  • chia seeds

 

Why use Superfoods?

Superfoods are ancient foods that grow in some of the most remote places on earth where local inhabitants have harnessed their powers for centuries. Luckily these powerhouses are now available to us and adding them to our diet will provide maximum nutrition, meeting and exceeding ALL our nutritional requirements, from protein to essential fatty acids. 

They greatly improve overall health, dramatically increase energy levels, strengthen the immune system, improve libido and athletic performance, enhance mental clarity and focus, increase longevity and many more health benefits.  Basically, Superfoods cleanse, detox, energise and deeply nourish every organ, bone and tissue in our body. For all these reasons superfoods can delay the signs of aging, and even prevent or improve the symptoms of a variety of major modern diseases.

How to buy and include Superfoods?

Superfoods should be raw and organic so they are clean, pesticide and chemical-free, and provide higher amounts of nutrition. Since the soil and most of the foods out there are low in nutrients, its important to invest in good quality superfoods as the medicine that will fill in all the nutritional gaps and deficiencies. To get the maximum benefit from superfoods, they are best eaten raw to ensure they preserve all their properties intact, as some of them are sensitive to heat and will loose their benefits once cooked.

❤  You can add superfoods into smoothies and shakes, treats, trail mixes, desserts and dressings or simply sprinkle them on top of your granola, smoothie bowl or cereal. The best place to start is by adding 1 teaspoon of any Superfood to your smoothies, specially in the morning. This way you kick start your day with an easily digestible breakfast packed with nutrition which will enhance your natural energy, clarity and focus for the rest of the day. Superfood smoothies are the single most important change towards a healthier mind and body. 


my top 6 favourite superfoods

These are my favourite top 6 because they are easy to find and easy to include. Once you buy a pack you will have it in your pantry ready to use, and they last a good while too. You will also find them in many of my recipes so its always good to have them around if you are running out of ideas.

Chia seeds have been used by the Mayas and the Aztecs as a source of energy for centuries. These tiny seeds have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, are loaded with antioxidants, contain high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids and protein. They promote bowel movements, detoxification and boost the immune system. 

❤ They can be added to smoothies, nut milks, shakes or juices. Stir them into yogurt, nut spreads, cereal or porridge. Soak them in water to for a gel-like substance as a base to a chia pudding or dessert.

Raw Cacao contains high amounts of magnesium which balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, regulates blood pressure and prevents constipation. Cacao is one of the most antioxidant foods in the planet. It also contains serotonin which regulates mood and provides a sense of happiness and well-being. Cacao is also high in sulfur, the beauty mineral which contributes to strong hair, nails and beautiful skin. Always choose raw organic 100% pure cacao. 

❤ Use cacao powder in smoothies, nut milks, treats or desserts. Sprinkle cacao nibs on cereals, smoothies, porridges and desserts.

Maca powder comes from a root that grows in Peru, a powerful adaptogen that increases the body's resistance to stress and anxiety. It is also a powerful libido enhancer, enhances fertility in men and women, balances hormones and promotes reproductive health. It boosts immune system, provides energy, increases physical strength and aids in athletic performance.

❤ Start with 1 tsp and gradually make your way up to 1 tbs. Add it to your smoothies, drinks or nut milks. Add it to your porridge, nut spread, chia pudding, treats or desserts.

Goji berries are extremely rich in antioxidants which promote longevity and contribute to cardiovascular and immune system health. They contain betaine, carotenoids, and zeaxanthin, nutrients that build muscles and protect the skin, eyes and liver. Gojis enhance strength and stamina as well as sexual energy. They are a complete protein source and contain more than 21 trace minerals such as zinc, calcium and iron.

❤ Eat them as a snack on their own, or add them to your favourite nuts. Add them to granola, porridge, smoothies, yogurt, bars and other treats.

Coconut products benefit the heart, brain and stomach, amongst others. They improve digestion and absorption of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Coconut is a natural antibiotic that contains a fatty acid that naturally fights off bacteria, virus and fungus. The saturated fat content of coconut oil is from medium chain fatty acids that support the immune system and nervous system, boost metabolism and aid weight loss.

❤ Choose unrefined virgin coconut oil and use it for cooking, baking, in desserts, treats and smoothies, use it also as a skin moisturiser or makeup remover. Use unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut in smoothies, treats, desserts, trail mixes, or sprinkle it over porridges, cereals, or yogurt. 

Bee pollen is the most complete and nutritious food found in the planet. Its a complete source of protein, a great source of healthy fats, enzymes, B vitamins, and contains a long list of minerals. It increases strength, energy and endurance while providing quicker recovery from exercise. It also increases muscle growth and definition. It increases longevity, rejuvenates and heals hormonal imbalances.

❤ Add 1/2 tsp to your smoothie, nut milk, post work out shake, cereal or yogurt. Sprinkle over desserts or sweets.


Start by adding 1 or 2 new sexy superfoods to your diet this week and gradually expand your selection. You can add them at a pace that suits you and that allows you to experiment with each one until you find your favourite way to eat it. I promise you will quickly notice the glowing results from eating these incredible superfoods. 

Comment

Fall Produce Guide

Comment

Fall Produce Guide

Since nowadays most supermarkets carry every food we can think of, we have lost touch and forgotten the seasonality of produce. Because eating local and seasonal has tremendous benefits, I have created this guide to help you identify what's in season in autumn. This is a selection of popular, very nutritious fruits and vegetables that are commonly available throughout the fall.

❤ TIP: Use these ingredients in your recipes, both raw and cooked, to receive all their health-giving properties. Boil, roast, sauté, mix into salads, stir-frys, soups, sauces or dips, experiment also with juices, smoothies or desserts. Rotate them often to receive all the different properties of each food. If there are any ingredients in this list that you have never tried before, I encourage you to pick a new vegetable or fruit to experiment with each week. 

I hope this guide gets you excited to include and enjoy more of these fruits and veggies in you diet, and to get creative with them!

 

vegetables

 

Beetroots promote liver detoxification, improve circulation and purify the blood. High in antioxidants and phytochemicals that maintain a healthy heart, improve nerve functions and lower blood pressure. 

Cabbage has a balancing and grounding effect. It stimulates digestion, aids bowel regularity, and promotes liver detoxification. Contains sulfur, a beauty mineral which contributes to great skin.

Celery lowers blood pressure and reduces risk of blood clots and strokes. Beneficial for skin, nails, bones, muscles and joints. It also reduces cortisol, the stress hormone. Celery is high in fiber, inducing a feeling a fullness. 

Mushrooms contain powerful medicinal properties, some varieties more than others. Include button mushroom, crime, shiitake, chaga or reishi. They boost the immune system, and fight inflammation.

Winter Squashes come in different varieties but they all share similar benefits. These high fiber foods promote bowel regularity. They contain vitamins that keep a heart healthy, fight inflammation, and support a healthy pregnancy.

FallProduce-2.jpg

Broccoli contains important medicinal properties. Promotes eye health, encourages great skin, repairs damaged tissue, helps strengthen the immune system, and blocks the growth of cancer cells.

Cauliflower can protect against prostate cancer, can reduce the risk of heart disease, and reduce inflammation. High in vitamin C and K, B vitamins, folate, and fiber. The orange variety is higher in vitamin A.

Jerusalem Artichoke is a root that is eaten just like a potato. Its high in fiber which helps keep a healthy digestive system. Contains good amounts of iron and potassium, as well as vitamin A and vitamin C.

Sweet Potatoes keep steady blood sugar levels. Provide high amounts of beta-carotene and vitamin C, which combats free radicals, support the immune system, and keep skin healthy and young.

Brussel Sprouts (from the cabbage family) are higher in anti-cancer compounds than other cabbages. High in vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C make it a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Carrots are high in fiber, promoting a feeling of fullness, and aiding bowel regularity. Contains carotenoids, lycopene, lutein and silicon which contribute to good eye sight, healthy skin, hair and nails.

Kale is an exceptional source of chlorophyll, calcium, iron, magnesium, and antioxidants. Promotes detoxification, hormone balance, and strong bones. Its anti-inflammatory and aids digestion.

Swiss Chard helps balance blood sugar levels. The colours in the leaves and stems are loaded with phytonutrients which provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.

 

fruits

 

Apples help reduce both constipation and diarrhoea. It also maintain stable blood sugar. The antioxidants in apples help preserve bone health, protect against free radical damage to the heart, bones and blood, and fights inflammation.

Pears contain water-soluble fiber which greatly reduce constipation. A combination of potassium, pectins and tannins help dissolve uric acid, beneficial for gout and arthritis. 

Figs reduce constipation due to the high fiber content, maintaining a healthy digestive system. They contain high amounts of calcium and potassium, which regulate blood pressure, the proper functioning of muscles and nerves, and strengthen bones. 

Persimmons (aka Kaki) are a great source of fiber and energy. They contain powerful antioxidants that fight free radical damage and inflammation in the body. 

Grapes are high in antioxidants which protect from free radical damage, protect against cancer, and promote healthy skin. Particularly high in resveratrol, which has antiaging properties. Can also act as a diuretic, helping to flush our excess water.

Pomegranates contain antioxidants and flavonoids that reduce inflammation, promote joint health, and can protect against breast, prostate, colon and lung cancer. The juice improves blood flow, decreases blood pressure and protects against heart disease.

 

This list is by no means exact or complete, its meat to serve as a rough guide of what is commonly available during the fall in the northern hemisphere. For information purposes I have included a small intro to some of the benefits and properties of these foods. However, instead of focusing on these properties, focus on eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, frequently. They will ALL do you good, no matter what!

Comment