Did everyone have a nice weekend? I figured we’d kick off the week with a lesson on superfoods. Warning: there’s a lot of info here, don’t get overwhelmed.
Before we dive in, what is a superfood? Definition: a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being (thank you Oxford Dictionaries). I recently watched a lecture with David Wolfe, Health, Eco, Nutrition, and Natural Beauty Expert, on the subject of raw foods, where he touched on some of the top raw superfoods. Enjoy!
The Top Seven
- Cacao (aka Raw Chocolate) – the highest antioxidant food on the planet! Raw Chocolate improves cardiovascular health, builds strong bones, is a natural aphrodisiac and elevates and mood and energy. What’s not to like?!
- Goji Berries – contain 18 amino acids, up to 21 trace minerals, antioxidants, iron, polysaccharides and B & E vitamins
- Hempseeds (Raw) – rich in iron, amino acids, vitamin E and omega-3
- Maca – contains more than 10% protein and nearly 20 amino acids; increases energy, endurance, strength and libido
- Chlorella – complete protein and contains the highest chlorophyll content of any food on Earth
- Aloe Vera (the gel)
- Noni powder
I have to experiment with these myself, and plan to keep you in the loop. In the meantime you may be wondering how you can incorporate some of these superfoods into your diet, right? Make a smoothie!
Superfood Smoothie – just throw in the blender (I made sure to include the easier to find items for your convenience):
- Coconut water
- Cacao powder (~2 tablespoons)
- Berries – goji berries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries – up to you!
- Some sort of butter or oil – almond butter, coconut butter/oil (a dollop or two) – this just kind of holds everything together
- Maybe some maca (~1 tsp) and/or blue/green algae (~1 tsp)
- Want it sweet? Try some honey (to taste)
I realize you can’t just run to the store and pick up some of these items above, which is why I am going to refer to an article I came across last week – 6 Superfoods You Need to Know About by Dr. Jesse Chappus. Hopefully you recognize most of these superfoods (and won’t have much trouble finding them at your local store):
- Chia Seeds – contain lots of antioxidants, are a good sources of omega-3s and protein. And let’s not forget, fiber!
- Acai Berry – help boost blood circulation and immune system (vitamin C)
- Kale – loaded with vitamins A, C and K. Also high in iron.
- Cacao/Chocolate – see above
- Broccoli – vitamin C and fiber
- Coconut Oil – so many uses, from cooking to skin care – coconut oil increases HDL (that’s the happy cholesterol) and helps build immunity. I’ll be doing a blog on this topic soon!
There are many more, but this is a good start… Now go incorporate!
Okay, enough about superfoods – onto dinner. I hope you didn’t forget that today is Meatless Monday!!! (And yes, I’m hoping to get all my readers to pledge.) Anyway, today I was craving a Greek Salad. So, I got creative and came up with my own recipe, slightly different than what you may be expecting:
Greek Salad Quinoa
- Quinoa – prepare 1 c dry as directed
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
- Red onion (small) – about half, diced
- 10 Kalmata olives, halved
- 1/2 c feta
- Garlic – 4 cloves
- EVOO, ~3 tbsp
- Juice of one lemon
- Salt & pepper to taste
While the quinoa was simmering I was able to prep most of the veggies. Once the quinoa cooled, I tossed everything in a big bowl, mixed it and dinner was served!
I love veggies, so I went a tad overboard on them. But try it out, and let me know what you think! Obviously I’m going to be bias – it was really good.