Happy National Nutrition Month! I know the month’s almost over and all, but it’s never too late to celebrate. This week, I interviewed for and got a job at Not Your Sugar Mamas, a chocolate company based out of Martha’s Vineyard that advocates positivity and health. All of their products are organic, raw, soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, preservative-free, and refined ickiness-free. They’re also chock-full of these pretty little ingredients called superfoods.
Superfoods are to normal foods like superheroes are to crack addicts. They’re exponentially more awesome, better for you, typically tasty, and often have the added benefit of making you feel sexy… no but really. You’ve heard that blueberries and salmon and kale are all great for you (truly, they are), but what about the less conventional superfoods? They’re too busy working overtime for your body to be popular… yet. A few of my personal favorites:
CHIA— Ch-ch-ch-chia!! Remember those spectacularly tacky chia pets? Turns out they’re not so horrible. The seeds (yes, the same ones) are loaded with all kinds of good stuff, notably fiber, protein and those glorious omega-3s. The seeds can be ground up into a powder and added to, well, anything; used like sesame seends to sautee veggies in; as a topping on oatmeal; OR–get this–they can be soaked. When the seeds soak in fluid, they retain a ton of it and build up a gooey-like casing that’s like a mini, healthy boba in a drink. Plus, drinking the seeds whole helps your body retain water and stay full. Om nom nom nom…
MACA— When I learned about maca, I immediately bought a bottle of capsulated powder. It’s a root plant originally from Peru that’s sometimes called “horny goat” plant. Goat herders noticed that their goats were especially, um, spirited after consuming the root. Check out all the amazing qualities–Maca combats fatigue, infertitility, menopause symptoms, sexual dysfuntion in men and women, and is said to increase stamina and energy. It’s nature’s remedy for depression, if you ask me. The root tends to come in powder or extract form, and is slightly sweet, making it a great addition to smoothies, baked goods, and treats of all kinds.
GOJI BERRIES— Unless you’re shopping in China or Tibet, goji berries tend to come dried, like bright red raisins With enough digging, you can also find them raw, in tea, as an extract, or in (very expensive) juice form. They’ve been used for 6,000 years by herbalists in Asia and have numerous benefits: they protect the liver, help eyesight, improve sexual function and fertility, strengthen the legs, boost immune function, and improve circulation.
SPIRULINA— Spirulina is algae. For real. But don’t write it off just yet–the blue-green algae is loaded with nutrients, B-complex vitamins, beta-carotene (that good stuff doctors like in carrots), vitamin E, chlorophyll… the list goes on. That’s one sexy algae. Spirulins is also very high in protein, and often used in powder form as a natural alternative to sugary protein powders. Additional benefits include helping prevent attention defecit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), and also combating cancer–especially oral cancer, fatigue, high cholesterol, and viral infections. It also stimulates the immune system and, if used like a protein-based meal supplement, can help facilitate weight loss.
Have a favorite superfood? Love a certain health product? Email me and I’ll research it for a blog post (and give credit!)–firstname.lastname@example.org.