A super food is a nutrient rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and wellbeing. Although, advertisers have been throwing around the word quite loosely these days, the concept behind the term remains quite real. A super food is a food occurring naturally in nature that contains a high ratio of micronutrients to calories. These culinary super heroes are my cocktail superstars and they deserve a spotlight! Make sure to look for additional notes throughout the book. Here are some highlights:
The acai berry was long cherished by the Amazonian people. This unique berry has an extraordinary amount of antioxidants that protect the tissues and cells of the body. The little acai berry also packs more grams of protein than an egg, and when combined with its host of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, acai has been shown to improve the look and texture of your hair, skin and nails.
High in fat (the good kind) may help reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. Also high in fiber and potassium.
This humble root vegetable holds a wealth of nutrients, including beta carotene and folic acid, fiber and iron. The leafy greens are even more nutritious, with double the potassium, folic acid, calcium, and iron.
Almost all berries rank among the world’s most nutritious fruits. Their concentrated micronutrients make them one of the best sources of antioxidants.
A prized food of the Mayan’s, cacao is the raw, natural source of one of the most cherished treats of all time: chocolate! And in its unprocessed form, cacao ranks as one of the most anti-oxidant rich foods in the world. Cacao is also rich in minerals and is the top plant based sources of magnesium.
Crunch your way to better vision, healthier kidneys and a stronger liver with this sweet, bright root. Carrots also provide more health promoting antioxidant, carotenoid, than any other vegetable.
A staple food for the Aztecs and Mayans, “chia,” the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” was a prized food that helped provide sustainable energy. The tiny seed is loaded with fiber, protein, omega 3 fatty acids and a variety of micronutrients.
keeps the body alkaline, helps the body defend against the common cold and helps fight inflammation. *When peeling citrus fruits, leave the white pith, full of fiber rich pectin, that helps lower your cholesterol. And don’t toss the peel if its organic, the zest offers limonoids, a bitter tasting lipid that protects the fruit from fungi and is a powerful carcinogen.
This hydrating beverage extracted from coconuts is extremely rich in natural electrolytes, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium. It is also isotonic to human plasma, and has been used in extreme emergencies to quickly rehydrate the human body when administered intravenously.
Dates contain selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium, all of which are integral to healthy bone development and strength. They are also a great source of fiber, iron, vitamin A and many B vitamins as well. They provide an instant energy boost and are one of the best sources for potassium.
Have long been used in natural remedies and homeopathic health treatments. Flowers such as camomille, marigold, elderflower, jasmine, lavender, hibiscus and rose have been infused and distilled for centuries and continue to be used in liqueurs and syrups and I have included recipes for both.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and especially vegetables deserve more respect! For the small amount of calories they contain, they deliver the most nutrients of any class of food. How sad that in most households vegetables are relegated to the corner of the plate, forced to eat because they “are good for us.” Vegetables are an excellent low-calorie source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, and it is time we see them in a new, delicious way! The only rules when it comes to fruits and veggies are: eat a wide variety, eat as organic as possible, and eat as many as possible.
Goji berries, also called wolfberries, or “red diamonds” due to their unusually high nutritional value, are native fruits to southeastern Europe and Asia. They are characterized by their bright orange-red color and raisin-like shape. They have been cultivated in Asia for over 2000 years, where Traditional Chinese medicine has been using the berries for medicinal purposes. They are an excellent source of antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamins A, C and E.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Exceptionally high in chlorophyll, these greens also contain large amounts of vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.
Herbs and spices
Just like leafy greens, herbs such as parsley and oregano can claim super food status and contain medicinal properties. *Try a different green at the market each week and explore the subtle differences between varieties, some mild, some bitter, some spicy
are rich in Vitamin C, E and lutein and may lower high cholesterol.
is a fermented tea drink that has been a premium health tonic for centuries. Kombucha contains an exceptional quantity of energizing enzymes, vitamins, and beneficial bacteria. You can follow my recipe to make your own or pick up a batch at your local health food store or even your local kombucha bar if you have one popping up in your hood.
Are the single highest known antioxidant fruit in the world, almost doubling the antioxidant activity of the acai berry. They have strong concentration of polyphenols and anthocyanins, which repair and protect DNA and improve brain function. Fresh berries are not available in North America but a freeze dried powder can be found online and in select stores.
Of all the earth’s natural substances, mushrooms are among the most medicinal. They enhance the immune system and fight free radicals.
Noni is high in phytonutrients, selenium, and vitamin C, which fights free radical damage on blood vessel walls; scopoletin, a compound that may lower blood pressure; it is alkaline, which keeps bodily fluids from becoming too acidic, destroying free radicals.
Nuts and seeds
The embryo of all plants, nuts and seeds are extremely high in life sustaining nutrients, including healthy fats, minerals, protein, and fiber. Nuts and seeds can be blended in a healthy milk. I have included recipes for several milks in the last section of the book.
Rich in Antioxidants, papaya contain large amounts of Vitamin C, A and E, improving skin, nail and hair. The fruit also contains large amounts of folate, which aids in cell production and helps prevent anemia.
lower LDL (bad) cholesterol that can reduce cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It also contains 6 grams of fiber promoting healthy digestion and regulating blood sugar.
With a long history of both medicinal and culinary uses, the pomegranate contains a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C and potassium and are packed with anti-inflammatory essential amino acids.
Are condensed nutrition at its finest and easy to grow right on your kitchen countertop. Sprouts are incredibly rich in enzymes, viatmins, minerals, chlorophyll, andtioxidants and even protein.
Provide iron, potassium, fiber, a host of B vitamins, phytochemicals and lycopene associated with lower risk of macular degeneration and lower the risk of coronary artery disease.
Wheatgrass is a sprout that grows from wheat. There are records of ancient Egyptians using wheatgrass for vitality purposes, not surprising, with its 70 percent chlorophyll composition, making wheatgrass and other supergrasses such as barley grass and kamut grass, exceptionally alkaline forming, supporting a healthy pH balance. And not to worry, despite their grain origin, the grasses are gluten free.