How I discovered 10 amazing super foods
Edited by Super Foods boy and partially published on http://blog.organicbeautyfood.com
Exclusive literature used for a Beauty Foods Workshop hosted at Lifefood Gourmet, in Miami.
I have collected information for a long time about the magic and benefits of those foods from which one only needs small amount to provide the body with the minimum recommended intake of minerals & nutrients, Super Foods. Most of the foods listed below are available at the natural health store down the street from you, but you can order online at http://shop.organicbeautyfood.com
I am not a doctor, so don’t take this text as the total truth. Each individual may respond different to these foods.
I am happy to present below some of the “medications” that your doctor will rarely prescribe:
1. Blue-Green Algae, Spirulina and Chlorella: Blue-green micro algae, and its cousins spirulina and chlorella, grow on inland waters throughout the world.This primordial food is visible as greenish scum on still lakes and ponds. The Aztecs ate it as a staple food, dried and spread on tortillas. Africans of the Sahara region also use dried spirulina with grains and vegetables. These algae are high in protein, carotenoids and minerals. Beware, however, of claims that they can provide vitamin B12 in vegetarian diets. Nevertheless, the high mineral and protein content of the various algae make them an excellent super food, a good supplement to the diet and a useful product for the treatment of a variety of health problems.
2. Bee Pollen: Bee pollen has been popularized by famous athletes who take it regularly for strength and endurance. It has been used successfully to treat a variety of ailments including allergies, asthma, menstrual irregularities, constipation, diarrhea, anemia, low energy, cancer, rheumatism, arthritis and toxic conditions. A Russian study of the inhabitants of the province of Georgia, where many live to 100 years and a few to age 150, revealed that many of these centenarians were beekeepers who often ate raw, unprocessed honey with all its “impurities,” that is, with the pollen. Bee pollen contains 22 amino acids including the eight essential ones, 27 minerals and the full gamut of vitamins, hormones and fatty acids. Most importantly, bee pollen contains more than 5,000 enzymes and coenzymes. It is the presence of enzymes, many of which have immediate detoxifying effects, that sometimes provokes allergic reactions in those taking bee pollen for the first time. If this happens, start with very small amounts and slowly build up to a tablespoon or so per day. Some brands are more easily tolerated than others. Avoid pollen that has been dried at temperatures higher than 130 degrees. Bee pollen can be taken in powder, capsule or tablet form.or in raw unprocessed honey mixed with cereal or spread on toast.
3. Aloe Vera: Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. This energy tonic contains protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A, B12 and E, essential fatty acids and is naturally rich in:
Vitamin C which helps maintain tone of blood vessels and promotes good circulation and is essential to the health of the adrenal gland which supports our body in times of stress.
Amino acids which are chains of atoms constructing protein in our body.
Enzymes, which are the life-principle in every live, organic atom and molecule of natural raw food, rejuvenate aged tissues and promote healthy skin.
Germanium which is a mineral that some health authorities claim therapeutic benefits for: immunodeficiency, pain, cardiac disorders, circulatory disturbances and eye problems.
4. Garlic: Garlic is one of the earth’s greatest health tonics and does indeed have scientifically-proven medicinal properties. It contains a substance called Allicin, which has anti-bacterial properties that are equivalent to a weak penicillin. It is a natural antibiotic and is useful in treating everything from allergies to tonsillitis. Garlic contains many sulfur compounds which:
detoxify the body
boost the immune system
lower blood pressure
Garlic has also demonstrated anti-cancer, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant effects.
Garlic: Garlic has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help scavenge free radicals; particles that can damage cell membranes, interact with genetic material and possibly contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of conditions including heart disease and cancer.
Free radicals occur naturally in the body but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoking and air pollution) can also increase the number of these damaging particles. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause over time.
Garlic can stimulate the production of glutathione, an amino acid which is known to be a very potent antioxidant and de-toxifier and the smooth muscle relaxant adenosine, also found in the herb, will lower blood pressure.
Today people use garlic to help prevent atherosclerosis (plaque build up in the arteries causing blockage and possibly leading to heart attack or stroke), reduce colds, coughs and bronchitis.
Garlic has been used to treat:
Atherosclerosis: Studies suggest that fresh garlic and garlic supplements may prevent blood clots and destroy plaque. Blood clots and plaque block blood flow and contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Blockage of blood flow to the heart, brain and legs, can lead to heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease (PVD). People with PVD experience pain in the legs when they walk and move. If garlic does reduce the build up of plaque then strokes, heart attacks and PVD may be less likely to occur in people who eat garlic or take garlic supplements.
High Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure: A number of studies have found that garlic reduces elevated total cholesterol levels and lowers blood pressure more effectively than placebo. However, the extent to which garlic is effective is small.
Diabetes: Garlic has been used as a traditional dietary supplement for diabetes in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Preliminary studies in rabbits, rats and limited numbers of people have demonstrated that garlic has some ability to lower blood sugars. More research in this area is needed. (See Notes regarding some concern about using garlic with certain diabetes medications.)
Common Cold: A well-designed study of nearly 150 people supports the value of garlic for preventing and treating the common cold. In this study, people received either garlic supplements or placebo for 12 weeks during “cold season” (between the months of November and February). Those who received the garlic had significantly fewer colds than those who received placebo. Plus, when faced with a cold, the symptoms lasted a much shorter time in those receiving garlic compared to those receiving placebo.
Cancer: Test tube and animal studies suggest that garlic may have some anti-cancer activity. Observational, population-based studies (which follow groups of people over time) suggest that people who have more raw or cooked garlic in their diet are less likely to have certain types of cancer, particularly colon and stomach cancers. Dietary garlic may also offer some protection against the development of breast, prostate and laryngeal (throat) cancers. However, these types of cancer have not been as extensively studied as colon and stomach cancer.
Tuberculosis: Numerous test tube studies have demonstrated that garlic extract inhibits the growth of different species of bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism responsible for tuberculosis. Very high concentrations of garlic extract were needed to slow down the growth of M. tuberculosis in these studies, so some experts are concerned that these levels may be toxic to people. While further research in people is needed, one animal study found that garlic oil also inhibited M. tuberculosis and reduced lesions in the lungs of these animals.
Intestinal Parasites: Laboratory studies suggest that large quantities of fresh, raw garlic may have antiparasitic properties against the roundworm, Ascaris lumbricoides, which is the most common type of intestinal parasite. Garlic for this purpose, however, has not yet been tested in people.
Garlic can irritate the digestive tracts of very young children and some sources don’t recommend garlic for breast feeding mothers. In addition, some individuals are allergic to garlic.
5. Hempseed oil or Black Currant Oil: These oils contain a fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, which the body produces from omega-6 linoleic acid by the action of special enzymes. In many individuals the production or effectiveness of this enzyme is compromised, especially as they grow older. These oils have been shown to increase liver function and mental acuity. Malnutrition, consumption of hydrogenated oils and diabetes inhibit the conversion of omega-6 linoleic acid to GLA.
GLA-rich oils have been used to treat:
irritable bowel syndrome
6. Flaxseed oil is an excellent source of omega-3s. Just 1 teaspoon contains about 2.5 grams, equivalent to more than twice the amount most people get through their diets. Flaxseeds also contain omega-6 fatty acids in the form of linoleic acid; omega-6s are the same healthy fats found in vegetable oils.
One of the EFAs in flaxseed oil, alpha-linolenic acid, is known as an omega-3 fatty acid. Like the omega-3s found in fish, it appears to reduce the risk of heart disease and numerous other ailments.
In addition, flaxseeds are a rich source of lignans, substances that appear to positively affect hormone-related problems. Lignans may also be useful in preventing certain cancers and combating specific bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including those that cause cold sores and shingles.
Specifically, flaxseed oil may help to:
protect against heart disease
control high blood pressure
Counter inflammation associated with gout, lupus and fibrocystic breasts: Omega-3 fatty acids appear to limit the inflammatory reaction associated with these conditions. In cases of lupus, flaxseed oil not only reduces inflammation in the joints, skin and kidneys, but also lowers cholesterol levels that may be elevated by the disease. Taking flaxseed oil for gout may lessen the often sudden and severe joint pain or swelling that is a symptom of this condition. In addition, the ability of omega-3 fatty acids to boost the absorption of iodine–a mineral often found in low levels in women suffering from fibrocystic breasts–makes flaxseed oil potentially valuable for treating this often painful condition.
Control constipation, haemorrhoids, diverticular disorders and gallstones: Because they are high in dietary fibre, ground flaxseeds can help ease the passage of stools and thus relieve constipation, haemorrhoids and diverticular disease. In those with diverticular disease, flaxseeds may also keep intestinal pouches free of waste and thus keep potential infection at bay. Taken for inflammatory bowel disease, flaxseed oil can help to calm inflammation and repair any intestinal tract damage. In addition, the oil may prevent painful gallstones from developing and even dissolve existing stones.
Treat acne, eczema, psoriasis, sunburn and rosacea: The essential fatty acids in flaxseed oil are largely responsible for its skin-healing powers. Red, itchy patches of eczema, psoriasis and rosacea often respond to the EFA’s anti-inflammatory actions and overall skin-soothing properties. Sunburned skin may heal faster when treated with the oil as well. In cases of acne, the EFAs encourage thinning of the oily sebum that clogs pores.
Promote healthy hair and nails: The abundant omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed oil have been shown to contribute to healthy hair growth (in fact, low levels of these acids may cause dry and lackluster locks). Hair problems exacerbated by psoriasis or eczema of the scalp may respond to the skin-revitalizing and anti-inflammatory actions of flaxseed oil as well. Similarly, the oil’s EFAs work to nourish dry or brittle nails, stopping them from cracking or splitting.
Minimise nerve damage that causes numbness and tingling as well as other disorders: The EFAs in flaxseed oil assist in the transmission of nerve impulses, making the oil potentially valuable in treating conditions of numbness and tingling. The oil’s nerve-nourishing actions may also help in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder of the nervous system, and protect against the nerve damage associated with diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
Reduce cancer risk and guard against the effects of ageing: The lignans in flaxseed oil appear to play a role in protecting against breast, colon, prostate, and perhaps skin cancer. Although further studies are needed, research undertaken at the University of Toronto indicates that women with breast cancer, regardless of the degree of cancer invasiveness, may benefit from treatment with flaxseed oil. Interestingly, the oil’s lignans may protect against various effects of ageing as well.
Treat menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, female infertility and endometriosis: Because the hormone-balancing lignans and plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) in flaxseed oil help stabilise a woman’s estrogen-progesterone ratio, they can have beneficial effects on the menstrual cycle, and relieve the hot flashes of perimenopause and menopause. Flaxseed oil may also improve uterine function and thus treat fertility problems. In addition, the essential fatty acids in flaxseed oil have been shown to block production of prostaglandins, hormonelike substances that, when released in excess amounts during menstruation, can cause the heavy bleeding associated with endometriosis.
Fight prostate problems, male infertility and impotence: The EFAs in flaxseed oil may help to prevent swelling and inflammation of the prostate, the small gland located below the bladder in males that tends to enlarge with age. Symptoms of such enlargement, such as urgency to urinate, may lessen as a result. The EFAs also play a role in keeping sperm healthy, which may be of value in treating male infertility, and they can improve blood flow to the penis, a boon for those suffering from impotence.
Flaxseed oil is also called linseed oil. The industrial types of linseed oil found in hardware stores are not for internal consumption, however. They may contain poisonous additives.
Do not take if pregnant or breast-feeding. Due to lack of information it is advisable to avoid giving flaxseed oil to children under the age of 12.
Women with hormone-dependent conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or cancers of the breast, ovaries, or uterus and men with prostate cancer should avoid taking flaxseed products without prior consultation with a doctor.
Flaxseed can block the esophagus or parts of the intestinal tract. Therefore individuals who have had esophageal or intestinal blockages should not use flaxseed.
Side effects associated with taking flaxseed are gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea, gas, nausea, and stomach pain. Allergic reactions have been reported by individuals who took flaxseed or flaxseed oil.
In case studies, flaxseed oil has been reported to increase the time blood needs to clot. When it is taken with antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs, the effect of the drug may be increased, resulting in uncontrolled bleeding. Antiplatelets include Plavix and Ticlid. Anticoagulants include aspirin, heparin and warfarin. Avoid taking with Danshen, Devil’s Claw, Garlic, Ginger, Ginkgo, Ginseng, Horse Chestnut, Papain, Red Clover or Saw Palmetto. If you take flaxseed, do not take other drugs within 2 hours.
Analgesic, anti-estrogenic, anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, laxative, nervine, pectoral, purgative, resolvent.
Flaxseed is beneficial for:
Acne, aging, angina, arthritis and joint inflammation, back pain, bacteria, fungi, and viruses, cancer prevention, cataracts, chronic pain, cold sores, constipation, Crohn’s disease, diverticular disorders, eczema, endometriosis, fatigue, gallstones, gout, hair problems, heart disease prevention, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and clogged arteries, impotence, infertility (male & female), kidney stones, lupus, menopause, multiple sclerosis, nail problems, osteoporosis, parkinson’s disease, premenopause, prostate problems, psoriasis, rosacea, shingles, skin health, stroke, sunburn.
7. Maca has traditionally been a staple superfood-food-herb in the harsh cold climates of the high Andes in Peru for thousands of years. Maca grows at an elevation of 11,000-14,000 feet making it likely the highest altitude food-herb crop in the world. The character and properties of maca have been developed by the extreme conditions under which it grows. This makes Maca an excellent food-herb choice for individuals living in cold climates and/or at high altitudes and/or with extreme lifestyles.
Maca is a member of the cruciferous family of plants. It is a distant relative of the common radish. The maca plant produces leaves that grow close to the ground and the plant produces a small, off-white flower typical to the cruciferous family. The main part of interest for this plant, however, is the radish-like tuberous root. Dried maca powder contains 60% carbohydrates, 9% fiber, and slightly more than 10% protein. It has a higher lipid (fat) content than other root crops (2.2%), of which linoleic acid, palmitic acid and oleic acid are the primary fatty acids, respectively. Maca is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur and iron, and contains trace minerals, including zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, manganese and silica, as well as vitamins B1, B2, C and E. Maca contains nearly 20 amino acids and seven essential amino acids. Maca is also a rich source of sterols, including sitosterol, campestrol, and ergosterol. As a root crop, maca contains five times more protein than a potato and four times more fiber. You may use a tablespoon or more of this powder in smoothies, teas, nut milks, coffee or just about any natural beverage you can think of. Maca is a great addition to desserts and sweet treats.
8. Pomegranate juice represents another of the foods recently touted for its health benefits. In some clinical studies, pomegranate juice has been shown to be of significant benefit, especially in the prevention of heart disease. Pomegranate juice has been shown to work well as a blood thinner. Some research has shown it may be an excellent agent for promoting blood flow to the heart. It also has been shown to reduce plaque in the arteries, and to raise “good” levels of cholesterol while helping lower “bad” cholesterol.
Preliminary research suggests that pomegranate juice may be helpful in preventing heart disease, heart attacks and stroke. Research has also evaluated the antioxidant nature of pomegranate juice and its usefulness in fighting certain forms of cancer. Pomegranate juice has been tentatively shown to reduce incidence of breast and skin cancer. It has also been tested and shown to slow the growth of prostate cancer in mice.
Another interesting study has evaluated pomegranate juice and osteoarthritis. Pomegranate juice tends to act as an inhibitor on enzymes responsible for damaging cartilege. These studies applied extract of pomegranate directly onto damaged cartilage. More research would have to examine a cause and effect relationship between oral ingestion of pomegranate juice and reduction in cartilage deterioration.
9. Chia is a member of the mint family and grows naturally from the Mojave Desert all the way down Argentina. Chia for centuries was of great economic importance to Native Americans of Southwest and California Coast. It was a major food crop of Aztecs.
Chia Seed is a Good Source of: B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper.
• According to study, Chia possesses the highest percentage of the polyunsaturated fatty acids(linolenic and linoleic) of all crops. Chia seed contain 60% omega 3 fatty acids.
• The protein content of Chia is higher that other nutritional grains. Unlike other grains, it is a complete protein, meaning that it has the appropriate balance of all essential amino acids. About 19 to 23% of chia seed weight is protein.
• Chia seed is high in fiber, a 15 gm serving of chia seeds will provide 4 to 5 gm of fiber. Our body requires at least 35 gm of fiber a day to stay healthy.
• Chia seed contain boron which is essential for bone health.
• Chia seed is rich in calcium, about 2 oz of chia seeds contains 600 mg of Calcium, as compared to 120 mg for a cup of milk.
• Chia seeds has 2 times more potassium than banana.
• Chia seeds has 3 times more antioxidants than blueberries.
Uses of Chia Seeds: The pleasant and mild aroma of Chia seed makes it a versatile ingredient to any food preparation like baked goods, soup, sandwiches, sauces, smoothies and in recipes where you ordinarily use sesame seeds. Chia can be eaten raw, hydrated or cooked. Use about 1/4 teaspoon per serving.
Ailments wherein Chia Seeds is beneficial; fatigue, weight loss, reduces blood clot, heart disease, diabetes, bone and digestive problems.
10. Hemp seed: Hempseed has been consumed by mankind (and animals) for centuries.
Consumption of hemp oil and hemp seed is ideal for people with low essential fatty acid intake, and also perfect for athletes. It is of course particularly valuable to the veggie/vegan population, and even more so for veggie/vegan athletes, who are always looking for complete protein sources. Other benefits of hemp seed oil include its effect on the skin and the hair, nourishing both on a cellular level. Hemp oil is easily absorbed by the skin and those EFA’s go straight to work!
Hemp needs no pesticides or fertilizers, it’s low maintenance and grows just about anywhere, making it the ideal crop for organic sustainable farming in just about anywhere in the world.
Hempseed: Hemp has 3 unique nutritional factors:
• supplies an ideal balance of Omega 3 and 6 for sustainable human health
• supplies full amino acid spectrum meaning it provides complete protein
• provides a massive trace mineral content – truly one of nature’s super foods
One of the easiest ways of consuming hemp is in smoothies. Just mix a handful of organic hemp seed (whole or de-hulled) with fruit and juice of your choice in a blender. Perfect for children too. Hemp also contains three times the vitamin E contained in flax.
Note that I am not a doctor, so don’t take these words as the only truth. These are only tools provided by nature and instructions on how one can make the most of them.
For any questions, doubts or concerns regarding the information above, please email me.
Most of the foods listed above are available at the natural health store down the street from you, or you can order online at http://shop.organicbeautyfood.com
Edited by Super Foods boy and partially published on http://blog.organicbeautyfood.com
Exclusive literature used for a Beauty Foods Workshops hosted at Lifefood Gourmet, in Miami.
About the Author
Super foods boy (manel) is passionate about nutrition, health & fitness. Loves to share and considers a student of life forever. Teach me and learn.