Category Archives: CACAO
Change your life with these top superfoods
by Carolanne Wright
(NaturalNews) Let’s face it. When we are feeling run down, muddled, overweight or unwell, it’s difficult to achieve our goals or live life to the fullest. Traditionally, Asian cultures believe nutrient dense food is one of the most powerful allies for attracting positive experiences into our lives. Whether concerning prosperity or solid relationships, joy or success – a healthy body and mind are key. Below are eight edibles that can help transform your life for the better.
The best source of vitamin C on the planet, camu camu is a spectacular, health promoting superfood. Daily use of the berry will keep the immune system strong, improve eyesight, maintain ligaments, tendons and collagen while reducing inflammation. It also protects the skin from aging and supports brain as well as liver function.
Containing 300 percent more anthocyanins and 150 percent more polyphenols than any other food or drink known to man, maqui berry is one of the most stunning foods you can enjoy. Cancer, inflammation, diabetes, fevers and diarrhea are curbed by the berry. Maqui also encourages a healthy heart, high energy levels and weight loss. It helps to minimize the effects of aging and promotes a radiant complexion too.
Cold water fish like sardines and Alaskan salmon support a stable and clear mind – vital for living our dreams, productivity and making sound decisions. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, consuming fish balances our mental states and can help with depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. These nutritious oils are also a boon for heart health.
Long shunned as a high fat, health harming food, coconut has risen above the misinformation and has achieved its rightful place as a superfood. Coconut water is an excellent source of electrolytes which support energy and hydration. And blood sugar levels stay balanced and the digestive system is kept humming with the high fiber meat. Teeming with lauric acid, coconut oil fosters balanced thyroid function, weight loss and energy.
Used in traditional medicine around the world, graviola trees are found in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. Extracts taken from the leaves, twigs and bark have demonstrated many exciting properties in lab tests – one of the most dramatic findings involved the reduction of pancreatic and breast cancer tumors. Inflammation, parasites, bacteria and viruses were also curtailed. Graviola fruit is classically known to calm the nerves, lower blood pressure and soothe depression. A word of caution: Excessive consumption is neurotoxic and can trigger similar symptoms to Parkinson’s disease.
Raw, organic cacao is one of the finest feel good, energy enhancing, heart health boosting foods you can add to the diet. Bursting with antioxidants, magnesium, iron, zinc and chromium, this nutrient dense and delicious superfood defeats anemia, hypoglycemia and poor immune response. Theobromine and phenethylamine (PEA) substantially lift mood, energy and libido.
Packing a number of amazing nutrients like amino acids, human growth hormone (HGH), polysaccharides, vitamins and minerals, goji berries are a powerhouse of nutrition. The fruit improves eyesight, shields the liver and heart, slows aging and reduces free radical load – effectively reducing the chance of degenerative diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Known as “running food,” ancient Aztec warriors recognized the incredible benefits of this remarkable seed. Packed with protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, chia supports digestion, cardiovascular health, detoxification, endurance and vitality. It also provides a nice boost of sustainable energy as well.
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By Denise DiFulco
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Some foods are simply better than others. So we put this question to three local nutrition experts: If you could pick just a handful of ingredients to incorporate into your clients’ diets, what would they be? Here are items that can have a long-term effect on health and well-being, according to North Potomac nutritionist Kelly Dorfman; Dana Laake, owner of Dana Laake Nutrition in Kensington; and D.C. health counselor Casey Seidenberg:
BLUEBERRIES Fresh or frozen, blueberries have one of the highest concentrations among fruits of antioxidants and phytochemicals (which fight disease and inflammation). They also tend to rank low in pesticide contamination. They are naturally sweet (unlike cranberries), yet they do not raise blood sugar significantly.
BROCCOLI AND OTHER DARK GREENS It has been proved again and again that Mom was right about eating your broccoli (and cauliflower and Brussels sprouts). Researchers continue to uncover the health benefits of one phytochemical in particular, sulforaphane, that is found in these vegetables, as well as in bok choy, kale, collard greens and watercress.
CACAO You’ll often see dark chocolate turn up on “superfood” lists because it contains blood-pressure-lowering plant phenols and loads of antioxidants. Cacao, or raw chocolate, is even better because it lacks sugar and other additives. Though bitter, the whole beans or nibs can be eaten plain. In its powder form, cacao can be mixed into a smoothie or pancake batter, making it taste much like the guilty pleasure we all know and love.
QUINOA Though considered a grain, quinoa is a seed that has the same versatility as rice or barley but with even greater nutritional value and no gluten. It’s a complete protein, meaning that it contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, which come only from diet. It also has fiber and such key nutrients as phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
SARDINES These, and other small fish, are becoming increasingly popular, and rightly so because of their lower concentrations of contaminants such as mercury. Most people are familiar with the canned variety, but sardines also are available fresh. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which maintain heart health, and they’re a significant source of calcium.
Denise DiFulco is a freelance writer.