There is so much hype in modern health-related media about so called superfoods and their near-magical properties that it seems you could eat french fries all day long but then pop a little berry in your mouth and you are all settled. If it was this way, the world would have definitely been a better place, but as of now, no supplement or anti-oxidant can replace a healthy diet of wholesome foods. Another fact is that majority of the “magical and super-hero” properties of many of these super-foods have not been proved by sound scientific research which basically leaves us guessing if they really work.
Nevertheless, many of these superfoods are indeed containing a great bunch on nutrients and anti-oxidants and can bring some variety and oomph into your already healthy diet.
I add them from time to time to my meals, smoothies or just take as supplements. I don’t really follow any particular regime or structure and vary them from time to time depending on what my little fitness heart desires:
1. Acai juice – a great anti-oxidant that also contains omega-3 and not a bad bunch of vitamins. Some studies show that it can lower the risk of heart disease and cancer, improve energy levels, aid in weight loss and improve sexual performance (not sure about that, will feed it to my boyfriend for a month as an experiment and let you know the results). What I really love it for is its refreshing taste so it makes a great ingredient for smoothies.
2. Chlorella is a green algae that is fairly high in protein and various nutrients. Dried chlorella contains approximately 45% protein, 20% fat and carbohydrate each, 5% fiber and 10% minerals. It is said to improve intestinal health, aid in removal of heavy metal toxins from the gut and stimulate immune system. I sometimes have it as dietary supplement or add chlorella powder to smoothies
3. Spirulina is another great source of protein especially for vegans. Dried spirulina contains around 60% of protein, and whats more important – it is a complete protein with all essential amino acids which makes it superior to other typical plant protein. It also has a bunch of other nutrients and vitamins. I usually get it in powder form and add to post-workout shakes.
4. Goji Berry (also known as wolfberry) comes to us from China where it was used for centuries to boost immune system, improve blood circulation, protect liver. These berries are very rich in antioxidants. Goji berry juice can be pretty expensive and I usually get them milled with flax seeds and other stuff from Holland&Barret and add to oatmeal, soups and smoothies.
5. The powder above also has Flax seed – another wonder food that is claimed to reduce risk of heart disease. cancer, stroke and diabetes (though I can guarantee that proper healthy food, exercise and weight management will do exactly the same). Ground or milled flax seed is better than whole, as it makes it easier for our bodies to absorb all the nutrients.
There are so many other superfoods out there that are claimed to be packed with anti-oxidants, nutrients and what not. Its all good and might be even working to some extend, that is why I probably use them myself, but nothing – no magical berry or juice – will ever help you get fit and healthy except watch what you eat and work out – tried and tested by millions and scientifically proven to work!