“It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No! It’s… a salmon…the hell?”
Besides what the name (and my misleading opening comment) may lead you to believe, Superfoods, are not in fact foods with bizarre and amazing superpowers, nor will they give you superpowers. I am sorry to destroy your dream of becoming the masked avenger “Salmon Man”, but if it’s any comfort, this should be a highly informative read for you, giving you a few new ways to improve your diet and overall health.
So, what are Superfoods? Well, “Superfoods” is a word created to describe a grouping of foods which are naturally produced and contain a vast variation and quantity of essential nutrients that your body needs to work at its optimal capability (And there’s a way to personify the human body as a machine, in a health blog, well done…).
There is a problem with most Superfoods however; this problem being that “Superfoods” is technically a Superstore marketing buzz word. Meaning that most Superfoods on your local’s shelves is anything but, rather they are so polluted with the familiar chemicals used by commercial farmers that almost all of the nutritional value has been torn from the food. To elaborate, the only true Superfoods, are organic, wild or home-grown, as it’s only with these specimens you can almost guarantee that all of the original nutrition is still within the produce.
We can all benefit from increasing our intake of Superfoods, but there are some foods which are naturally superior and more beneficial to us, so now, for your reading enjoyment I present, the Top Ten Superfoods!
Drum roll please…
The Unofficial Top Ten Superfoods
Number 1: Eggs
A great source of Protein
Fairly recently, I spent a three week period in Japan with a friend and his wife whilst they visited family. Whilst I was there I saw and tried food I had never thought of eating, or thought of as edible. Squid, rotten beans, horse (Although I think we all have by this point.) and finally, raw eggs.
I will admit, in films like “Rocky” when the hero drinks down a dozen egg yolks, I always thought;
“Won’t that make him ill..?”
Evidently I was wrong. As I was saying, whilst in Japan, I ate raw egg with rice, whilst I wasn’t a fan of the taste I queried why they ate them, in response I was told the following:
“Egg yolks are one of the best foods you can eat; they contain large deposits of Protein, naturally make your eyesight better and make you smarter.”
Surprised, I forced the rest down and took another bowl.
When I got home, my curiosity was still peeked, so I did a little research into how good for you raw egg was, and to a greater extent, if it can actually make you smarter. The results of my searching were impressive to say the least. The woman I had spoken to was mostly right.
Eggs are indeed one of the best sources for Protein out there, the yolk specifically. For those of you who are unaware, Protein is the nutrient which is responsible for building, protecting and maintaining your body tissue, I.E your organs and skin.
Secondly, Eggs contain Lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are important nutrients for keeping your eyes strong and healthy, as well as improving your vision, so it is true that a steady diet of Eggs will, over time, increase the strength of your eyes.
Whereas Eggs do increase the flow of chlorine to your brain, it doesn’t necessarily increase your intelligence, it certainly increases the amount of oxygen available to the brain, doing so doesn’t increase your intelligence, it simply allows your cranial activities to speed up to a slight degree, promoting quick thinking. This flow of chlorine also travels to your nervous and cardiovascular systems, again increasing the flow of oxygen to these vital parts of your body.
In addition, Eggs also contain Iron, Vitamins A, D and B12, Folate and Selenium each of which are essential amino acids, and indispensable to the human system.
It is important to remember that most of these benefits come directly from the egg yolks, rather than the whole egg, so whilst you can eat the egg white as well, I wouldn’t recommend it. Also, before I forget, as long as you get your eggs from a fresh source, there is little to no risk of salmonella, so don’t panic over that little detail.
So with all that information now at your disposal, why don’t you try a raw egg, go on, get cracking. (See what I did there? I crack myself up! …I’ll stop now.)
Number 2: Kale
So much for so little.
To be honest, before I started my research for this article, I had never heard of Kale, so I’m not surprised if you haven’t either (of course I could just be a very dim person, who knows?). Kale is a small cruciferous vegetable, which already places it in one of the most beneficial category of vegetables.
Kale carries with it, 9 essential Amino acids; Vitamin A, B and C. Calcium, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Indole-3-carbinol, Iron and Chlorophyll. Whilst the uses of the Vitamins and Calcium are fairly self explanatory, and the uses of Lutien and Zeaxanthin have been adressed, the others demand a little more explanation (and it lets me stretch this out a little more.)
Indole-3-carbinol is a nutrient with many uses to the body, the most well know being its ability to hamper the growth of a dangerous estrogen known as 4-hydroxyestrone, which is party responsible for the build up of aggressive cancer cells. Many theories claim that a regular intake of Indole-3-carbinol can help to stop the growth of cancer, and since there is no down side to eating Kale, it’s worth eating. In addition, it has been shown to help eliminate foreign matter in the liver, detoxifying them, as well as slowly repairing the kidney lining over time.
Iron helps the body produce energy, a key component of a healthy body. Low energy levels mean your cells cannot replicate at a significant speed, nor can they fight any infections you may be developing. As a plus, an optimum Iron level will have you feeling energetic and stronger as a person, giving you a boost into a more active lifestyle.
Finally, Chlorophyll, the nutrient that gives the Kale its rich Green color, has a multitude of benefits, as it strengthens bones, produces magnesium to help support muscle growth and strength, as well as maintaining blood pressure.
All in all, for such a small plant, Kale has an enormous amount going for it, backing up your immune system, muscles as well as several of your key organs. As it doesn’t cost a lot, I can recommend throwing a bunch or two into your veg drawer, you won’t regret it.
Number 3: Grass Fed Organic Natural Yogurt
Where it all begins.
When I can afford it, I’m one of those people who start my day with a natural yogurt, partly because I know it’s good for me, partly because it tastes good and partly because I’m lazy and I don’t need to cook anything if I eat yogurt.
As you know (or should know, and will now know) Natural yogurt is already bursting at the seems with Probiotics, tiny microscopic bacteria which fight against the bad bacteria in your body (if you’re not imaging tiny little warriors duking it out in your stomach now, you’re dead inside.), increasing your resistance to certain illnesses, mainly those targeting your gut. However, Grass-fed all natural Yogurt also boosts the energy your body has available for use each day, which makes it one of the go-to foods for many people on strict work out regiments.
For all of those who already knew that, there are other benefits to specifically Grass-fed Natural Yogurt, as it contains a plethora of nutrients;
I understand that you may be curious why having Phosphorus in your body would be considered, Good by any stretch of the imagination, well let me explain. Phosphorus is the second most prevalent metal in the human body, responsible for strengthening your teeth and bones, as well as helping organs like the brain and heart perform the duties that keep you alive.
The combination of each of these effects help make an All Natural Grass Fed Organic Yogurt (There’s a mouth full) a perfect way to start your day!
Number 4: Raw Almonds
Remember, Raw is better.
I specifically say Raw for a reason, roasted or fried Almonds have all of the beneficial fats within them burned out by heat, so before I begin lets take all those deep fried almonds and hurl them out of the closest window (Don’t actually do that, seriously, the Police will come for you).
Dehydrated Raw almonds contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, both of which help to promote healthy cholesterol levels, as a small (but greatly appreciated) bonus they contain a grand total of 0, yes that’s right 0 trans fats!
Being rich in phytochemicals, Almonds also promote heart and vascular health, helping to keep your heart pumping at a good regular rate.
Almonds are one of the best sources of Alpha-tocopherol Vitamin E, which promotes Muscle restoration after intense workouts. This Vitamin helps to prevent free radical damage to your muscles, which will allow them to recover a lot faster as well as grow at an intensified rate. In addition to all of this, Almonds are still a great source of Magnesium, Protein, Fiber, Phosphorus, Iron, Calcium, Protein and Potassium.
The Potassium in Almonds helps to regulate the fluid balance in your body, which is an incredibly delicate equilibrium that, if upset, can cause untold complications in the human body. The combination of the Calcium and Potassium however provide excellent support to all the cells in the body, making Almonds an all purpose Superfood. You see why they are called Superfoods yet?
Number 5: Salmon
Seeming as it was part of my opening joke (As awful as it was) you’ve probably been waiting for me to address this fish. The big problem that comes with recommending fish in any, way, shape or form is that most fish these days contain dangerous levels of mercury, making them fairly unsafe for human consumption. Trust me, if there is one chemical you don’t want a lot of in your body, its mercury.
However, Salmon is one of the fish I will avidly recommend to you (and according to my joke, throw out of a window), Salmon, like all fish, contains a vast amount of Omega-3, which in all honesty, we can all get a little more of, myself included.
In addition to this, Salmon also contains high grade protein and several powerful Antioxidents. Eating Salmon once or twice a week with an assortment of Veg will help build your immune system to it’s peek, keeping you strong and healthy, all thanks due, to Superfish!
Number 6: Avocado
If I hadn’t said enough, I love these things.
Ah, Avocado’s, a personal favourite of mine, which according to a few friends of mine, makes me weird. Remember the Yogurt I eat for breakfast I mentioned at number 3? Well it’s always Avocado (except when it’s black cherry) for a couple of reasons. The basic reason being that Avocado’s make it easier for you body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients, meaning your body is going to gain energy and other potential aids at a much faster rate. My girlfriend, (Having adopted my love of Avocado’s) personally likes this fruit as it is a ready provider of Calories without having to intake carbs at the same time, which while isn’t important for me, she is very adamant on keeping her intake down.
What else can I say really? I could list a few of the main nutrients that this wonderful green fruit carries, so I will:
There is, without a doubt, a lot of good stuff in that little fruit, so I will heartily recommend it to each and every reader, go try one, I promise you’ll like it! (Disclaimer: I promise nothing, my word is about as reliable as a chimpanzee’s)
Number 7: Coconut oil
I’m telling you, they’re watching us.
Personally, I believe Coconuts to be the Fruit of the Devil, each with a mind of its own; dedicated to kill every human on earth (They kill roughly 150 people a year! Seriously look it up, go on I’ll wait… You see?!) However, many swear by organic coconut oil as a Superfood, and I must say, I agree. (What damage can they do when they’re dead after all?)
All coconuts naturally produce Lauric Acid, an incredibly rare acid to be found naturally, especially in Superfoods, which makes coconut oil a perfect container for this rare and highly effective acid.
When Lauric acid is absorbed into the body, it is converted into Monolaurin, a powerful anti-viral/anti-bacterial/anti-protozoa agent.
With this, and the saturated fats in the oil working within your body, your health can gain several powerful health benefits, which range from providing instant and powerful energy source to promoting your hearts overall health.
As I have been taught recently, Coconut oil is also heat resistant to such a degree that you can substitute it from traditional cooking oils in your kitchen, gaining all the benefits of coconut oil every time you eat.
On a curious side note, several Doctors have claimed that regular consumption of Coconut oil can help stave off and even cure Dementia, whereas this has not been solidly proven yet, a large amount of evidence exists to support the claim, if you’re interested I urge you to search out some information, it makes a very interesting read.
So by all means, grab a bottle or a tub of this great oil, you’ll be reaping its benefits with every use and the best bit is it’s cheap in store, and we have it on our online store! (But be aware of those Coconuts, they’re watching us, no, you’re paranoid!)
Number 8: Whey Protein Concentrate
The best form of protein going.
“Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating of Curds and Whey” Well I’ve got to say it, that Little Miss Muffet was one smart cookie. I harped on about the uses of Protein in the Egg’s section of this article and whereas the other Superfoods I have spoken about produce fair amounts of Protein, Whey is the Gold standard when it comes to Protein.
As you age, your body becomes far less effective at producing the critical Amino Acids you need, which means you’re required to supplement these Amino acids with outside proteins, which is where the Whey concentrate comes into play, being a superb deliver of Protein chock full of the required Amino acids.
In addition, Whey Protein Concentrate is also a great carrier of all the raw materials required to produce glutathione, also known as “The king of Antioxidants”.
Regular intake of Whey Protein Concentrate will increase the potency of the essential Amino acids in your body, as well as help to produce a powerful Antioxidant to help purge your system of infections and bacteria. Like I said earlier, Miss Muffet = one smart cookie.
Number 9: Grass Fed Organic Butter
Healthy butter, well I’ll be.
Seem familiar to something I spoke about earlier? It should, just as Grass fed organic Yogurt is an essential Superfood, Grass Fed organic Butter is basically a Super version of that Superfood, isn’t that Super?
Grass Fed organic Butter is a superb carrier of all kinds of top quality nutrients:
- Vitamins: Including vitamin A, D, E and K2, each needed for a wide range of functions, from maintaining good vision to keeping the endocrine system in top shape. The added benefit here is that most industrially produced butters are lacking in most of these essential Vitamins, causing a surprising lack of them in the modern diet.
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid: An excellent protection against cancer that also converts excess fat into energy stores specifically dedicated for aiding in muscle growth.
- Healthful fats: Mainly made up of short- and medium-chain fats, which support immune function, boost metabolism and have anti-microbial properties. as well as the perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. These fats also help to maintain brain functions, skin health and prostaglandin balance.
- Trace minerals: Including, but not limited to: manganese, chromium, zinc, copper and selenium. This particular butter acts a great iodine store as well.
- Wulzen Factor: That special something that just makes a person more “Wulzen”, that was obviously, a joke. In actuality, the Wulzen factor is a hormone-like substance that prevents arthritis and joint stiffness. By ensuring that calcium in your body is put into your bones rather than your joints and other tissues.
- Glycospingolipids: a special category of fatty acids that protect against gastrointestinal infections.
As you can quite clearly see, Grass Fed Natural Butter has a variety of uses within the body, with the addition of being pretty bloody tasty, why would you not buy this? Well, can you give me a reason? No? Good.
Number 10: Green Vegetable Juice!
The best Superfood is a drink, who knew?
So, what’s better than getting your five green vegetables a day? Getting them all at the same time of course, in a handy liquid form? Even better!
Raw green veggie juice is riddled with micronutrients (like nutrients, but smaller), none of which need to be broken down or dissolved by your body, as you’ve already done it by blending them all into a liquid, meaning all of the nutrients will be absorbed almost immediately, allowing your body to use all of them to full effectiveness quickly.
Because there is a mix of different vegetables in each serving, I cannot tell you the exact benefits of each individual serving as the vegetables used will be down to your preference. But as a general rule, the mixture should promote weight loss, give a significant energy boost and support brain activity. So guy’s with that, get blending, I know I will, provided I can fit an Avocado in there as well…
With this abundance text lying in front of me now, I can reconsider a few of my opening comments. I said that “Superfoods” did not have weird and wonderful abilities, oddly, I now consider myself wrong in that assumption, as many of the foods I have written about do things I never thought they would. So I will happily eat my words at this point, or rather blend them in with an assortment of Veg and down the glass with gusto.