Superfoods… high on nutrients, low on calories, foods filled with disease-fighting anti-oxidants and essential nutrients that our bodies cannot make for themselves. What's not to love? :)
Last week we talked about GREEN superfoods and this week, I look into FRUIT & NUT superfoods. I really became curious about this when looking into acai berries and fruit drinks. So, let's start with them first.
Yummy recipe : Acai Breakfast Bowls
ACAI – These reddish, purple berries come from the acai palm tree, native to Central and South America. Acai contains anthocyanins (Greek: Flower + blue) and flavonoids, which are powerful anti-oxidants that help the body fend off free radicals it produces as byproducts. Antioxidants are said to slow down aging and reduce the risk of some disease such as heart disease and cancer.
TIP: Freeze dried acai fruit keep the nutrients in tact, or if you’re getting it in juice form, opt for a those that have not been pasteurized or heated.
Ideas for Goji Berry treats from Goji Apple salad to Sweet Earth cookies...
GOJI BERRIES – These fruits grow on vines in valleys of inner Mongolia and Tibet. Rich in Vitamin C, (500 X more per ounce than oranges), they actually have the most Vitamin C of all the fruits. Goji Berries are also great sources of vitamins A (good for the eyes and light absorption) and E (important in the formation of red blood cells, among other functions).
RAW CACAO – Here we’re talking about certified organic cacao in powder, nib, or whole bean forms. This cacao, unlike most cocoa powder and commercial chocolate, is not processed using the “Dutch method” where heat of up to 150°C can wipe out most of the nutrients and antioxidants. (Have to say, this realization is kind of a bummer, but that doesn’t mean unprocessed cocoa can’t be just as tasty… Pssst... cacao nib recipes here..)
Certified organic cocoa is never subjected more than 40°C, which allows you to reap the full benefits. For instance, raw cacao is one the world’s most concentrated sources of antioxidants, and is high in magnesium content.
MACA – This powder, from the Maca root originates from Peru and was a go-to strength and endurance for Inca warriors some 2000 years ago. Maca aka Peruvian ginseng, is also said to support fertility, and boost libido, and the immune system.
COCONUTS - Young coconuts are one of the highest natural sources of electrolytes: ionized salts that deliver energy throughout the body. So, coconut water is a better bet than sugary, artificially colored sports drinks. Since the structure of coconut water is close to that of human blood plasma, it’s readily absorbed and processed by the body.
Ok, it's fried, but... this recipe for Coconut Beer Shrimp with Sweet & Tangy Sauce sounds mouthwatering!
COCONUT OIL –The body digests the saturated fat of coconut oil are more easily other saturated fats from butter, meat and eggs. These fatty acids go directly to the liver for energy conversion. Ultimately, coconut oil speeds up your metabolism, which means faster calorie burn, which helps with weight loss. It’s also got great antibacterial, antiviral, and anti fungal properties.
NONI –The noni fruit contains a plethora of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients that make it a powerhouse in fighting off colds and the flu. Research has shown the super fruit to have anti-tumor activity, and anti-inflammatory properties, as well pain-relieving and cell-restoring capacity. As with the acai, stick to freeze dried fruit and unpasteurized juice.
A votre santé!