Top 9 Superfoods to Eat

More and more people now are turning to consuming Superfoods to address health issues and the demands of modern life. It can be a luxury to many, but the benefits outweigh the costs.

Here is a rundown of the Top 9 Superfoods you should be eating to live an optimum life!

 

MACA POWDER

Maca seems to be very popular nowadays – you see it in athletic powders, green smoothie mixes, and health supplements. This powder is also a hit online media like Instagram.

But what is maca?

Maca is derived from the maca root. It is said to be “nature’s viagra,” according to an article from Huffington Post.

 

What are the benefits of Maca powder?

Said to benefit the adrenal glands if one is suffering from adrenal fatigue syndrome or chronic fatigue syndrome as it balances the hormones

According to Global Healing Center, this superfood is an energy enhancer too.

What are the side effects of Maca powder?

But there are reports that using maca can have health risks such as affecting the blood pressure and also blood sugar crashes after weeks of  using it so as always, ask your doctor before using it.

 

SPIRULINA

According to Mercola.com, spirulina is a blue-green algae that comes from warm and fresh water bodies. This algae is, most of the time, confused with chlorella which is  a totally different kind.

 

What are the benefits of spirulina?

Spirulina is said to boost the immune system. This superfood is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals

May help in controlling healthy blood pressure levels

Spirulina can also support good liver health and alleviate allergies

Spirulina may fight cancer

 

What are the side effects of spirulina?

Spirulina is not advised for those with seafood allergy and iodine too. So this makes me wary of taking spirulina as I am allergic to prawns.

It is also noted that spirulina may produce feelings of slight fever .

According to Livestrong.com, all blue green algae can produce a toxin called microsystins which can cause liver damage.

 

 

PURE ORGANIC RAW CACAO

By far, the latest and most revered discovery in the superfoods arena.

cacao beans

Cacao is made from the coffee bean.

What are the benefits of cacao?

Cacao which are found in chocolates are rich in flavanols – a type of antioxidants. Flavanols are anti-oxidants that, according to Cleveland Clinic, are beneficial to our cardiovascular health. The health benefits are of flavanols are – lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and can make the blood platelets less sticky, and it lowers the bad cholesterol.



What are the side effects of cacao?

It is not advisable to binge on chocolates rich in caramel and sugary contents as this is high in sugar and therefore bad for the health, especially the heart. What one needs to consume is the raw and organic, pure cacao beans as that is where the flavanols are.

 

CHIA SEEDS

Chia seeds are mostly sprinkled in breakfast meals especially for people on the go who just want  a dash of the morning smoothies or cereal meal.

Chia seeds could be white, black or brown in color, and they are mostly tiny seeds.  They are said to be really abundant in Mexico, and could date as far back as the Aztecs, who used it as a staple food.

What are the benefits of chia seeds?

Among the benefits noted for this superpacked full of nutrients tiny seeds are:

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, according to the Medical News Today, which helps increase the good cholesterol in our bodies that can benefit our heart health and protect from strokes.

May Help Reduce the risk of diabetes. Chia seeds are rich in fiber which helps the digestive system and promotes good movement and promotes healthy blood sugar levels.

Chia seeds can promote weight loss. Since these are rich in fibre which makes you feel full faster, and is very good for the colon too, one tends to eat less, and at the same time a healthy colon means good bowel movement.

What are the side effects of chia seeds?

The only negative information I found about this superfood is that one must make sure to take this along with food or mixed with a drink as if one has a hard time swallowing then this could pose a risk as it forms a gel that is thick – this happened with a man who had to have a medical emergency, according to an article by the Medical News Today.

 

VIRGIN COCONUT OIL

virgin coconut oil benefits

Virgin coconut oil  has been around for years so the supposed or claimed health benefits of it are nothing new. But this wonder food continues to soar high, in fact, more and more health products related to this are constantly popping out in the market today.

Virgin coconut oil is made by extraction from select coconuts via cold press process, which is recommended. The best brand should always be raw, organic, non bleached and cold pressed, fair trade, if possible.

 

What are the benefits of virgin coconut oil?

Virgin coconut oil are rich in lauri acid. Lauric acid is said to be antimicrobial and anti-fungal. Lauric acid could be a good natural cure for those suffering from candida albicans.

May help have a better brain function

May help with digestion

May help with weight loss

May help with fighting cancer

May help in dealing with Type 2 Diabetes



 

What are the side effects of virgin coconut oil?

Some people reported inability to tolerate this oil with reactions like palpitations and headaches after ingesting virgin coconut oil. Some people online also reported that they experienced blood sugar crashes after taking this oil. Some even reported tightness in the chest.

But again, one must do research and consult with the doctor before taking supplements and herbs.

HEMP SEEDS

Hemp seeds are not to be confused with the plant itself, dubbed as its cousin. Fear not as it does not have any content of the dreaded  marijuana, or may have relatively low levels of it (Caution is recommended; check with doctor)

What are the benefits of hemp seeds?

Hemp seeds are rich in protein so they are helpful in the recovery of our body via the building of tissues especially after injury and inflammation.

Hemp seeds are also claimed to help in reducing premenstrual symptoms. The reason is that these seeds are rich in GLA or gamma linolenic acid which reduces prolactin, a hormone to which women are sensitive to (those suffering from PMS), according to Authority Nutrition website.

Hemp seeds may reduce the risk of heart disease.  As per the article of Authority Nutrition website, these seeds are rich in arginine. Arginine produces nitric oxide – plays a big role in relaxing the blood vessels by dilation which then lowers the blood pressure of an individual.

What are the side effects of hemp seeds?

According to the website Seedguides.info, there might be a risk of contacting very low levels of psychoactive cannabinols such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. In this connection, some might experience periods of hallucinations.

Speak with your doctor and a qualified health professional.

 

 ACAI BERRY

A small round, black purple fruit, resembling a grape, as per Wikipedia. This fruit is native to South America.

What are the benefits of acai berry?

According to the Mayo Clinic site, acai berries may help in losing weight, alleviating arthritic pains, may even help in sexual problems like erectile dysfunction. It is also said to contain a lot more antioxidants compared to the other berries like blueberries and cranberries. According to Lifehack.org, berries are rich in phythochemicals, which can reverse age related memory problems.

Acai berries are also used in cosmetics like anti-ageing products, lotions and facial creams.

 

What are the side effects of acai berry ?

In the same article by the Mayo Clinic, it mentioned some things to be wary about when taking or eating acai berry.

It states that one must inform the doctor if you are about to have MRI scans as the berries can affect it.

One must also be cautious as products with acai berry may containe caffeine.

 

QUINOA

quinoa benefits

This is a pricey super grain that has been said to be a staple of certain people in Africa. I have been eating this grain since the year 2010 when I started to suffer eczema. But up until now, I still think not a lot of peopl know about it; I can tell by having to always struggle to explain when I ask supermarket sales clerks about it.

Quinoa is a tiny lightly coloured grain that resembles couscous which is used in salads. But the only difference is it is gluten free compared to couscous.

This product can be easily sourced from Amazon so it should be handy to buy.

What are the benefits of Quinoa?

It is a highly nutritious food thats rich in protein,  oil, fat, minerals like iron, thiamin, Vitamin B6 (source Livescience.com). It also mentioned that quinoa has the highest level of antioxidants that is essential to counter the effects of inflammation and may help manage Type 2 diabetes.

Quinoa is rich in fiber so it may help digestion.

Quinoa also may also help lower cholesterol due to its heart healthy fats content.

According to research, this may reduce the risk of asthma in childhood by as much as 50% (source http://www.seedguides.info/quinoa/).

 

What are the side effects of Quinoa?

There are no reported side effects as per my online reading.

But it was pointed out that because the seeds have a coating called saponins, this might irritate the stomach. It is recommended to properly wash them to lessen the risk of irritation, or maybe stop the risk of irritation (http://www.seedguides.info/quinoa/).

 

GOJI BERRIES

benefits goji berries

According to Wikipedia, Goji, goji berry or wolfberry is the fruit of Lycium barbarum. This fruit is quite abundant in China and has been used for thousands of years.

What are the benefits of Goji Berries?

Goji berries are very popular especially among celebrities like Madonna. This superfood berry can be very expensive, so to speak. But maybe the benefits say it all? A super duper powerful antioxidant fruit.

In an article on the site Natural News, it mentioned that Goji berries can help improve male fertility. These are correlated with users from China, apparently, as a sexual stimulant. But the study done (according to the Life Sciences magazine 2006) to prove such claims were carried out in rats. It found that it boosted hormone levels and also improved the sperm quality of rats.

 

What are the side effects of Goji Berries?

According to the site WebMD.com, this berry could interact with Warfarin, a blood thinner drug, and may also react with diabetes and blood pressure drugs.

 

 

“Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.”

 

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