I’ve become a huge believer in the power of superfoods. I’ve been taking them daily for just over 3 months and the effects are like nothing I’ve experienced with any other types of nutrition or supplements. My energy levels are ten times higher, my strength has increased nearly double, and my overall mood and mind are constantly positive and excited. Here are my top 4 superfoods, even if you just consistently get one or two worked into your daily intake it’ll be a huge benefit to your training and longevity:
Spirulina contains an amazing array of essential nutrients for our bodies. Not only does it contain over 60% complete protein (almost three times as much as that found in beef!), it has high concentrations of many other important vitamins and minerals, such as B complex vitamins, vitamin E, carotenoids, iodine, iron, manganese, zinc, essential fatty acids such as gamma linolenic acid (which is only otherwise found in mother’s milk), and more beta carotene than you can find in carrots! Spirulina is also one of the few plant sources of vitamin B12, which is essential for healthy nerves and tissues.
Studies suggest that Spirulina can help stimulate the immune system, increasing production of antibodies, and promoting a healthy response to allergens. It may also help reverse age-related declines in memory and learning, have thyroid protective properties, help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and promote the formation and development of red blood cells. Spirulina has also been shown to promote the growth of probiotics, which can help maintain intestinal health.
With over 15% protein, 21 essential minerals, and 18 amino acids, as well as lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP), goji berry is a nutrient-dense superfood in a class all its own.
Studies show that LBP polysaccharides are exceptional sources of the essential cell sugars necessary for proper immune function and intercellular communication. These polysaccharides can enhance health in a variety of ways, including helping cancer patients rebuild their natural defenses, improving DNA restoration and repair, and maintaining normal cell growth, and they may help slow the aging process.
LBP also contains lutien and zeaxanthin, which are beneficial to visual acuity. Goji berries are an abundant source of nutrients that can provide retina protection, and are thus particularly recommended for diabetic patients.
In addition to LBP, the fruit contains a full complement of other nutrients:
- 18 amino acids, including the 8 essential ones
- More antioxidant carotenoids than are found in any other known food, including more beta carotene than carrots, and zeaxanthin (which protects the eyes)
- Nearly as much protein as bee pollen
- 21 trace minerals, including germanium, an anti-cancer substance rarely found in foods
- Vitamins B1, B2, and B6, and vitamin E
Research validates a broad range of beneficial effects from using goji berries:
- Strengthens the immune system
- Increases longevity and protects from premature aging
- Helps prevent cancer and aids remission
- Protects the liver
- Builds strong blood and promotes cardiovascular health
- Supports eye health and improves vision
- Maintains healthy blood pressure and blood sugar
- Stimulates secretion of human growth hormone
- Strengthens muscles and bones
- Supports normal kidney function
- Improves fertility and treats sexual dysfunction
- Helps reduce obesity
Referred to as “nature’s perfect food”, bee pollen contains 96 known nutrients, with a high degree of bioavailability. No other single food offers the array of vitamins, minerals, protein, amino acids, antibiotics, enzymes, trace elements, fats, and hormones found in bee pollen. It can alleviate the nutritional deficiencies common in today’s world, and help the body rebuild and rejuvenate itself.
Bee pollen contains up to 40% high-quality protein, more than any animal product, and all the essential amino acids, making it an excellent food for nourishing the brain and building strength. It is a rich dietary source of zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron, and other minerals, and provides the highest concentration of vitamins of any food found in nature.
It is also packed with live enzymes, as well as phytonutrients, including co-enzymes, bioflavonoids, phytosterols and carotenoids. In order to preserve enzymatic and nutrient value, do not expose bee pollen to heat.
Bee pollen is perhaps the highest dietary source of rutin, which helps increase the strength and integrity of blood cell walls, strengthens the heart, and helps control high blood pressure.
In addition, bee pollen is a natural antibiotic in which bacteria simply cannot exist, providing increased resistance to infection. Antibiotic factors present in the pollen have been proven effective against E. coli, proteus, and salmonella organisms.
Used by many cultures around the world for its remarkable range of health benefits, bee pollen serves to:
- Increase energy and stamina
- Strengthen the immune system
- Reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Promote production of healthy blood cells
- Assist asthma and allergy sufferers
- Help regulate body weight
- Rejuvenate unhealthy or aging skin
- Relieve menstrual and menopausal symptoms
- Decrease chronic prostrate inflammation
- Increase alertness and well-being
- Perform myriad other functions to enhance physical and mental health
Many athletes take bee pollen to help increase their energy levels and endurance, and it has been widely used by Olympic athletes to increase their stamina while training. It has been of particular benefit to underweight athletes, enabling them to increase body weight and lean muscle mass. Because pollen is particularly rich in B-complex vitamins, minerals like potassium, and amino acids, it supports the glandular system, which is responsible for increased stamina and surges of vitality.
Pollen is also an excellent free radical scavenger that can protect against the negative effects of pollution and exposure to radiation.
The wide range of nutrients found in bee pollen work together, providing a synergistic impact that seems to improve their overall absorption by the body and enable better utilization of other nutrients present in the diet. Pollen corrects imbalances caused by deficient nutrition, and provides particular benefits when the body is challenged during times of increased stress.
Antioxidants: Cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea. Health benefits of these antioxidants include:
- Promote cardiovascular health – Help dilate bloods vessels, reduce blood clotting, improve circulation, help regulate heartbeat and blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
- Protect from environmental and metabolic toxins – Help repair and resist damage caused by free radicals, and may reduce risk of certain cancers.
Neurotransmitters: By increasing the levels of specific neurotransmitters in our brains, cacao promotes positive outlook, facilitates rejuvenation and simply helps us feel good.
- Serotonin – Cacao raises the level of serotonin in the brain; thus acts as an anti-depressant, helps reduce PMS symptoms, and promotes a sense of well-being.
- Endorphins – Cacao stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the “runner’s high” a jogger feels after running several miles.
- Phenylethylamine – Found in chocolate, phenylethylamine is also created within the brain and released when we are in love. Acts as mild mood elevator and anti-depressant, and helps increase focus and alertness.
- Anandamide – Anandamide is known as the “bliss chemical” because it is released by the brain when we are feeling great. Cacao contains both N-acylethanolamines, believed to temporarily increase the levels of anandamide in the brain, and enzyme inhibitors that slow its breakdown. Promotes relaxation, and helps us feel good longer.
Essential Minerals: Cacao beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.
- Magnesium – Cacao seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency, present in 80% of Americans, is linked with PMT, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and joint problems.
- Sulfur – Cacao is high in the beauty mineral sulfur. Sulfur builds strong nails and hair, promotes beautiful skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas functioning.
Essential fats: There is a misperception that chocolate is fattening. In truth, the fats in cocoa butter are healthy fats. Cacao contains oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, also found in olive oil, that may raise good cholesterol. Also, substances found in cacao are known to help reduce appetite.
I get all of my superfoods from www.livesuperfoods.com, I found them to be the best priced and highest quality product. (Also, all descriptions I took right off the website, not trying to claim false credit).