My goal this month was to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how to nourish your body. So far we’ve discussed my thoughts on extreme dieting and weight loss and the ideal diet. I also provided the basics of yin and yang nutrition to help you maintain a balanced body and diet, and in this blog, I’m sharing 11 foods that I consume on a daily basis. Interestingly enough, they all happen to be superfoods, which means they are nutrient dense and help to prevent many of the most common diseases.
I’ve been practicing medicine for the past 15 years. In that time, I’ve seen just how much food can impact health and wellbeing, so I consume the following superfoods daily to keep myself well and vital.
I also encourage my patients to consume these superfoods regularly as a way to support their overall health.
This South American plant is a powerful adrenal modulator. It is found mostly in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador (where I’m from). It supports the adrenal glands by boosting energy and regulating hormones so that you can better handle the stress of daily life. It also supports brain health, helps reduce anxiety, and increases libido. I purchase gelatinized maca and add a ¼ teaspoon to my smoothie each day.
2. RAW CACAO NIBS
Organic cacao nibs are nature’s chocolate chips and the rawest form of chocolate that you can consume. They are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, like iron and magnesium, as well as fiber and healthy fats. They have a deep, dark chocolate flavor and I love to add them to smoothies, sprinkle them on top of berries, and add them to trail mix.
These seeds are loaded with fiber (soluble and insoluble) and lignans which are essential to detoxification and one of the most powerful plant foods that are available. They bind to toxins and help to clear them from the body through the bowels. They also contain omega-3’s and help to reduce blood pressure, prevent heart disease, and regulate blood sugar. I recommend consuming two tablespoons of ground flax seeds each day in a smoothie, on a fruit salad, in a vegetable salad or in your morning oatmeal.
Also, something to note: ground flaxseeds don’t last more than a few weeks (even when stored in the refrigerator), so if you plan on buying in bulk, it’s best to buy whole flax seeds and grind them yourself when you’re ready to use them.
Whether you’re consuming dandelion greens or drinking a cup of dandelion tea (my favorite), this beautiful plant is an excellent source of vitamins a, b, and c vitamins as well as potassium and magnesium. I often recommend dandelion tea to help support my patients with liver and kidney detoxification. As you know, our environment is extremely toxic, but dandelion can help the body to clear out these toxins. Dandelion is also high in antioxidants which helps to neutralize free radicals and support healthy aging.
5. MILK THISTLE
This plant has been used for more than 2000 years to help protect the liver and support detoxification. Similar to dandelion, it helps to support the removal of heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, and chlorine from the body, so I drink a cup of organic milk thistle tea each day. I often mix it with dandelion to not only support detoxification, but healthy metabolism, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
In recent years, this superfood has become fairly well-known for its high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition to helping reduce inflammation, it also helps to support brain function, liver function, and gut health. I like to juice the raw root and add the juice to smoothies, but you can also use turmeric powder or take it in capsule form. If your goal is to prevent disease as you age, turmeric is an essential nutrient to consume on a daily basis.
One cup of blueberries provides 24% of a person recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. This helps to support collagen production which can help to reduce skin damage and reduce wrinkles. Blueberries also contain iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K – all minerals that contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength. Throw this delicious superfood in your smoothie or freeze them and enjoy them as a cool, refreshing treat.
I eat ½ an avocado each day because they are loaded with the healthy fats I need for hormone stabilization and brain health, the fiber I need for bowel support, and more potassium than a banana which helps support cardiovascular health and bone health. I add this superfood to salads and smoothies. They also make a great topping for soups and stews.
Garlic is a powerhouse when it comes to reducing inflammation, ridding the body of fungi and parasites, as well as treating and preventing a host of other illness. In fact, it has been linked to reducing and/or preventing four of the most common causes of death worldwide, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and infections. They don’t call it a superfood for nothing! I enjoy it in salad dressings, chopped and sauteed to add flavor to meals, and roasted.
10. OLIVE OIL
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States, but you can combat this statistic by adding olive oil to your diet. It is one of the best foods to consume to maintain the health of your heart because it contains monounsaturated fat that helps to clear your arteries and prevent premature aging of the heart. I recommend consuming this superfood raw, not cooked – use it to make salad dressings or drizzle it on top of meat, fish, and greens that have already been cooked.
11. SWEET POTATOES
In addition to all the other superfoods on this list, I also eat sweet potatoes every day! They are one of my favorite foods because they are loaded with carotenoids and vitamin A which help support eye health, heart health, the adrenals. They also contain high amounts of fiber and the sugar content is minimal which is great for gut health.
Consuming all of these superfoods on a regular basis will help to support your overall health and help you to move through 2019 feeling healthy and happy.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!