The following 12 foods will give you increased energy, glowing skin and improved health:
1. Avocado – contain healthy fats and oils (90% omega-9 fatty acids), Vit B, anti-oxidant vitamins such as A, C and E, potassium, magnesium, iron and manganese. Limit to one avocado per day if you are conscious of calorie intake.
2. Olives or olive oil – like the avocado they contain healthy fats and oils, also high in calcium, magnesium, amino acides, vit A, E and B, high in anti-oxidants and is the highest mucus dissolver of any fruit. Do not use olives that have been pasteurised and soaked in vinegar and salt. Try to find organic sun ripened olives from a supplier or buy ‘water cured’ or ‘sea salt cured’ or ‘cold pressed olive oil cured’. Garnish your salads with a few olives per day.
3. Coconut – they are high in Vit C, B, proteins and electrolytes. They have benefical properties for our skin, combating skin cancer, gallbladder, kidney, liver function and thyroid. You can use coconut oil or butter, ensure it is cold-pressed extra virgin. If you can get the young coconuts (white ones without husk) it will be much easier to crack open, also the milk is more beneficial.
4. Spirulina – this is a fantastic food with loads of protein and contains all 22 amino acids our bodies need for good health. It contains chlorophyll which makes it a powerhouse for our bodies. Chlorophyll is great for maintaining the correct pH levels in our blood – most people have high acid bodies due to the animal products they eat. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids. Spirulina should be kept in the fridge – add it to your cold soups and fruit based smoothies – it does have a strong flavour. You only need about a half a teaspoon per day.
5. Parsley – italian flat leaf has the best flavour with most benefits. Parsley is well known for its ability to inhibit tumor growth and helps to activate the body’s most powerful antioxidant – glutathione. It is high in Vit C, Vit A, Iron and Folic Acid. Only use fresh parsley – can be added to your salads. It is very easy to grow parsley, in fact, it spreads like wildfire. That way you can be sure it is fresh and high quality, without using pesticides.
6. Sesame Seeds – these little seeds have great health benefits for our vascular and respiratory systems. Excellent in preventing airway spasm in asthma, lowering blood pressure, reduces the incidence of migraines and gives us relaxing normal sleep patterns esp if you are menopausal. It contains very high levels of calcium, copper and magnesium. Great for those suffering aching joints or any arthritic problems. Use in salads or smoothies, or make up some tahini (by blending sesame seeds and storing in the fridge).
7. Quinoa – a grain that is a perfect and complete protein. Quinoa is an ancient grain found in South America. It contains manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorous and Vit B. Very good for people who suffer from migraines, diabetes and atherosclerosis. It is not a grain that people will suffer from any allergies. It can be used in salads, cereals and added to dips. Only available in some health food stores and needs to be soaked and sprouted before eating. Can be cooked, although it is better to eat raw.
8. Nori – this is the sea vegetable that makes up the outer lining of sushi. You can substitute bread and wraps for this very beneficial vegetable. It has a high level of protein and fibre and contains loads of sea sourced minerals including iodine. Iodine supports good thryroid health which controls your metabolism – a good way of keeping your weight in check.
9. Kale (a form of cabbage) – this is the healthiest green vegetable available to us. It contains more than you need each day of the following vitamins – Vit K, A and C. It also contains a high amount of iron. The cruciferous vegetables, ie kale, broccoli, cabbage, and brussel sprouts are associated with lower incidence of cancers such as lung, breast, colon, ovarian and bladder. It also has properties which are detoxifying for our bodies. It helps keep the liver healthy.
10. Flax Seed/Oil – They are are great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and lignans. Flax lignans are phytonutrients which have very good health benefits for both men and women. They balance the hormones, are anti-oxidant, help with bone health, prostate, breast health, the heart, reducing menopause symptoms and minimize hair loss, acne and inflammation. They are excellent in reducing cholesterol. You can use the oil in your salad dressings, smoothies or you can ground your own seeds. Ground seeds must be kept in the freezer or eaten immediately.
11.Maca (powdered supplement) – it comes from the maca root. It contains amino acids, complex carbs, Vit B, C and E, calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium and iron. It balances hormones, builds muscle, enhances stamina and can increase fertility. It supports the adrenal glands and can reduce stress on the body. It has a strong flavour and can be used in smoothies.
Now for the best one of the lot – CHOCOLATE … forget Cadbury’s .. it just won’t do for you what raw chocolate will do!
12. Cacao – chocolate – who doesn’t love chocolate!! The commercial chocolate is full of fat and sugar. Cacao contains high levels of magnesium (great when you have pmt). It can diminish appetite and releases the serotonin ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain. Cacao has no dairy so most people will not have an allergic reaction to it. You can add to your smoothies, only a small amount is required. I will add dessert recipes for cacao in the next few days.