e decided to compile a superfoods list, as wealth statistics in the United States are alarming. If you’re an average American, you will quite likely be diagnosed with a chronic illness by the time you’re 55. In fact, 78% of American men and women around that age will have at least one chronic health condition, and almost half of them will have two or more.
Cancer. Arthritis. Diabetes. Heart Disease. These words are spoken far, far too often. So, if we’re spending more than most of the world on healthcare (a whopping 3 trillion dollars a year), why are more and more people seemingly suffering from such poor health?
The American healthcare problem is neglect. We neglect our bodies and our spirits. We neglect time-tested solutions in favor of new pills. Many doctors neglect natural cures, ancient remedies, and holistic approaches to health.
And yet millions of people have been empowered to take the reins of their own health through natural, at-home food remedies and simple lifestyle changes.
So, whether you’re taking your first steps towards a healthier lifestyle, or you’re already a natural health veteran, we hope you find the below superfoods list useful and insightful. Many of the mentioned superfoods may already be in your kitchen! We know you’re ready to have some fun, and live the healthiest and most fulfilling life you can.
The Essential Superfoods List
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has been all the rage recently—and for good reason. It’s nutrient-rich, full of healthy fats, and has countless uses in all facets of personal health! This news has recently spread like wildfire around the world, and there are millions of people now using it daily for everything from controlling weight to keeping skin and hair beautiful and healthy. Even the realm of dental hygiene couldn’t escape coconut oil’s healing powers!This chapter will cover all of these varied uses and the exact methods and dosages you need to make them work best.
But first, what exactly is coconut oil? For thousands of years, inhabitants of South Asia and South America have long used parts of the coconut fruit as a refreshing, nutritious beverage and a healthy cooking staple. They have been well-aware of the wealth of benefits coconut and its oil can provide. Even the coconut’s husk has been used as a versatile raw material for making brushes, ropes, and fishnets! The flesh, or coconut meat, however, is where the nutritious coconut oil comes from. So, what kind of things can coconut oil be used for?
Although predominantly a saturated fat, scientists have discovered that coconut oil’s unique composition makes it quite different from other fats: it consists of over 62% medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs). In contrast to long-chain fatty acids, medium-chain fatty acids do not get stored as fat, and are utilized quickly for energy. This is what makes MCTs fantastic for weight loss and the perfect oil for those with difficulty digesting fats, whether due to a digestive disorder or gall bladder removal. The two main MCTs found in coconut oil are lauric acid and caprylic acid.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Turns out the benefits of consuming apples don’t just stop at eating “an apple a day”. The natural sugars found in apples also lend themselves as the perfect candidates for fermentation, resulting in a byproduct (apple cider vinegar!) that has endless benefits. Its power lies in its active compound: acetic acid.
Acetic acid is a potent antimicrobial that can be used to treat multiple types of infection, a fantastic blood-sugar stabilizer, helping both diabetics and those who are trying to lose weight, and a tonic for the cardiovascular system, by working to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Consuming even a tablespoon a day mixed in water is a great way to start reaping these benefits.
When looking to purchase apple cider vinegar, look for one that’s organic, unfiltered, and unpasteurized so that you’re getting the health benefits from the amino acids, minerals, enzymes, and friendly bacteria!
Ginger, or if you fancy the scientific term Zingiber officinale, is an extremely popular spice most commonly used in baking and natural health remedies. Zingiber Officinale, is quite a mouthful so let’s take the path of least resistance and stick with ginger.
Culturally, ginger has been used for more than 5000 years! Pretty amazing right? Ancient Indians and Chinese populations used ginger root as a tonic to treat common ailments and it was considered a luxury in medieval times in the form of delicate sweets. It has been traded throughout history longer than most other spices, and survived the generations mainly due to its medicinal powers.
To date it has been studied for its antibacterial, antifungal, pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and antiulcer properties, and now with new research coming to light, even anti-cancer properties.
You probably have noticed the explosion of turmeric products and supplements on the market, and the headline-grabbing attention it has received even amongst mainstream media and literature.
Native to Indonesia and southern India, turmeric has been harvested for over 5000 years, and been used not only as a healing remedy, but also as a textile dye and condiment in curries.
So why all the fuss now? Well, recent research has confirmed the healing power of its active compound: curcumin, even more powerful than some drugs. This phytonutrient is an extremely potent anti-inflammatory, meaning it can help reduce the symptoms of chronic disease where systemic inflammation plays a role.
Why is it that every nutritionist and fitness expert these days is shown holding a glass of lemon water in their hand? It’s because of the lemon’s wealth of health benefits, of course! There’s a good reason why health and wellness experts can’t seem to get enough of this citrus fruit.
Lemons got their first claim to fame as a medicinal remedy when it was discovered that their high Vitamin C content helped prevent scurvy. Although scurvy is no longer such a major concern, Vitamin C’s innumerable benefits are still useful for our immune system and skin health in particular.
If the Vitamin C content isn’t enough to sell you on them, lemons also contain a unique combination of flavonoids making them high in antioxidants, which is fantastic for boosting heart health. They also aid digestion by stimulating bile production, help stabilize blood sugar , act as a mild diuretic to flush out toxins, and help keep weight off thanks to pectin, a soluble fiber that keeps you full and fights diabetes. Phew! And for less than a dollar for one lemon (although maybe not in the Far North!), why wouldn’t you make this a part of your daily routine?
Before going further, let’s clear up any concern about possible enamel damage from consuming lemon and lemon juice. As long as you’re not using it like mouthwash, your teeth will be fine! As a best practice, feel free to rinse your mouth out with water after consuming lemon, or, for drinks, simply drink out of a straw to avoid the teeth altogether.
Garlic is a herb grown around the world for over 5000 years, making it one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. Aside from adding flavor, it’s gaining attention for its wide array of health benefits, in particular as an antimicrobial, cardiovascular tonic, and due to its cancer-fighting capabilities.
On top of being a great solution for serious health issues, garlic is equally effective as a treatment for common ailments like fever, coughs, headaches, stomach aches, sinus congestion, asthma, tooth sensitivity, stomach inflammation, stress, and fatigue. In fact, research on garlic indicates that it may provide an ideal low-cost and safe alternative to a multitude of drugs.
Garlic can be eaten in its whole raw state, in capsule form, in oil and extracts, or as a powder. When eating raw garlic, it is best to chop or mince it, and then leave it on the counter for 10 minutes. This is because the enzyme alliinase needs time to turn the main constituent in garlic, called allin, into the compound allicin, which has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects. To take it up a notch, it’s been said that chewing garlic first thing in the morning on an empty stomach can increase its power.
In terms of dosage, it is widely agreed that eating two cloves of garlic on a daily basis will ensure that you are capitalizing on all of garlic’s wonders—across all health ailments and preventative measures alike.
If you’re looking for therapeutic results however, keep in mind that allicin found in raw garlic is quite unstable, and it would be better to consume stabilized allicin in capsule form to get the best results.
7. Raw Honey
You may know that honey is made by bees for food, but did you know honey also contains a ton of benefits for humans, beyond just its sweet taste? Unlike sugar, which is an isolate of sugarcane, honey is a whole food containing all the whole food trademarks: live enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics, and amino acids. Of course, that’s
when you buy honey in raw form. Raw honey is unpasteurized (not exposed to heat) which keeps its enzymes and good bacteria intact and preserves its benefits.
Raw honey also contains a powerful enzyme, known as glucose oxidase, which provides raw honey with its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, making it fantastic for wound healing and killing infections, even something as strong as a staph infection! Raw honey also tends to retain bee pollen, which is not only energizing and rich in amino acids, but also helps the body acclimatize to local bee pollen and ease allergy symptoms.
The Sugar Vs. Honey Debate
While both raw honey and white sugar list a similar amount of sugar (in grams) on a nutrition label, research has shown that when we consume a whole food sweetener as opposed to an isolated form of sugar, there is a significant difference in our body’s response to it.
A clinical study published in 2010 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition analyzed the effects of honey and sugar on blood sugar levels. Those who ate honey experienced, “a blunted glycemic response” (a slower response in the rise of blood sugar) and “a positive modulation of appetite hormones” (a slower sugar crash, resulting in longer-term satisfaction after eating). Another difference between sugar and honey is that sugar as we know it is a relatively new introduction to our diets. We’ve been eating honey for thousands of years. Our bodies know how to process it, the sugar-isolate on the other hand… not so much! Without the presence of vitamins, minerals and live enzymes, this incomplete carbohydrate metabolism creates a toxic metabolite called pyruvic acid, which can interfere with the respiration of the body’s cells.
There it it is! The Essential Superfoods List. Now you have all of the information you need to get started on the first steps towards a healthy, natural lifestyle, or to take your natural remedy knowledge to the next level!