Our evolutionary hunter-gatherer ancestors enjoyed a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and herbs that changed with the seasons. Today, we shop in grocery stores. Like most, you likely choose the same 3-4 favorite fruits and 5-6 preferred vegetables each week, all year long. As creatures of habit, we rarely experiment or change things up. And that’s a problem.
Our ancestors had the right idea. Your body needs a variety of cellular building blocks to make everything work properly. Limiting the diversity of your flavonoids, antioxidants, amino acids, and so on leaves your cells starving in some areas. And those areas will misfire and stop functioning without adequate fuel, gradually causing damage.
An affordable way to combat this limitation is by adding superfoods with a nutrient-dense smorgasbord of phytonutrients to your diet. NASA first introduced the idea of using Spirulina for their astronauts in space.
NASA calls these blue-green algae the "Superfood of the Future!", a small amount packs a powerful punch. It’s chock-full of beneficial nutrients, protein, omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and a laundry list of vitamins and minerals.
It has 6 times more protein than eggs... 37 times more iron than spinach... 16 times more vitamin B1 than fish... and 47 times more vitamin B2 than strawberries!
There's no doubt it's among the most nutrition-dense foods on the planet. This superb nutrient is rich in antioxidants called phycocyanins. They fight free radicals and protect you from oxidative damage and disease. These mighty warriors inhibit the production of inflammatory signaling molecules, blocking haywire immune responses. It dramatically lowers blood sugar outperforming Metformin in some studies.
It increases nitric oxide production, a signaling molecule that helps blood vessels relax, lowering blood pressure. One study showed it dropped the "bad" LDL cholesterol by 10.1% and triglycerides by 16.3% while raising "good" HDL cholesterol. Spirulina's antioxidants reduce lipid peroxidation. This can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), arterial plaque, and atherosclerosis. Scientists have also seen positive results with certain cancers.
And there are still lots more benefits. In fact, this dynamo boosts your metabolism and aids in weight loss!
Another phenomenal superfood that's come to light in recent years is Beets. Its intense red color stem from the bioactive pigment betalains. Betalains, rutin, epicatechin, and caffeic acid are potent antioxidants with strong anti-inflammatory and chemo-preventative properties.
Since inflammation is the gateway to disease, these properties have grabbed the interest of scientists and doctors alike. Researchers are delving deep into developing promising therapeutic Beetroot treatments for a range of clinical applications associated with inflammation and oxidative stress damage, such as liver disease, kidney inflammation, osteoarthritis, arthritis, and cancer.
High in soluble fiber, Beets eases digestion, but more importantly, they support healthy gut flora and immunity. Beets help prevent constipation, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and diverticulitis and reduce colon cancer risk. Beets have been linked to reducing the risk for type 2 diabetes and dementia. Nitrates in beets may improve mental and cognitive functions by enhancing blood and oxygen delivery to the brain, especially as you age.
Numerous studies show significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease. And Beets are fantastic for boosting energy. Two studies found that nitrates in Beets increased endurance during high-intensity exercise by 15-25%.
Although Beets contain 70% glucose and 80% fructose, their glycemic load is a very low 5. So, feel free to eat a whole bunch, but don't freak if your pee turns red. That's normal!
This superstar superfood hasn't found the notoriety of others. But aficionados prize this unique herb/legume for its superior nutrient profile. Low in calories, it's jammed with vitamins, minerals, and soluble fiber. But it’s also high in valuable compounds, such as saponins, coumarins, flavonoids, phytosterols, alkaloids, and phytoestrogens.
Saponins help bind cholesterol to bile salts for excretion, thereby reducing serum blood levels. Studies also show it improves blood sugar control in people with diabetes by increasing insulin release from the pancreas. Alfalfa has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to treat inflammation and oxidative damage, two significant pathways to disease.
Researchers found that Alfalfa reduces cell death and DNA damage by free radicals. It reduces the damage caused by stroke or brain injury. And it also reduces the incidence of fibrosis of the liver and scarring. Way to go, Alfalfa!
Gratifying Green Tea
Japanese studies confirm what they've known for centuries. Green Tea helps you live healthier and longer. In one 11-year study in 40,530 adults, researchers found a 23% reduction in death from all causes in women and 12% in men. They also saw a 31% reduction in death from heart disease in women and 22% in men. Plus, a 42% reduction in death due to stroke in women and 35% in men.
And another study in 14,001 older folks showed they were 76% less likely to die during the 6-year study period while regularly ingesting Green Tea.
Green Tea is a metabolic booster that can accelerate fat loss, especially around your waistline, without other lifestyle changes. Regular use has also shown a 31% reduction in death from heart disease. It protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation, leading to clots, arterial narrowing, high blood pressure, and inflammation.
And if that weren't enough, Green Tea also helps improve insulin sensitivity and reduces blood sugar levels. Incredibly, one 5-year study in 17,413 people showed that those who drank Green Tea had a 42% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. A review of 7 studies in 286,701 individuals concluded an 18% lower risk of diabetes. Either way, the math is fantastic!
The Bottom Line
These superfoods boast a motherload of nutrient-dense compounds that activate multiple cellular mechanisms and support optimal health. Introducing these superfoods into your daily diet could elevate your health status by a quantum leap.
Try to find a quality nutraceutical with more than one superfood along with digestive enzymes, probiotics, and antioxidants. These work together to balance and fortify your immune system and skyrocket energy. Go wild and concoct yummy smoothies. Be courageous and switch things up from time-to-time. If superfoods help NASA's astronauts thrive in the hostile environment of space, imagine what it can do for you!
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