by Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.
We love food! We live for food! Food is ubiquitous and besides that, it’s EVERYWHERE!! Food is such a wonderful thing! It gives us pleasure. It gives us energy. Indeed, it gives us life! We cannot live without food.
Even to this day, there are people in this world who die for a lack of food, and yet we live in a country that has never known famine. The “amber waves of grain” from the United States have fed much of the world. We grow so much corn we need to devise ways to use it so we put it in shampoo, other hygiene products, make plastics out of it and even ferment it into alcohol to burn in our cars!
With all this food it should be obvious that we would be well-nourished, but this may not be the case. Our biggest health problems come from too much nutrition. Energy, in the form of calories, is abundant in sugar, starch, fat and protein.
However, most of the foods with these do not contain the antioxidants needed to prevent disease, disability and death. Heart disease still ranks as the number one cause of death, and cancer is a close second, both of which are caused primarily by inflammation from too much energy.
Inflammation also causes:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Enlarged prostate
- Macular degeneration
- And other “degenerative” diseases
Indeed, aging is a process of inflammation. However, we now know we don’t have to decline — even in our “declining years.” There are many foods known as “superfoods” to help us remain alert and active throughout our lives.
Superfoods are those foods that contain a lot of nutrients and antioxidants, but not a lot of calories.
- They prevent us from aging, declining, and breaking-down.
- They protect us from toxins and inflammation.
- They help keep our youth and energy.
And, what’s so wonderful is that there are superfoods for every taste.
1. Super GREENS
Green vegetables were the first to be recognized as a super food. Popeye ate a can of spinach and immediately had the power to flatten Brutus and win the love of Olive Oyl.
While spinach is a great food, there are many more types of green leaves with high nutrient value. Swiss chard is very nutritious, as are beet greens, and all forms of lettuce. Ironically, most of our salads in the United States primarily contain iceberg lettuce, which is the least nutritious. Branch out and use dandelion, arugula and chard in your salads. These green leafy vegetables are packed with antioxidants and minerals.
The color green comes from the magnesium in the chlorophyll that helps the plant make energy. Chlorophyll helps detox the body of heavy metals such as mercury, lead and arsenic. The list of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is very long, but they are short on calories, so they don’t create free-radicals. Mom was right: “Eat your greens!”
2. Super Sprouts
Ounce-for-ounce, sprouts contain up to 100 times more enzymes to help you digest and absorb nutrients than raw fruit and vegetables.
- The quality of the protein, meaning the available amino acids improves when beans, nuts, seeds and grains are sprouted.
- The fiber content also increases as starch is turned into fiber.
- Sprouting increases both the vitamin and essential (omega-3) oils by as much as 30 times within a few days.
- Moreover, minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, are bound to protein, making them more bioavailable.
Sprouts are best eaten between meals to replace chips, cookies, and other high-calorie-and-low-nutrient snacks. Enjoy all kinds of sprouts from alfalfa to wheat, beans to chia. Sprouted peas and sunflower seeds are among the most nutritious of all. You can buy them, the fresher, the better, or you can sprout them in your own kitchen! It’s easy!
3. Super Berries
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