Introduction To Superfoods

November 17, 2014

What are superfoods? These nutritional powerhouse foods are loaded with nutrients crucial to a healthy, long life. Superfoods are credited for warding off heart disease, lowering cholesterol, and protecting us from many different types of cancers through their antioxidant properties. We like to think of superfoods as nature’s medicine. You aren’t going to find healing properties of superfoods in a donut or a cracker. Superfoods are real, whole, unprocessed foods. A few different examples of types of superfoods include the following, all of which offer different healing properties for the body:

  • Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Oats
  • Oranges
  • Pumpkin
  • Salmon
  • Spinach
  • Tean (Green or Black)
  • Tomatoes
  • Walnuts

There are also these wonderful superfoods out there that are only able to grow in certain parts of the world, and they have more vitamins, minerals and healing properties than any conventional food you can find in the US. Some of these foods include goji berries, bee pollen maca, lucuma, camu camu, maqui berry and mesquite. Never heard of them? Don’t worry, we will start introducing them to you and once you find out how powerful these superfoods are, you’ll be running out to get them.

Today, we want to introduce you to two superfoods: sweet cacao nibs and hemp seeds.  These two super foods, like the others, help prevent disease, taste great, and as you will see below, can easily be turned into a delicious recipe that your kids will love, too!

Cacao Nibs:

Generally speaking, chocolate is considered to be rich sources of antioxidants, when found in their purest forms. Cacao nibs are just that– cocoa that comes from peeled, roasted and crushed cacao beans, which grow on cacao trees. Pure cacao nibs have a very bitter, intensely nutty flavor, and many store bought varieties do come sweetened, so be sure to check the labels before purchasing. Not all sweetened cacao nibs are bad however; I recently purchased a great sweetened variety from Amazon. Locally, they can be purchased at Earth Fare. Eating cacao nibs can help you to get all of the health benefits of dark chocolate without all of the drawbacks of consuming the sugar contained in many chocolate products. Try sprinkling cacao nibs on ice cream or yogurt, adding them to trail mixes, or as I have done, make a superfood granola!  Click here for The Whole Tulip’s Superfood Granola.

Hemp Seeds:

What comes to mind when I say the word “hemp”? I used to think of those thick rope bracelets that kids would where back to school after summer break. Do you remember those? Well, hemp is everywhere these days, including our food, and surprise, it’s good for you! What’s all the fuss about, you might ask?

Hemp is a high protein seed that contains nine essential amino acids. It contains so much goodness: high amounts of fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E, and a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats. For people on a vegetarian or vegan diet, hemp seeds are a great option since they contain all essential amino acids, which is very uncommon for a plant protein. Since hemp derives from a plant, the body has an easier time digesting it.  Unlike other proteins, hemp is less likely to cause bloating and gas. Hemp seeds, the rawest form of hemp, and therefore, the best form for you, have a delicious nutty flavor and can be added to just about anything you eat!

You can find Hemp Seeds at Whole Foods, Earthfare or any natural food store. There are also many varities of Hemp Protein powders. Both are great to add to a morning smoothie and can have up to 15 g of protein per serving.

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