After my chat with Fabrizio Marini and Jane Carroll for our Therapist of the Month blogpost I asked Fabrizio to tell me what he considers to be his top Superfoods and how he likes to use them. You’ll be glad to see that these amazing foods can be introduced to your daily diet with no greater effort than mixing them into a juice, smoothie, breakfast cereal or soup. It’s so easy yet the benefits can be huge! Here are Fabrizio’s top six superfoods.
So what is a superfood?
A superfood can essentially be classified as any food item that contains an extremely dense concentration of vital nutrients, vitamins and/or minerals, as well as antioxidants, good fats and healthy enzymes. It is for this reason that we call such foods Super.
I for one firmly believe in food as our source of minerals and vitamins and always try my absolute best to add nutrient dense foods to my daily food intake. For sure at times we may find ourselves lacking and will need to supplement in very specific circumstances (always supplement under advisement from a qualified professional like a Nutritional Therapist or a Health Shop trained professional).
Here are my top six that I try to incorporate on a weekly basis:
Wheatgrass – Five out of the seven days I will have a little shot of wheatgrass made with some orange juice just to take that really green taste out of it. Always take on an empty stomach, so best time is usually first thing in the morning. It contains vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, iron, calcium, magnesium, and protein.
Chia Seeds – A great addition to your porridge or even a smoothie. Jam packed full of goodness, high in fibre, protein and omega 3’s. They contain essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, mucin, strontium, Vitamins A, B, E, and D, and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, copper, potassium, sulphur, iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, niacin, thiamine, and they are a rich source of anti-oxidants.
Maca – Often referred to as ‘Peruvian Ginseng’ a fantastic energy enhancing food. It is an adaptogen (helps against the rigors of stress and high cortisol levels). It is also known for its hormone balancing abilities in women and lesser known for its libido enhancing effects. High in iron and calcium and a source of protein it can be added to soups for its nutty flavor. Also it can be added to smoothies. As it is an adaptogen it is best used in cycles and always allow 1 to 2 days off a week.
Ashwagandha – An Ayurveda herb and an adaptogen. This is my go to herb for stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha contains many useful medicinal chemicals, including withanolides (steroidal lactones), alkaloids, choline, fatty acids and amino acids. As it is an adaptogen it is best used in cycles and always allow 1 to 2 days off a week. I usually put ashwagandha into a smoothie and it is probably the best way to take it. Half a teaspoon is an adequate amount.
Cacao Nibs – Who doesn’t like snacking on cacao nibs great for a little boost of energy I try to use in a snack with a small piece of fruit. It has the highest amount of antioxidants in any food on the planet and is a must to have in your life to combat the rigors of life. Cacao contains over 300 important compounds, including protein, fat, certain B-vitamins and minerals such as calcium, sulphur, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and copper. It also contains caffeine so be cautious anyone that is sensitive to caffeine.
Acai – The berry from the amazon and used as a staple food source for many Amazonians. Acai berry is also rich in medium chain fatty acids like oleic acid (omega-9) and linoleic acid (omega-6). Acai berries contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron, and magnesium. They are rich in B-complex vitamins and vitamin-K. Niacin, vitamin B6 and riboflavin. Quite an easy food to introduce as while it is purple in colour it is quite neutral in taste so it can be added to juices or smoothies.
Making small changes every week to your daily lives will have a positive effect on your health and remember it’s never too late to get healthy we all have to start somewhere.