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3 Little-Known Superfoods To Look Out For

3 Little-Known Superfoods To Look Out For

From Chia to Chlorella, Goji and Golden Berries to Hemp, Maca and Mulberries, superfoods are now all the rage. Packed with nutrition and healing properties, superfoods are whole foods with naturally concentrated levels of nutrients and phytochemicals – chemical compounds, naturally occurring in plants, that have been shown to offer nutritional or healing benefits to the body.

There is increasing evidence to demonstrate that the nutrients in whole foods are more beneficial than those found in pills and potions – a common sense perspective when you think that nature made these beneficial compounds available in the perfect synergy of the plants in which they’re found.

Probably the most well-known of the superfoods are those in the general family of micro-algae, which includes Astaxanthin, Chlorella, Spirulina, Blue-Green Algae, and one of the most recent superfood fads, Marine Phytoplankton. There are more than 40,000 strains of microalgae, but the aforementioned foods are known for their potent health benefits, including being rich in chlorophyll, trace minerals from the ocean water, and carotenoids.

But these highly nutritious gifts of nature don’t end at the ocean’s shore… Certain fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, roots, leaves and herbs can all be powerful tools in the fight against disease and poor nutrition.

The claims about superfoods include everything from treating nutritional deficiencies to increasing energy and stamina. But certain superfoods have even been indicated in the treatment of the following conditions:

• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Type-2 diabetes
• Autoimmune disorders such as lupus
• Eczema and skin disorders
• Breast cancer, prostate cancer and other cancers
• Heart disease and atherosclerosis
• Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• Parkinson’s disease and other neuromuscular disorders
• Liver disease and hepatitis
• Depression, mood swings and behavioral disorders
• Eye disease
• Infertility and reproductive system disorders
• Infections and common colds
• Asthma and respiratory disorders
• Kidney and bladder disorders
• Osteoporosis and skeletal disorders
• Chronic pain and joint pain

If you’re new to the superfood craze, and you’d like to get an overview of what’s out there, you might want to consider taking a stroll around the one of the many websites that sell these nutritional powerhouses. In addition to the usual suspects of spirulina, chlorella, chia, hemp, maca, and many others, here are a few products you might not have heard of, that may be deserving of a place in your health regimen:

Camu Camu Powder
A long-time staple of the indigenous tribes of the Peruvian Amazon rain forest, the Camu Camu fruit has more natural vitamin C than almost any known plant on earth. It is also a good source of antioxidants, amino acids and phytochemicals.

Goldenberries
The Goldenberry is an annual herb indigenous to many parts of the tropics, including the Amazon. Dried Goldenberries make a highly nutritious, citrus flavored “raisin.” They are a good source of bioflavonoids, phosphorous, pectin, vitamins A, C, B1, B2, and B6. They are also exceptionally high in protein (for a fruit), about sixteen percent.

Shilajit
Shilajit is considered the king herb of Ayurveda. A rejuvenative herb and an adaptogen, Shilajit contains at least 85 minerals in Ionic form, as well as humic and fulvic acid. It is considered to be beneficial to all systems of the human body with specific significance to the reproductive and nervous system. Studies have confirmed its uses as an anti-anxiety agent and as an enhancer of cognitive ability and memory retrieval activity. It can also help strengthen the immune system, fortify cells and muscles, and can be used as an anti-oxidant, an anti-stressor, an anti-allergen, and an anti-asthmatic.

Note: Upon reading further, I learned that most of the Shilajit found on the market today is in powder form, and is a poor imitation of the real thing, which is “a pale brown to blackish-brown resin, with a characteristic strong odor and taste.” According to this website:

“Traditionally it was used not only to heal multiple conditions and improve overall health, but also used in combination with other herbal formulations, to increase their efficacy… Today, modern science has extensively researched Shilajit, confirming and validating much of the knowledge of the properties holistic practitioners have known and used from antiquity. Shilajit’s well-established health benefits extend over a wide range, from its potent antioxidant properties, to its use as a powerful aid to tissue regeneration.”

OK, it’s official. Shilajit is now at the top of my wish list!

Sources:

http://www.UltimateSuperfoods.com

http://www.purblack.com/about-2/myths-reality/what-is-shilajit/

Related:
Top 12 Detox Superfoods

Read more: Alternative Therapies, Ayurveda, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Health, Natural Remedies, Raw, Vegan

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Angel Flinn

Angel Flinn is Director of Outreach for Gentle World – a non-profit educational organization whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making the transition.

116 comments

+ add your own
4:27PM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

All of these fruits come from Third World countries, which are already exploited for their agricultural products. Can we not find superfoods that grow in North America or Europe?

3:11AM PDT on Apr 29, 2014

Thanks for sharing :-)

8:25AM PDT on Mar 14, 2014

Ah, if only there were, in fact, one answer.

3:24AM PST on Feb 20, 2014

Interesting, but as always there is the worry that new "food-crazes" will endanger the natural habitats of these plants, as the demand for them rises. It would be interesting to know wheter they could be at least grown in other areas of the world, so as not to deplenish the resources and destroy the wilderness they currently live in.

6:05AM PST on Feb 7, 2014

Thank you

1:04AM PST on Feb 5, 2014

This is a great list of superfoods, but of course we can't forget the superfruits! lol.. There's pomegranate and acai berries, just to name a few. Visit my blog if you're interested in finding out more information on these fruits.

10:51PM PST on Feb 3, 2014

So many new products, so little time and money. I'm still trying to incorporate yesterday's fad, goji berries.

9:17PM PST on Feb 2, 2014

ty

8:49PM PST on Jan 21, 2014

Sorry Andrew P.

Broccoli sprouts, organic, freeze dried are the absolute top of the Sulforaphane list.

The sprouts have more than 40-100 times the amount found in broccoli.

As far as the fruit is concerned, I will stick with the Bilberry as being the best "Superfood".

It has the greatest RANGE, not necessarily the highest, but the greatest range of antioxidants (there are many-bilberry is the top for anthocyanins, the stuff that made blueberries so great).

I mix mine with pomegranate, which for me, is especially heart healthy(proven to reduce arterial plaques in the arteries). Three ounces is all you have to drink per day to have a significant effect within 6 weeks.

12:17PM PST on Jan 2, 2014

Very Interesting, Bookmarked. Thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Yikes! Tonight I'll think about all those old people wandering the nursing home halls searching for…

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