Need to boost your immune system, improve your love life, or lower your cholesterol? By adding a few superfoods into your diet you can see improvements throughout your overall health. Here are some of our favorite and easy ways to look and feel better.
Digestion and Acid Re-flux: Apple Cider Vinegar
Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is a digestion superstar. ACV, made from crushed apples fermented in wooden barrels, has a high probiotic content that contains a natural acidity. This acidity stimulates the production of the stomach’s hydrochloric acid which aids in healthy digestive functions. ACV helps protect against ingested pathogens and offers relief from uncomfortable acid re-flux. Healthy digestion will not only make you feel better, but will allow your skin to glow and boost your metabolic function. Simply add a tablespoon of ACV to your morning smoothie or juice, or add it to filtered room temperature water to jumpstart your digestion.
Reproductive Health: Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto is a type of palm tree that produces fruit filled with good fatty acid and phytosterols. The ancient herbal medicine has been, and continues to be, an all natural treatment for a multitude of reproductive maladies including prostate cancer, pelvic pain, urinary function, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and hair loss due to high testosterone. Saw Palmetto contributes to maintaining a healthy testosterone metabolism and can enhance sexual drive. Look for saw palmetto in tablet or capsule form.
This tiny seed packs a lot of nutrition. This superfood was used by the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians for both food and medicine due its incredible health profile: omega-3 fatty acids, mucilage, and polyphenol antioxidants. Specifically, the flaxseed decreases bad LDL cholesterol, encourages good HDL cholesterol, and protects from the dangerous inflammation of blood vessels that leads to heart disease. It is simple to incorporate flaxseed in your daily diet. Sprinkle seeds on your yogurt, add it ground in your baking, put in smoothies, or add flaxseed oil to your salad dressing.
Immune System: Cayenne Pepper
If you are looking for an overall immune system boost, this spicy pepper when consumed fresh, in powder form, or dried into flakes is the perfect kick to combat the dreaded cold and flu season. The bright red pepper fulfills almost 50% of your daily need for Vitamin A! Add it to soups, salads, dressings, oils, or even in juices.
To ward off those hot flashes, introduce yams into your diet. For thousands of years, these sweet tubers have been used for their nutritional and culinary benefits. It is believed that the nutritional benefits of yams can be a treatment for women going through menopause, due to their progesterone-like structure. Again, yams are another versatile ingredient that can be prepared in a variety of ways: drink, roast, steam, or, probably our favorite way, fry.
Hair, Skin, and Nails: Sunflower Seeds
Another super seed on our list, sunflower seeds deliver a huge boost of your daily quota of Vitamin E, which keeps your hair, skin, and nails looking glorious. Luckily, the can be found almost anywhere, from grocery stores, health food markets, and even gas stations. Eat them whole, add them to salads, sprinkle on yogurt, or pick up some sunflower seed butter to spread another superfood–celery!
Overall Nutrition: Kale
Without a doubt, kale is having its moment. Not just a trendy moment though, kale is here to stay. This leafy green is an ancient powerhouse that contains about 100% of your daily requirements for vitamins A, C, and K in just one serving! It has anti-inflammatory benefits, it is good for eyesight, aids in cancer prevention, and is great for cardiovascular health. On top of these health benefits, kale also contains manganese, antioxidants, iron, potassium, and phosphorus. Kale is a member of the Brassica family, which includes broccoli and brussels sprouts, that was consumed in Europe throughout the medieval period and brought to America by the English settlers. This sturdy plant is incredibly easy to grow and its varieties are widely available in any grocery store. You can eat kale’s versatility lends it to being eaten anyway you want it: raw, baked, sauteed, or in a drink!