That’s my biggest problem! I never seem to get enough sleep. I go to bed tired and I wake up feeling tired. It’s the sound sleep that I’m looking for that I haven’t been able to enjoy since I’m a kid. Is it what I’m eating or could it be something else? On my search to discover the cause of my sluggishness, I found an article by Jessica Sepel, who gives some great advice on how to nourish your body to get maximum energy levels throughout the day. Not only does she provide a list of some of her favorite super foods, she also gives advice on how to use them in our everyday lives. There’s no need to change your lifestyle, but simply add to it.
Homeostasis is another word for body balance. It is the state that your body seeks to achieve at every moment of every day. When your body is out of balance it will show through in many ways, such as: weight gain, nutritional deficiencies, fertility issues, UTI’s, asthma, digestive malfunction, high cortisol levels (stress), mood disorders, fatigue and blood sugar conditions (insulin resistance). Long term, this will manifest into chronic disease and hormonal imbalance.
It is hard to maintain this balance nowadays as chemicals, food additives, radiation and electromagnetic frequencies constantly bombard our bodies. Most of us have an accumulation of toxic build up in our bodies without even knowing it. Toxic build up will stop our bodies from achieving a state of optimal health.
Certain super foods have been discovered to help us find that balance and bring to our lives the energy, vibrancy and motivation that we so need and deserve. Super foods are very high in antioxidants which help our bodies fight infections and slows down the ageing process! They help us live a long and healthy life!
What are antioxidants? Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemicals in foods that help to counter the detrimental effects of oxygen free radicals that cause disease in our bodies.
Super foods will also help you control your weight by aiding the release of toxic build up and restoring our bodies’ pH levels, which in turn balances our hormones resulting in optimal metabolic performance.
Also, according to Bruce Ames, professor of biochemistry at the University of California said, “A lack of antioxidants is the main underlying mechanism of ageing.”
Here is a list of my favorite super foods that I use daily. They are full of antioxidants; vitamins and minerals that will help you restore your vitality!
Adding these foods to a smoothie/juice/yoghurt/oatmeal is a great way for them to be easily absorbed.
Goji Berries – contains essential fatty acids and B vitamins, essential for energy and stress release. A powerful antioxidant to help combat premature ageing and improves eyesight (high in vitamin A). It’s also very good for improving circulation and boosting your immune system.
How to use? Add 1 tbsp into smoothies or sprinkle on yoghurt.
Chia Seeds – high in omega-3 fats, B12, protein, calcium, potassium and iron. Great antioxidant!
How to use? Sprinkle on oats/cereals/add to smoothie or try the delicious chia breakfast cocktail by the wonderful, Melissa Ambrosini here.
Cacao Powder – the food that’s been called “Food of the Gods” – chocolate alternative. Cacao contains theobromine, a mild stimulant that can help enhance fat burning. It also increases pleasure and relaxation by boosting the feel good brain chemical (serotonin). Studies suggest that it can lower cholesterol and help to control blood sugar levels (diabetics take note!).
How to use? Add 1 tbs into warm porridge – better that chocolate pudding I swear! Or make as hot chocolate with boiling water/milk. Try a delicious homemade Nutella by the wonderful Claire Obeid from The Wellness Project here.
Stevia – your new best friend! The alternative to artificial sweetener! Stevia is totally natural, contains no calories and will not spike blood sugars – helping you control cravings and your weight.
How to use? I use stevia to sweeten my tea, yoghurt, oatmeal and smoothies!
Kale – the queen of greens! Powerful antioxidant – helps us fight infection and a great detoxifier for your liver! Also high in iron, vitamin K, Vitamin C and calcium.
How to use? Chop into your daily salad or try my kale chips here.
Oat Bran – A cholesterol-lowering agent as well an amazing source of fiber.
How to use? Boil 1/3 cup oat bran in water/almond milk. Add nuts, berries and sprinkle with stevia and cinnamon.
Apple Cider Vinegar – promotes digestion and cellular cleansing in our bodies. It is also a great digestive tract cleanser and restores alkaline levels, therefore restoring hormonal balance.
How to use? Add 1 tbsp. into warm water every morning or use as salad dressing.
Bee Pollen – studies show that it can restore balance to our endocrine system (our hormones). Great for PMS and menstrual irregularity. Very high in protein and also contains natural Phenylalaninewhich acts as an appetite suppressant and Lecithinthat helps flush fat from the body. Extremely good for detoxification and cleansing.
How to use? Add 1 tsp. into your smoothie/juice.
Cinnamon – My favorite!!! This healthy spice is from the brown bark of the cinnamon tree. A daily dose of cinnamon has been found to stabilize blood sugar levels which will help you control cravings and sudden hunger (slows down digestion). Studies also show it can lower LDL (bad cholesterol).
How to use? Sprinkle on anything! I add cinnamon to my daily smoothie and yoghurt or another great option is to sprinkle some onto grilled pumpkin.
C Coconut Water – Packed with electrolytes so it naturally hydrates. Balances pH in our bodies, clearing skin and detoxifying. Studies show that it can enhance weight loss by keeping the metabolism rate of the body at an optimal level. Very low in calories too!
How to use? Great after a workout to replenish hydration! I usually add one C Coconut Tetra Pak into my daily smoothies post workout.