10 Superfoods for More Energy
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: 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 superfoods 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. Superfoods are very high in antioxidants which help our bodies fight infection and slow down the aging 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. According to Bruce Ames, professor of biochemistry at the University of California, "A lack of antioxidants is the main underlying mechanism of aging." Superfoods 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.
Here is a list of my favorite superfoods that I use daily. They are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that will help you restore your vitality!
Note: Adding these foods to a smoothie/juice/yogurt/oatmeal is a great way for them to be easily absorbed.
1. Goji Berries
Contain essential fatty acids and B vitamins, essential for energy and stress release. Powerful antioxidants help combat premature aging and improve eyesight (high in vitamin A). Also, very good for improving circulation and boosting your immune system.
How to use? Add 1 tablespoon into smoothies, or sprinkle on yogurt.
2. Chia Seeds
High in omega-3 fatty acids, B12, protein, calcium, potassium and iron. Great antioxidants!
How to use? Sprinkle on oats/cereals, add to smoothies or try the delicious chia breakfast cocktail by the wonderful, Melissa Ambrosini here.
3. Cacao Powder
Called the "Food of the Gods," 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 tablespoon into warm porridge - better that chocolate pudding, I swear! Or make as hot chocolate with boiling water/milk.
Your new best friend! The alternative to artificial sweeteners. Stevia is totally natural (pick your brand wisely), 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, yogurt, oatmeal and smoothies!
The queen of greens! Powerful antioxidants help us fight infection; a great detoxifier for your liver! Also high in iron, vitamin K, C and calcium.
How to use? Chop into your daily salad, or try my kale chips here.
6. 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.
7. 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 tablespoon into warm water every morning or use as salad dressing.
8. Bee Pollen
Studies show that it can restore balance to our endocrine system (our hormones). Great for PMS and menstrual irregularity.
How to use? Add 1 teaspoon into your smoothie/juice.
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 yogurt, or another great option is to sprinkle some onto grilled pumpkin.
10. 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 smoothie post workout.
Affirmation of the week: Loving myself heals my life. I nourish my mind, body and soul.
Jessica Sepel is a nutritionist and health expert who specializes in disordered eating. She is based in Sydney, Australia and received a bachelor's degree in health science and public health from Macquarie University. Sepel is a regular contributor to Vogue Australia and a variety of international publications, and continues to grow her eponymous health brand, JSHealth, which offers coaching programs, health plans, recipes, and supplements. Check out her mbg class, How To Stop Dieting & Learn To Eat Intuitively.