10 Essential Superfoods From The Paleo Diet
After a 25-year stint as a vegetarian, I very cautiously stepped into unknown territory as I gave the Paleo diet a shot in an effort to gain more energy, relieve anxiety, and balance hormones. Never did I foresee the day where I would be an advocate for bone broth and fermented cod liver oil. Does anyone ever see that coming?
After three years of increased energy, focus, and health, these are the foods I've found that provide the most nutrition per bite and leave me feeling superhuman!
Besides being leaner than its conventionally raised counterpart, grass-fed beef offers 15 fewer calories per ounce and a hefty serving of omega-3s, which can lower inflammation. Eating grass-fed beef provides you with CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which may help burn fat. Since grass-fed cattle tend to be healthier during their lives, risks of foodborne bacteria are lower than in conventional beef.
Fermented cod liver oil
Cod liver oil provides you with fat-soluble vitamins A and D, EPA, DHA. Make sure to buy in a dark bottle and store in a cool, dark, dry place to avoid oxidation.
Pasture-raised egg yolks
How wonderful is nature to give you vitamin B12, vitamin D, riboflavin and folate in the most delicious little package? Not only does the yolk provide you with the preceding nutrients, it's also one of the best sources of choline, necessary for heart and brain function and in preventing the accumulation of fat and cholesterol in the liver. The high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in yolks also protect your eyes.
High in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, broth helps maintain strong bones and reduce joint pain. Rich in gelatin and collagen, this super liquid not only heals your gut, but also keeps your locks long and nails strong. How’s that for beauty from the inside out?
The fermenting process that turns cabbage into sauerkraut produces lactobacilli. This friendly bacteria aids in digestion, increases vitamin levels, and supports enzymes and healthy gut flora. To make sure you're getting the most out of your kraut, look for raw, fresh varieties in the refrigerated section of your health food store, or make it yourself!
Coconut oil can help fend off viruses and bacteria that cause us to get sick, along with helping to rid the body of harmful yeast, fungus and candida. The oil is also known to improve blood sugar regulation, increase metabolism, aid in digestion, and assist in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.
Eating wild-caught salmon can help protect you from contamination such as pesticides and persistent organic pollutants found in farm-raised salmon. Wild-caught salmon provides higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, essential amino acids, and vitamins A, D, B and E than its farm-raised relatives.
Very high in antioxidants, dark chocolate may lower your risk of heart disease, and reduce inflammation. Make sure you invest in a high-quality chocolate and keep it over 70% cacao for the most flavonoids.
Liver, being the most common organ meat today, is an excellent source of protein, vitamins A and B, folic acid, and iron. Liver is also a great source of copper, and provides a megadose of CoQ10. Kidney, heart and sweetbreads are other commonly eaten organ meats.
For those of you that can tolerate the caffeine, coffee does more than jump-start your day. It can promote brain function, memory, and energy levels. It provides a heavy dose of antioxidants, increases metabolism, and improves athletic performance. Stick to one cup a day. For a morning treat, try blending your coffee with grass-fed butter or coconut oil for a super nutrient jolt!
Christie is currently enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified holistic health coach. On a mission to help people find peace in their relationship with food, her program assists in optimizing performance, reducing stress, increasing energy, and moving mindfully. She works one on one with clients to meet their specific health goals through a variety of practices, including but not limited to, discussing nourishing foods, meal planning, grocery lists, recipes, and navigating restaurant menus.