Superfoods, something you hear more and more about. It’s food that “does more” than normal food. Of course it can do more, it is “super”. It’s special food that is packed with vital nutrients.
Yet it is hard to define what’s a superfood and what’s not a superfood.
Well, mostly it’s just natural and organic food. Some of it is rumoured to have healing effects and treat diseases. Even though I believe in alternative treatment and studies have shown effects, I think Superfoods are just overly hyped by the health food industry.
You walk into an organic whole foods store and see all these super effective somewhat boosting seeds, berries and powders, but looking at the price makes you think twice if you want to buy it. Yes, it might be healthy, but the least amount of what you buy and actually eat will have no effect at all.
You might reach for a “superfood bar” instead… a normal cereal bar or dried fruit bar with some added Maca, Chia and Aronia. Don’t be surprised now, but it has NO EFFECT AT ALL! It’s still a damn cereal bar.
Normal foods – Superfoods
It’s very hard to draw the line. Greens are superfoods but eating them regularly is a no-brainer. You need spinach and broccoli and other vegetables every day! Sources of high protein and good fats like eggs are necessary too. Some call it a superfood but we don’t really need to mention it.
But what about the expensive dried fruits, seeds, nut butters and other weird stuff you can find in the organic whole food stores? Buying everything will make you broke… and you wouldn’t be able to benefit from it, as it is too much that you wouldn’t be able to eat.
What you really need.
Want to know what you really need? None of them! You don’t need any “Superfoods”. A clean diet full of fruit, vegetables, healthy protein and fat is enough.
There is still a bit you can play around with and add to your diet. Here is a list of what you can buy next time in the superfood-offering stores:
- Coconut (Oil)
Coconut oil is something I don’t want to miss in my diet anymore. Once I start frying my eggs in coconut oil, I don’t just feel better but also lose weight faster. It is high in saturated fatty acids that boost testosterone production and MCTs – fatty acids of medium length- for instant energy use. You can use coconut oil for all kinds of cooking.
If you buy coconut oil, go for a high-quality extra virgin one.
Now and then I buy fresh coconut, coconut chips and coconut milk to vary my coconut intake.
Almonds are high in protein and unsaturated fatty acids. They deliver fibre and have many positives for the gut flora. For my healthy baking I always have a jar of almond butter in the cupboard.
You should use every opportunity to buy organic blueberries. They are high in antioxidants and vitamin C. Berries are low in carbs, but have a sweet taste, which can be an absolute life-saver on a diet. Being low in calories but high in fibre makes it a perfect snack!
You can also go for other fresh berries like raspberries and blackberries. Dried berries can taste nice in your breakfast bowl, but they aren’t really what you need. Cranberries are great too, but the dried option mostly has a sugar addition.
Probiotics help build a healthy gut flora and therefore strengthen your immune system and digestion. You can take supplements but they are a little bit expensive. Try sauerkraut or kimchi, go for yoghurt or even better: buy probiotic powder and make your own coconut yoghurt.
- Mixed Greens Supplement
I’m not a big fan of supplements but on some days or in some situations it can be hard to get your greens in. If this happens too often, it’s good to have a mix of freeze dried and powdered wild plants, leafy vegetables, grasses and algae at home.
Some people aren’t sure if they can eat oats. I have discussed this question before, oats are good for you. They have helped me to keep leading a high performance life. And it’s even better if you buy it organic and gluten-free.
This pseudo grain is gluten free. It has got a bad reputation in the past due to anti nutrient content, but you aren’t supposed to eat high amounts anyway. Quinoa is high in carbs, but also high in protein, containing all nine essential amino acids.
Buy puffed quinoa. It’s very easy and practical to use, e.g. in your breakfast cereal bowl.
Don’t forget to include it on your shopping list. It’s always good to have fresh ginger at home. Put it in your tea, juice or stir fry… there are many options to use it. Listing ginger’s benefits would be too much. I don’t really believe in the cancer-killing effects, but I’ve had good experiences with it to fight colds and prevent viral infections.
Also a spice, it is a very highly effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The effects are even stronger in combination with black pepper. Just experiment with it. You can include curcuma in spicy meals, shakes and even sweet drinks or juices.
- Ceylon Cinnamon
Cinnamon can help you with losing weight. Here is how.
Especially when you do combat sports, you need garlic. The close-body contact with other people can cause skin infections you don’t want to have. Garlic has anti-bacterial and anti-viral compounds to help fighting these infections. Whenever I get in touch with a skin infection or have a small one myself, I eat raw garlic to prevent being more infected.
Omega-3 fatty acids have shown to reduce inflammation. It is in salmon, Chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts or supplements like krill oil. I only supplement it in fight preparation and go for natural sources when I’m out of fight camp. The natural options aren’t very expensive and give you lots of dessert options, e.g. a Chia pudding.
No coffee – no life! The caffeine boosts metabolism and makes you more productive. I’m simply more active after drinking coffee and this is what helps me to lose weight. There are high quality coffees with less mold toxins available, but I would always prefer freshly ground beans.
- Green Tea
You don’t need coffee all the time. Green Tea also has caffeine and antioxidants like coffee. But there is something that coffee doesn’t have: catecholamines – a compound that can boost fat metabolism during exercise. Throw away your chemical pre-workout boosters and drink green tea instead.
There is so much other stuff the supermarket offers. If you like it, then buy it. But do you need it? No, better save your money.
Take it easy,