Superfoods: Fuel of Today’s Superheroes!

Have you ever wanted to be a superhero?  I don’t know about you, but my Wonder Woman persona was a fun and exciting part of my childhood!  What about you?  Was it Super Man?  Spider Man?  Batman? The Hulk?  I’m sure you donned the cape and fought your share of battles for the good of humanity in your day, right?!  😉

So when did that zest and energy for life begin to dissipate?

For me, if you read my last post, you know that I believe that the chronic illness I suffered from in my younger years was a direct result of the foods that went in to my body.  The toxic load of consuming foods sprayed with pesticides, antibiotic treated meat, hormonally altered dairy products, refined sugar, grains and salt, and mineral-deficient food was overwhelming and debilitating.

Unfortunately, over my years working in the personal training/ holistic health coaching arena, I have discovered that many people live most of their life with this low energy and dysfunctional immune system.  We seem to have lost our way in our quest for the easier, faster fix.  Far too many, along the path to material success, are experiencing poor health, often with excess weight and a shortage of energy.

That being said, most grocery stores chains now have an Organic section, and with the voice of people like Jamie Oliver creating a buzz with his hit show Food Revolution, I do believe a shift in consciousness is occurring.

At my school, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, we are collectively on a mission to play a crucial role in improving health and happiness in America, and through that process, create a ripple effect that transforms the world.  This is my greatest passion without a doubt!

To that end, I wanted to share some information with you that I believe should be an integral part of every person’s nutrition puzzle.  Over the coming years, more and more light will be shed on the power of Superfoods, because they are the “true fuel of today’s superheroes!”

I recently had the pleasure of listening to raw food guru, David Wolfe, as he presented a 2 ½ hour lecture to the students at IIN.  So from his lecture, and also from his book Superfoods, here are some highlights from the Top 5 of his list of 10 best Superfoods.

1. Goji Berries ~ This is the superfood that changed my life! Used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years, goji berries are regarded as a longevity, strength-building, and potency food of the highest order. Goji berries work to correct imbalances at the cellular level, creating homeostasis and overall feelings of well-being.

I started drinking a juice made from Goji Berries in October 2003, and within a month, I felt like I was living in a harmonious state for the first time in my life!  Now 7 years later, I am proud to say that I have not been on an antibiotic since, and my immune system has been incredibly strong.  Even as a mom with a toddler in pre-school this past winter, I only caught 1 cold, and it was minimal and lasted just a few days.  I used to get 5 or more colds a season, and they would knock me out for 2 weeks at a time!  It is because of my experience with Goji Berries, that I am now exploring many more superfoods.  Watch out world, Wonder Woman is back! 🙂

2. Cacoa ~ The seed/nut of a fruit of an Amazonian tree, cacao is the highest antioxidant food on the planet, the #1 source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, manganese, and chromium and is also extremely high in PEA (love chemical), theobromine (cardiovascular support), and anandamide (bliss chemical). Raw Chocolate improves cardiovascular health, builds strong bones, is a natural aphrodisiac, elevates your mood and energy, and increases longevity.

Yes ladies, that means that quality dark chocolate is a superfood!  If you’re anything like me, this is a major cause for celebration! 🙂

3. Maca ~ A staple in the Peruvian Andes for thousands of years, this adaptogenic superfood increases energy, endurance, strength, mental focus and libido. Maca also balances hormones, endocrine function and emotions.  Dried maca powder contains more than 10% protein, nearly 20 amino acids, including 7 essential amino acids. As a root crop, maca contains five times more protein than a potato and four times more fiber.

I noticed a significant increase in energy and focus when I started adding Maca Powder to my morning smoothie.

4. Bee Products (pollen, honey and royal jelly) ~ Bee pollen is the most complete food found in nature containing nearly all B vitamins especially vitamin B-9 (folate) and all 21 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.  Bee pollen is a potent aphrodisiac and has fertility-improving properties.  It increases strength, endurance, energy and speed, and provides a quick recovery from exercise.  Bee Pollen assists in reversing aging and wrinkles, and is known as a longevity superfood.  Pollen has also been shown to assist with anemia and various breathing-related disorders such as asthma and bronchitis.

Honey, in its organic/wild, raw, unfiltered states is rich in minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, and enzymes, and is one of the highest vibration foods on the planet. If your metabolism can handle sweeteners, honey is the best. Honey has been shown to provide relief for many digestive disorders as well as infections, and also can be applied topically to heal wounds.

Royal Jelly is one of the most magical yet least understood superfoods.  Many cultures worldwide view royal jelly as “the fountain of youth and beauty.”   It is rejuvenating and regenerating for the body, promotes sexual vitality, alleviates joint pain, maintains skin tone, inhibits the aging process, promotes clear thinking and acts as an anti-depressant.  Royal Jelly is extremely effective in treating glandular and hormonal imbalances.

Aside from the honey, which I have used regularly for many years, bee products are the newest addition to my superfood arsenal.  I just started adding bee pollen to my smoothies, and mix royal jelly with my honey and spread it on toast with almond butter.  Mmmmm, mmmm!

5.  Spirulina ~ Spirulina is the world’s highest source of complete protein (65%). Full-spectrum protein sources such as Spirulina are known for their importance in balancing brain chemistry. Spirulina is also the best source of GLA, an anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid necessary for a healthy nervous system.  Spirulina improves vision and the immune system, and helps stimulate the production of stem cells.

Another point that really fascinated me, is that Spirulina contains as much iron as red meat!  Not only does this make Spirulina a powerful blood builder, but by adding in more Spirulina protein (and therefore less animal protein), you will be conserving natural resources.  Each gram of Spirulina protein is 4 times more absorbable than the same gram of protein in beef, AND Spirulina yields 200 times more protein per acre than beef!

I highly recommend David Wolfe’s Sun is Shining product, which not only has Spirulina, but boasts an incredible array of nutrient-dense, mineral-rich superfoods including powdered vegetables, algae, and aquatic vegetables, as well as a highly-advanced probiotic (friendly bacteria) formula.

I hope this post has opened your eyes to a new possibility for your health and vitality.  I chose to focus more on the benefits of each superfood, so if you are looking for a more in-depth analysis of the nutritional information, then I highly recommend David Wolfe’s book Superfoods!  You will also want to check out the book to explore the other 5 superfoods on his Top 10 list, which include AFA Blue-Green Algae, Marine Phytoplankton, Aloe Vera, Hempseeds and Coconuts!   Oh, and there are some off-the-hook superfood recipes in the book that will absolutely blow your mind!

So my fellow superheros, are you up for this quest to spread health and happiness around the world? 🙂   If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!  Have you tried any superfoods?  What has been your experience?  If not, which one sounds like the best fit for you to begin your exploration?

In Health & Abundance,

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49 Responses to “Superfoods: Fuel of Today’s Superheroes!”

  1. Beth,
    I appreciate all the great info you have supplied here. These are well worth adding to any diet. Nature provides us with the foods we need. We just have to get ack to basics!
    Val 😉
    .-= Val Wlcox´s last blog ..Opening Doors Within =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks, Val. You are absolutely right on! 🙂

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  2. Beth – This is a subject that I don’t know much about – but after reading this – I am thinking “where can I get my hands on this stuff”. haha What a great post – very engaging and informative! Thanks
    .-= Glyna Humm´s last blog ..Negativity – What Is It Good For =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Glyna ~ Any Whole Foods or natural foods market. 🙂 Have fun, and of course contact me if you want any help with specific recommendations for you!

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  3. Hi Beth I’m a herbalist and A natural organic gardener I love the power of these Goji berries and other foods mentioned here I live in Indiana would I have any luck getting seed to grow these wonderful plants myself?

    The Garden blog and related issues. The Garden Blog and Related issues

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Monty~ I have a friend who grows goji plants in WI, so yes, it’s possible. As for the nutritional quality? Probably not the greatest. There are over 40 strains of goji berries, and only 1 of those has actually been scientifically shown to provide significant health benefits. The others are still good food, but more akin to eating any other non-superfood berry. That’s my two-cents! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, it would be great to connect on skype sometime ~ bethnelsonallen.

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  4. Beth, For the most part I put healthy foods in my body.
    There are days when it’s just not possible. I think I will go to the whole food market and pick up some of these superfoods. I think I’ll really enjoy the Cacoa because I am a chocolate lover!
    Hey, thanks for the very useful information! Joseph McDevitt
    .-= Joseph McDevitt´s last blog ..How To Use Google Reader To Read RSS Feeds =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Yes Joseph, cacao being a superfood is quite nice, right?! 🙂 And what you said about not always being able to get all the healthiest things into your body is exactly why I love adding superfoods. Super nutrition that takes no time to add to something you’re already eating or drinking.

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  5. Hi Beth,

    I really appreciated this post as I am someone interested in foods & supplements that improve my health and wellbeing ~ a few of the items you mentioned I have never heard about before & will for sure check into! 🙂

    Are most of the items you wrote about available at places like GNC?

    Christine
    .-= Christine Casey´s last blog ..How do you use Facebook =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Christine ~ I’d be happy to chat with you about what you’re needs/ desires are for your health and share my recommendations. As for superfoods being at GNC, I would think not, but am not certain of that. Any natural foods store would for sure.

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  6. Beth
    I just loved this post and thank you for the links I have to check out the sites.

    I’m into support local communities and farmers market and eating local! We kinda share the same passion!

    I take pure aloe vera, organic green tea, Russia adaptogens (helps on stress) and sea week. I also use pure vegetable enzymes.
    Have you read Dr. Fullers book “The healing power of enzymes?”

    Great post! I’m looking forward to reading more. I also would love to talk with you sometime…look me up on Skype.
    debby.beachy from Wisconsin!

    Debby (-:

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    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, debby, I know we need to connect ~ same passions and both from Sconnie! 🙂 I added you on skype, so let’s chat next week for sure. Sounds like you do lots of great things for your health ~ I too have used aloe vera products and russian adaptogens. And currently eat a variety of sea weeds. Would love ot hear about your vegetable enzymes. I haven’t read the book, but know the power of enzymes for healing for sure. I will check it out, thanks!

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  7. Beth,

    Thanks so much for this very informative post. We must admit, there are a few foods up there we never heard of before. Looks like we’ll have to give them a try… of course along with the chocolate 🙂

    Thanks,
    ~ Pat and Lorna
    http://TheCoolestCouple.com

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Have fun exploring some new foods, I’d love to hear about it and what you notice! And yes, enjoy your dark chocolate….I do daily! 🙂

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  8. Beth, Thanks for sharing all these wonderful superfoods. However, after I watched David Wolfe’s videos about super nutrients in foods found around the world, I went to Whole Foods to find some cacao and gogi berries. The cacao nibs were filled with sugar and the gogi berries were dried.
    It is so much easier to eat healhy when I shop at green markets and buy fresh fruit and veges (although often much of the veges are not so fresh).

    However, I am not one to eat at home all the time. So when I go out to restaurants it is a real challenge to find vegetables on the menu, and when they are there, they are often either overcooked or covered with some kind of heavy sauce or cheese.

    And – in restaurants it is so easy to get tempted to eat those French fries or onion rings or lavish dessert.
    .-= Dr. Erica Goodstone´s last blog ..AMP Up Your Relationships NOW =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Erica ~ Yes, to avoid the sugar, you need to eat the whole, raw cacao beans. If you want some great info., check out this link: http://www.sunfood.com/buy/1/1/Cacao-Beans-8oz-Sunfood-raw-certified-organic-1059.aspx — Also, I agree that dried goji berries are not the way to go, although many would disagree with me. But for me, while I do enjoy dried fruit as a snack, I know that fresh fruit is way more nutritional. The process of drying removes the water, therefore concentrating the sugar and boosting calories per bite, and inn the process many of the nutrients are lost. That is why I drink a standardized goji juice, where the whole, fresh berries are used.

    As for your experience in restaurants, I always ask for my veggies steamed, and if there is a sauce, to exclude it or put it on the side, and usually am satisfied. As for the temptation issues….well, that’s a whole other can of worms! 😉

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  9. Hey Beth…it is amazing how we discover “newer” foods and they take the place of the “older” favorites. I once put together (about 12 years ago) a list of “superfoods” and it had entirely different foods on it.

    I appreciate this list as these are great foods to consume and many people don’t really know much about these things. When people begin to become educated they start to see that there are so many different and amazing foods available to us…I can’t imagine people ever getting stuck in a rut and not knowing where to turn for highly powerful and nutritious food.

    Thanks so much for the post.

    Blessings…
    .-= Bruce Backman´s last blog ..Are You Educated about the Supplements You Take-Buyer Beware Safety May be an issue =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    I would agree that there are loads of great superfoods out there….this is just David Wolfe’s top 10 list, and I happen to strongly agree with the top 5 because of how they’ve impacted my life. But there is goodness abound! I’d love to read your list! And yes, the key is education. There is a huge gap for sure. Thanks for all that you do to be part of that change, Bruce!

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  10. Hi BethAnne,
    Thanks for the great super foods post.
    I am totally in agreement on the healthy foods for your life. Some of these are new to me but I do eat Quinoa and take high quality suppements. I look forward to more info. rebecca
    .-= rebecca russell´s last blog ..DON’T LET SUMMER KICK YOUR BUTT! =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Rebecca ~ Wow, I have no idea how you knew my middle name….but that’s exactly it, with an “e” and everything! 🙂 Yes, quinoa is a staple around our family, as are high quality supplements! Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. Beth,
    Have printed out your extensive list of superfoods and I’ll be on a quest to find each one of them. Until recently I took health for granted and ate whatever sounded good. After being diagnosed with MS, I’m on a new journey to explore what my body is lacking so I can re-gain vibrant health once again.
    .-= Darlene Davis´s last blog ..Branding You- Inc =-.

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  12. Beth,
    Thanks for such great information. A lot of my friends (we’re in L.A. of course!) make “green drinks” in the morning and I’m wondering if you have any preferences for ingredients. I buy one called “simply green” at Trader Joes which has a bunch of stuff, but I honestly don’t know if it’s any good and really don’t feel any big difference from it after a few months.
    Thanks,
    Adam
    .-= Dr. Adam Sheck´s last blog ..How Do You Deal With Conflict =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Sure thing, Adam, anytime! 🙂 And yes, I’m a big fan of green drinks. I use the Sun is Shining product you can get through Sunfoods.com. I used to use Green Vibrance, which you can buy at Whole Foods, and while that’s full of goodness, I feel this product is superior. I don’t know TJ’s brand ~ though I shop there often so will check it out. As for not noticing any big differences, it might be that some people notice more than others. I am extremely sensitive, but my mom, as an example, never notices anything. I’d also say that certain superfoods have more noticeable effects. When I added Maca, I noticed a significant increase right away in my energy through the afternoons when I tend to dip. With Goji, I noticed I was sleeping better, but it wasn’t until fall/ winter came and I stopped getting sick that I knew it was having a profound effect on my immune system. And with long-term health as the ultimate goal, I’d say stick with it….maybe try a new brand. Hope that helps!

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  13. Thanks Beth

    I am a very poor eater, so the first thing I am going to do is find a Goji Berries drink.

    It’s a start.

    Thanks so much for your advice.
    .-= Peter Fuller MBA´s last blog ..Attention this book will make you MONEY =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Sounds like a great plan, Peter! I find that people who aren’t as on top of their health notice results way more. So enjoy, and I’d love to hear about your journey!

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  14. Getting more and more into healthier eating so this list looks like a simple good next step. Thanks for the post and I will definitely look up the book and do some work on learning and trying out these super foods. I look forward to seeing if I can notice the difference in how I feel.
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..5 Self Doubt Eliminators =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hey Holly, so glad you found this information useful ~ best of luck to you on your journey to optimal health and vitality ~ let me know if I can help in any way!

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  15. Cacao has been something that I started incorporating into my morning smoothies over the past few months and I LOVE the boost it gives me 🙂

    I’ve been curious to pick up other superfoods to add and will need to pick up some of these. Thanks Beth!
    .-= Chris Hughes´s last blog ..How to Learn the Happiness Habit =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Chris, try the Maca. You’ll love it! Glad I could share some new food to add to your superhero aresenal! 😉 Thanks for stopping by.

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  16. Yeah… I still want to be a superhero. I’m 31 years old and still collect comics 🙂 Super foods rule, and David Wolfe is a ridiculous genius. Nice Article, not enough people know this stuff.
    .-= Aki Wood´s last blog ..Evil Distractions That Will Kill Your Business =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    That’s awesome, Aki! You are a superhero! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed this…..David Wolfe is definitely a ridiculous genius! That being said, I believe in bio-individuality…what is one person’s poison is another person’s pleasure. Being a full-on raw-foodist is not the answer for everyone, but everyone incorporating more principles of raw foodism into their lives is definitely good stuff. Thanks for stopping by.

    [Reply]

  17. Hi Beth,

    I still read comic books, watch comic book movies and shows and work in a comic book store part time so I love super heroes still 🙂

    Heather is actually drinking some Goji berry juice, we figured if she could cut down on colds during all the health challenges it might make things easier. And of course, since she’s a woman, she eats cacoa! I eat honey. This was an interesting post and I’ll certainly be checking into spirulina which seems fascinating and possibly really good for Heather’s needs. – Rob
    Rob Wilson´s last blog post ..Holey Moley! Or People Love Captain Marvel!

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  18. I didn’t know that about Spirulina. Great info. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Glad I could share these great tips with you! 🙂

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  19. Another up-and-comer in the U.S. health market is Rooibos Herbal Tea. This special herbal remedy is grown only in South Africa and contains amazing health benefits and extremely high doses of antioxidants. Rooibos is also naturally caffeine free so no worries!

    Good to know about dark chocolate! Mmm!

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Meghan! Yes, I have tried rooibos tea in cafes before, and will definitely look in t the benefits more. At a quick gland on wikipedia, it looks like it’s good for people with nervous tension, allergies and digestive issues. Good to know. It’s always nice to be turned on to another superfood, so thank you! 🙂

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  20. There’s another superfood you should know about called the Aroniaberry (chokeberry). It is native to North America and contains one of the highest levels of antioxidants – anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins of any fruit. These powerful berries have been utilized for years because of their overall health and wellness benefits. Learn more at http://www.superberries.com.

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  21. I’m trying to include more superfoods in my daily diet and I can already feel the results. Superfoods are like the right food combination for the body which is very beneficial for our health. Honey however is not advisable for babies below 1 year.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Glad to hear you’re getting great results by adding superfoods into your diet! And you are right about honey not being given to babies under 1 because it can cause botulism. I would also add, that personally, I don’t think babies under 1 really need any superfoods (although they’re great for moms who are breastfeeding!) :).

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  22. Thanks so much for this very informative post. We must admit, there are a few foods up there we never heard of before.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Really? Which ones have you never heard of? Thanks for stopping by!

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  23. My friend sell goji but I never tried it yet. Thanks for sharing your feedback. I’ll give it a try now.
    Edward´s last blog post ..Miami Luxury Homes

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    You’re welcome! I’ve been drinking it for about 6 years now and it keeps my family SUPER healthy. 🙂

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  24. That drink is interesting. I’ve heard that it can prevent some illness like high blood pressure. I’ll try and buy for my mom. Thank you for the information.
    Chris´s last blog post ..Miami Provide A Great Lifestyle Within A Beautiful Location

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    bethallen Reply:

    While nutritional supplements cannot make medical claims, I can tell you I’ve personally seen some pretty amazing results first-hand and in my family. Best of luck to you and your mom.

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  25. I really appreciated this post…interesting and informative for those who are interested in foods & supplements that improve their health and wellbeing.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    So glad you found it helpful! 🙂

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  26. No supps can replace whole healthy foods. Good article!

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I agree, but also think there are certain things that are so beneficial in higher doses, that supplementation is needed. Varies by person, but some examples are Vitamin D3, K2, probiotics, omega 3’s….that being said, the benefits of a nutrient-dense, whole foods diet is the cornerstone of optimal health.

    [Reply]

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