Aging is a gift, which brings physiological changes. It’s important to attune to these changes to keep ourselves healthy and happy!
The main causes of accelerated aging include genetics, inadequate nutrition, lack of physical activity, free radical damage, stress, malabsorption and enzyme depletion. Superfoods are a great addition to your healthy aging regime. Consuming them daily can help increase nutrient intake and absorption, improve heart and brain function, reduce inflammation, energize and boost stamina, protect against cellular damage and slow overall signs of aging.
A superfood is a nutrient-dense food, containing a high degree of antioxidants and naturally occurring plant micronutrients called polyphenols. There are upwards of 8,000 different types of polyphenols. Well-known superfoods include blueberries, turmeric and kale. Lesser-known superfoods include spirulina, chlorella, maca, and moringa. Making sure to consume vibrantly coloured “superfoods” provides your body with full-spectrum nutrition, helps prevent disease, combats waning energy and promotes a healthy and long life.
Think about filling your diet with dark, leafy, greens like alfalfa (an anti-inflammatory), kale (a detoxifying cruciferous vegetable), wheatgrass (a stimulant for metabolic and thyroid function), oatgrass (soothes the digestive tract and reduces inflammation), and barley grass (with many anti-aging properties).
Finding these superfoods in a fermented format is even better! Many cultures have been benefiting from fermentation for centuries. It increases the bio-accessibility of minerals, and antioxidants, has a substantially reduced sugar content, and helps by pre-digesting complex foods.
Maca, a superfood traditionally used in both food and medicine, has been used for over 2,000 years by natives of the Central Andres. The environment of Junin Plateau (Cerro de Pasco) is rocky with volcanic soil, a dry climate with little oxygen, high levels of sun exposure and freezing nighttime temperatures in the summer. The cultivation is what makes it unique, as it naturally grows between 9,000 to 14,000 ft above sea level! Also known as Peruvian ginseng, this root supports mental and physical energy as we age. Maca is a great example of traditional wisdom benefiting from innovative technology. As a tuber and a cruciferous vegetable, maca benefits greatly from fermentation. Eaten raw, it can be challenging to digest. Fermentation improves digestibility and the absorption of its’ wide range of nutrients and antioxidants. Fermentation also doubles the concentration compared to regular maca powders!
There are many red superfoods, such as beetroot, pomegranates, goji berries, raspberries and cranberries, that serve as a rich and delicious source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect against cell damage caused by free radicals. This helps prevent inflammation, and supports a healthy cardiovascular system as we age.
These red plant foods contain compounds called nitrates. Nitrates stimulate our production of nitric oxide which helps with vascular tone and ability to relax, as well as helps heal the walls of blood vessels. Nitric oxide also reduces platelet stickiness and build up, and bad cholesterol oxidation.
“Bad” cholesterol (LDL) becomes more of an issue as we get older. When high levels of cholesterol cause inflammation of blood vessels, blood flow blockages can occur. LDL needs to pass through the bloodstream to be eliminated from the body.
Many superfoods are also found in the sea! Sea plants like spirulina and chlorella, are powerful antioxidants that help control inflammation and inhibit arterial plaque build-up, maintaining a clear flow of LDL cholesterol from the body.
Heart and brain health go hand-in-hand. Spirulina contains all 9 essential amino acids and an impressive amount of protein, as well as essential fatty acids, and some complex carbohydrates. These are all key for supporting brain health!
Many superfoods help reduce the occurrence of inflammation, but we can’t forget to mention turmeric. This tuberous plant comes from the ginger family and contains a compound in its root called curcumin. This produces its vibrant yellow pigment! Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and supports optimal liver detoxification.
Superfoods are the secret to graceful aging. The more colourful your diet, the greater variety of antioxidants, phytonutrients and nutrients. Add more Superfoods to your Everyday and pair it with an active lifestyle and a whole foods diet to Live the Healthy Life®!