Every year, it seems, a myriad new superfoods are discovered! The list of positive plant-based additions to our menus are ever-changing and evolving to suit our needs as consumers, and thank goodness! It's an excellent practice for humans to work with a variety of foods to fill them with the most nutritional benefits possible.
Superfoods are super because they harness a very high nutrient density, which means more bang for your buck – energy and health-wise. Aside from boosting your health and wellbeing and being, well, flippin' awesome – they integrate into your diet easy as 1,2, 3! And guess what? They are particularly well suited to vegan diets and anti inflammatory diets.
Although you may have heard of some of them, there are discoveries made every day, so we're here to help show you the way.
Nervines are a group of herbs that you may well have heard of without realizing what they are. Some examples are chamomile, lemon balm, passionflower and oat straw. And their superpower is that they help to alleviate stress and control stress management - a welcome hero to most of us in today's stressful climate!
These magical herbs help you to relax naturally and can empower the mind to think more clearly instead of being shadowed by anxiety and other high-cortisol emotions.
Nervines are so potent that they can help to settle your nerves in a matter of minutes, which is particularly useful when easing us from fight or flight mode, into rest and digest mode. Alongside being a zen warrior herbalist - they are an excellent addition to your gut health regime.
Chlorella is similar to Spirulina in the fact that it is a powerhouse algae that can be added to drinks for an extra boost of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. As a complete protein (with all nine amino acids) it's high in B12 and is known to help free the body of toxins by binding heavy metals.
It's quite a cleansing addition to the superfood list, and works as well as a more gentle fiber supplement than over the counter products that have you rushing to the toilet in a panic! It's available for purchase in powder form and can be added to soups, dressings, or pretty much any liquid.
Top Tip: be sure to buy from a brand that pulverizes the indigestible outer shell to reap the most benefits.
The best news for 2020; chocolate is a superfood. That's right - yummy, delicious, and spectacularly close to orgasmic - chocolate is good for your health!
Raw cacao is exploding with antioxidants, including flavonoids, polyphenols. It contains protein and fiber, is high in magnesium and iron and can even boost your mood. Dark chocolate contains serotonin - a natural antidepressant that generates feelings of happiness. Dark chocolate also spurs the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that produces feelings of bliss.
Super dark and rich cocoa is exceptional for your health and wellbeing, the darker, the better. Opt for 70% cacao content or higher, and then you'll be getting the most from your chocolate dose, better digestion, a spike in energy levels and it's an anti inflammatory food too.
Not too long ago prebiotic plant fibers were being added to most foods, especially vegan foods, as it seemed to be the 'trendy' thing to do. However, WAY more than a fancy fad - prebiotics are your guts best friend. And a healthy gut means better moods and a healthier you!
Prebiotics work by promoting the increase of friendly bacteria in the gut; this helps with various digestive problems, smoothening them out, often speeding up the process, reducing bloating and thus making them great immune system boosters.
So, where can you find them? Prebiotics hang out naturally in certain foods such as sunchokes, chicory, asparagus, garlic, oats and a handful of other vegetables, as well as herbs and grains being natural sources of prebiotics. Or, if you're looking for a specific boost, you can also get your boost in powdered form, or even via prebiotic filled sodas.
Digestive bitters are often liquids that you take before a meal to aid digestion.
If you're over the age of 21, you're probably familiar with bitters in cocktails, but now digestive bitters are coming into the spotlight all on their own. Over time, our culture has slowly moved away from bitter foods in favor of sweet and salty foods. This shift in eating habits means, unless we are mindful and add them into our diets, we now miss out on their bitter but bountiful benefits.
How do they work? Digestive bitters work by stimulating digestive juices, like stomach acid (aka HCl), bile, and enzymes, helping them to breakdown food naturally. Bitters give your digestion a powerful boost, and better digestion means better overall health too.
How to consume them: Consider adding bitter herbal teas into your daily routine like dandelion root, burdock or chamomile, or simply drop some onto your tongue before meals.
Oh, mushrooms; mycelial marvels, intelligent lifeforms and health-boosting miracles of nature! Mushrooms are hugely beneficial to your health and wellbeing, so it's no surprise they're high on the list of superfoods for 2021. Edible mushrooms are high in adaptogens, which help deal with chronic anxiety and stress.
Adaptogens are an elite group of herbs and some super-elite mushrooms that support the body's natural ability to deal with stress. Named adaptogens for their unique capacity to "adapt" their function according to the precise needs - chemical, physical or biological - of the body - they are plant medicine of the highest order!
Other mushroom benefits include improving your focus, boosting your immunity and giving you a natural energy boost too. They're so good at increasing your energy levels - that you can switch out your unhealthy caffeine addiction for some mushroom tea - but not the kind that'll send you out into the cosmos!
Mushrooms are incredibly good for your muscles, your mind, your heart, your blood sugar and your gut health. Pow!! Mushroom power!
What makes mushroom nutrition so good for the body? They are high in selenium, antioxidants, zinc, vitamins, and beta-glucans, which are key nutrients for living a healthy life.
Mushrooms are also absolutely DELICIOUS and very easy to incorporate into your everyday meals, if you're looking for mushroom recipes then there are tons available. But their benefits can also be consumed in much easier ways such as jerky, granola or as supplement drops. Check out the range for yourself.
Alli is an enthusiast of all things community-building, health, and mushrooms 🍄. Passionate about bringing psychedelics to the mainstream wellness conversation 🌈.