There are very few people, living an everyday life, who can claim a perfect diet on a daily basis. We all have those days when there just isn’t enough time to prepare three nutritious meals, or maybe our jobs mean we eat away from home a lot. Of course, there are others that just have an aversion to eating 5+2 a day when it comes to vegetables and fruit.
Some people have increased nutrient requirements to balance the “food in” equation with “energy expended”, so they can maintain physical fitness and perform at their best. Some have differing nutrient requirements due to recovering from illness, poor digestion and therefore issues with absorbing nutrients, wanting to protect their cells from oxidative damage, or have fatty livers they are trying to remedy.
There can be any one of hundreds of reasons why a top up of essential nutrition through natural, plant based ingredients might support a full vibrant life, and the optimum health to enjoy it. Here are some ideas of real foods- you might say superfoods- that you can add to smoothies, yoghurt, porridge, hummus or nut butters to fill in the gaps and turbo boost your nutrition.
Spirulina is truly nature’s original superfood- providing everything needed for life, with the exception of vitamin C. It is a blue-green algae that is one of the most nutritious, concentrated food known to man.
Spirulina contains some of the highest density of proteins found in any food, offers more beta-carotene than carrots, more iron than raw spinach and more calcium than milk on a gram per gram basis.
Spirulina lacks cellulose walls so it is very easily digested and absorbed. Within our body’s cells there is an energy powerhouse called mitochondria. Spirulina feeds the mitochondria which turbo boosts our energy and helps with healthy cell regeneration. Spirulina offers quick and sustained energy, without taxing the pancreas to balance our blood sugar levels like some energy boosting products on the market.
Spirulina helps to balance and stabilize the immune system, freeing up more of our metabolic energy for vitality, healing and absorbing nutrients.
Wheat and Barley Grass
High sugar or processed diets can lead to higher levels of metabolic waste in our system. Barley grass and Wheat grass are known for having properties that support the acid/alkaline balance. They are both also nutrient dense foods that are full of vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, fibre and other phytonutrients. The slight differences in their nutrient profile lend Barley grass to support digestive and joint health, while Wheat grass is higher in Vitamin C and K, and it tends to get used to support detoxing and energy. Choose certified organic and NZ grown.
Chlorella is a microscopic plant rich in phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals and contains the richest natural source of chlorophyll, traditionally used for body odour, bad breath and supporting teenage skin from the inside out. It has cleansing and detoxifying properties while supporting liver health, and makes an excellent tonic. The detoxification capability of Chlorella is due to the high chlorophyll content and its ‘cracked’ cell walls. This cracking of the wall enables us to digest and optimally absorb the nutrients inside.
After being consumed from the beginning of human existence, berries have taken centre stage in recent years for their vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidant properties which support our health in multiple ways. A variety of berries supports skin health and oxidative damage to cells, a healthy heart, those with red, purple or blue pigments support our eyes, some support prostate for male health, some support memory and circulation. They even support our energy levels while the fibre looks after our bowel health (the antioxidants help here as well), makes us feel fuller for longer, and Acai berries have been touted as helping with healthy weight management. It is better to have a mixture of berries to cover a wider variety of healthy nutrients.
So whether it is an occasional or a daily top up it is worth looking at these plant based ingredients to make sure you have all your nutritional bases covered to be the best that you can be.