This week I turned myself into a “superfood” guinea pig to see how I would feel. Well…the exciting results are in. After integrating raw acai, raw goji berries, raw cacao, pomegranate green tea and other berries into my diet, how do I feel? Am I now superhuman? Which grocery items did I find? And what is a “superfood” again?
So we’ll start with what a superfood is. In a nutshell, it is a food that is loaded with antioxidants and/or nutrients, such as amino acids and essential omega fatty acids. It turns out that you may not get the benefits of these antioxidants and nutrients if they come in the form of supplements, so everything I used this week came from raw, pure sources. This meant that I had to buy all of the ingredients at Whole Foods or other natural food stores – I could not find these items at regular grocery stores.
So how do I feel? I honestly did not think I would see a noticeable difference, especially after only one week. However, I was shocked – I did get a big energy boost. My normal 2:00 – 3:30 afternoon daily drag completely vanished. After seeing and feeling the difference with these fairly easy small changes to my diet, I am absolutely ready to make them a regular part of my day (which is another thing I totally didn’t think would happen)!
So first up, my breakfast “superfood” smoothie. Here are the ingredients:
Goji is arguably one of the most powerful “superfoods” known. These little berries from the Himalayan mountains have more Vitamin C than oranges, more beta carotene than carrots and more iron than spinach, all in 1 little ounce. They have 20 trace minerals and 8 amino acids, and have protein as well as soluble fiber. ALL of that, and I can’t believe how good these taste. They are like a sweet, dried raspberry, which makes them a nice addition to smoothies, or you can just eat them plain. I chose this Navitas brand because it is organic and has a MUCH better taste than other brands I’ve tried. IMPORTANT: goji berries have been shown to adversely interact with some drugs, so if you are taking medication, consult your doctor before integrating these into your diet.
In case you hadn’t heard, the acai berry is a reddish-purple fruit native to Central and South America that is a powerhouse of antioxidants and essential omega fatty acids. However, as far as promoting weight loss, there is no scientific evidence yet to indicate that the acai berry is any more beneficial than any of the other berries (which are all healthful). These Sambazon pure acai smoothie pouches make it a snap to add the acai.
Raw cacao powder earns its “superfood” status because of its extremely high level of antioxidants…even higher than green tea or red wine. It also contains a high amount minerals such as magnesium and iron. Navitas Naturals is a great choice because it is 100% pure, raw and organic. I am now using this in my smoothies and coffee. WARNING: Use a VERY small amount! This stuff is so potent that I was jittery and bouncing off the walls after only a couple of tablespoons. I now use 1 tbsp. in both my coffee and smoothies, which is plenty.
Now for info on the Quadruple “Superfood” Smoothie that I made with all of these ingredients plus blueberries (which also has loads of antioxidants) and high protein, non-fat yogurt:
Calories: 230 – Fat: 3g, Carbs: 23g, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 19g, WW PTS: 4. Click here to get the recipe!
1/2 oz, goji berries (50 calories) 1/2 packet, Sambazon pure acai (40 calories) 1 tbsp. Navitas raw cacao powder (30 calories) 70 grams (35 berries) Fresh blueberries (20 calories) 6 oz Oikos yogurt (90 calories) 3 packets, Truvia (0 calories)
Blender: (Makes 1 serving): First take 1/4 cup of water and put it in the blender. Then add the goji powder, acai packet and cacao (the water absorbs the powders and keeps them from spraying all over the blender). Then add 15 ice cubes and the Oikos yogurt. Start the blender on slow and gradually increase the speed. Pour into 16 ounce glass, and enjoy your powerhouse superfood, antioxidant and protein smoothie!
Last up, my evening dose of superfood: decaf pomegranate green tea…
Republic of Tea has sweet and delicious decaffeinated superfruit green tea that is pretty much the most awesome tea ever. Green tea is already a great antioxidant, but now the pomegranate seeds that have been added to this one give it double antioxidant status: the pomegranate contains powerful antioxidants, amino acids, vitamin C and potassium. I choose decaf so I can sip it in the evening to curb my late night snack attack (it helps, really!). Unfortunately, this tea is insanely expensive so I’m on the lookout for a cheaper version. Also, this is obviously not meant to replace eating a real pomegranate, so if you like those and they are in season, they are the best option.