Goji berries – Pedaling for Peace Super Foods Series

pedaling for peace - superfoods goji berries fructus lyciium   Goji berries Lycii fructus, is the comercial name of wolfberries, the fruit of two species: Lysium barbarum and L. chinense. Very rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin A, C and E, they have been used by asian herbalists since over six thousands years ago, they have powerful medicinal properties such as:

* Boost immune functions and increases metabolic activity.

* Protect and detoxify the liver and supports kindney function.

* Natural anti-immflamatory, anti-bacterial and antifungal.

* Improve eyesight due to it’s high contents of the carotenoid zeaxanthin that protects the retina of the eye and prevents age-related macular degeneration, the lead cause of blindness for eldery people.

* Improve sexual function and promote fertility.

* Increase longevity mainly because of their high content of antioxidants that slow the aging process by minimizing the damage of free radicals in the body to a cellular level.

* Improve circulation and overall toning of the cardovascular system.

* Prevents the grow of cancer cells.

* Reduces blood glucose and cholesterol.

Some of the nutrients you can get from goji berries are essential fatty acids, protein, vitamin C, 19 different amino acids 8 of which are essential amino acids, B vitamins, carotenoids, 21 different trace minerals incluiding copper, zinc, calcium, iron, selenium, potassium and phosphorus. Like any fruit, goji berries contain sugar but in the form of polysaccharides, log-chain sugar molecules considered as complex carbohydrates and a primary source of dietary fiber that may help to strengthen the immune system, promote a healthy intestinal mucosal lining, enhace mineral uptake and reduce the risk of developing colon cancer .

You can consume your goji berries raw, dried, cooked, juiced or made into tea. We prefer to keep them raw or dried to preserve their nutrients intact, they are a great addition to trail mixes, granola and cereals, sprinkled over your fruit salad or even in your smoothie. Goji berrie tea is also a great way to get it’s nutrients but for us the flavor is not so appealing :-/  Is very important that you always search for organic goji berries, particularly if grown in China where large amounts of pesticides are used for their production.

Chia – Pedaling for Peace Super Foods Series

Pedaling for Peace - Super Foods Series chia seeds    Chia seeds come from the Salvia hispanica plant that is native of México. High in complete protein, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium and soluble fiber, chia seeds are a superstar food for high energy endurance sports!

I fell in love with chia seeds while researching the Rarámuri, a tribe of native indians in Northern México that are both mystical and magical, not only because of their culture but also their amazing athletic power, being able to run more than 500 miles up there in the Copper Canyon Mountains… that is MORE than 500 (five hundred) MILES… up in the mountains… in sandals!!! …  s a n d a l s ! ! !  …  Since then, chia seeds are a staple in my diet:)

A very special characteristic of chia seeds is it’s hydrophilic property. If you were to place a spoonful of chia seeds in a glass of water, after a few minutes the whole content would have a gelatinous texture. This is in part due to the high content of soluble fiber in the seed that traps moisture: a seed can absorb up to 12 times it’s weight in water and this way, provide prolonged hydration in the body. Besides this, in the stomach, this gelatinous matter helps to slow down considerably the breaking down of carbohydrates, which results in a slow, long term delivery of energy and nutrients that won’t create a high or a low in blood sugar levels.

So you have one of the highest sources of antioxidants, packed with easy to assimilate complete protein, omega-3 fatty acids, an excellent source of essential minerals, that will provide you with prolonged energy and hydration?!  N I N J A .

Spirulina – Pedaling for Peace Super Foods Series

Pedaling for Peace -  Super Foods Series spirulina sea weed algaeSpirulina is a microalgae from the Arthrospira platensis and Athrospira maxima species that was cultivated by the Aztecs and other Mesoamerican cultures since hundreds of years ago. Nowadays is one of the most common superfoods due to it’s high levels of complete protein, vitamins and minerals.

Dried spirulina contains from 50% to 70% protein and contains all the essential aminoacids, high in essential fatty acids and also contains vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc. RAD! On top of this, is a good source of chlorophyll that helps to grow and repair tissues in the body and is a powerful antioxidant.

Some of the benefits of consuming spirulina are:

* Increased energy, endurance and stamina.

* Strengthening of the immune system.

* Helps to purify the liver and may help protect against liver damage and failure.

* Helps to maintain a healthy weight.

* Increases mental awareness.

* Lowers blood cholesterol and triglycerides.

* Helps fighting viral infections.

* Proven to prevent cancer and cellular degeneration.

* Promotes healthy digestion and proper bowel function.

Spirulina can be taken in tablets, flakes or powder. Tablets are very practical since many people find the flavor of it too strong and ‘fishy’. You can try mixing it with you lemonade or in a smoothie or simply sprinkle it on top of your food, just making sure not to cook it since that will make it loose many of it beneficial nutrients. In our website you can find several recipes that call for it like our Mulegé smoothie.

However, like many blue-green algae, can be contaminated with toxic substances and absorb heavy metals from the water is was grown in, so always get your spirulina from high quality brands.