Super Inexpensive Super Foods!

superfoods

tamarindTamarind -Tamarindo=]

Not so easy to plant, trees take ten years to grow… BUT, they are super cheap to buy, either in the actual pod form which are fun to pull apart or the pre-separated tamarind pulp.  Taste is nice and sweet, but not overly sweet, loaded with vitamins and nutrients, considered medicinal.

Great with lime juice and some cayenne.  This is one of the primary ingredients for the sauce in Pad Thai!

quinoaQuinoa –

Grows like a weed, seriously, it grows so easily, try some in your backyard, you cold be pleasantly surprised!  Young plants, from 2 to 8 inches can be used whole in smoothies as a super food.

As they get larger, use the leaves and compost the stem, once they start to seed, all the ninja vibe has gone to that part of the plant so wait till they are ready to harvest and eat.

Once harvested, clean them, or buy store bought and then cook as you would rice, but they take about half the time!

Considered a complete protein, meaning it has all the necessary amino acids, alkaline, no one really has an allergy to it that I know of, chap to buy and again, easy to grow!

amaranthAmaranth –

Again, grows like a weed, young plants, from 2 to 8 inches can be used in smoothies as a super food.  as they get larger, use the leaves in salads or as a steamed dish which tastes great with a little tamari/soy/braggs and pepper, or whatever you would normally season your steamed veggies with, once they start to seed, all the ninja vibe has gone to that part of the plant so wait till they are ready to harvest and eat.

The seeds can most effectively be eaten by popping them.  They will resemble tiny popcorns but are spheres.  hey have little to no taste and can therefore be added to ANYTHING you wish to supercharge with vitamins, minerals and protein.

Allow your skillet to get very hot, add a few hand fulls of seeds, they will be tiny, cover and check often.  Add to anything.  Depending on the country, you can buy pre-popped amaranth extremely inexpensively.

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Carob Hazelnut Smoothie… nom nom, slurp slurp!!

Carob Hazelnut Smoothie = 3 bananas + 1 pear + 1 Tbsp. Maca + 1 1/2 Tbsp. Carob powder + 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1 cup hazelnut milk + 1/2 cup water … Delicious is an understatement!! Superior nutrition, all the flavor, no guilt ♥

 

You won’t know if you had breakfast or dessert… who cares!


Maca root

        The maca root Lepidium meyenii is native to the andes of Perú and contains over 55 different phytochemicals including important hormonal precursors that makes this superfood a very effective adaptogen for the human body, that means it will help your body adapt to the environment and help you relax if you are stressed, feeling anxious, have insomnia, etc, but it will also help to increase your energy, stamina and strength if you’re feeling down, depressed, exhausted.

Famous for promoting longevity, endurance and fertility, maca has high contents of vitamins B1, B2, B12, calcium, potassium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, iron, manganese, silicon, magnesium, enzymes, all the essential amino-acids as well as smaller contents of many other nutrients.

 

Some of the health benefits of maca in the body are:

* Strengthens and restores the immune system and helps the body to adapt better to the environment and external conditions.

* Regulates and supports the endocrine system, stimulating a healthy and balanced production of hormones in the body.

* Increases energy, stamina and endurance.

* Improves sexual function both in men and women and enhances fertility.

 

Black Sesame Seeds

 

Sesame seeds of any color are a super food, but our favorite are black sesame seeds, considered one of the most potent energy and strength increasing foods in chinese medicine. Also used for strengthening the liver and kidneys.

Black sesame seeds are an excellent source of magnesium and calcium, more than cow’s milk and more easily absorbed. They also provide a high amount of copper (needed for calcium absorbency), zinc, phosphorus and iron. They also contain omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, specially B vitamins and dietary fiber.

 

Some of the benefits of including black sesame seeds in your diet are:

* Helps regulate blood pressure because of the high magnesium and calcium content.

* Strengthens liver and kidneys.

* Natural anti-inflammatory.

* Strengthens the immune system.

* Helps in the development of strong bones and healthy joints.

* Helps to lower cholesterol. Sesame seeds contain sesamin and sesamolin, with high contents of dietary fiber that helps reduce cholesterol in the blood.

* Promote regular bowel movements.

* Have potent anti-cancer properties.

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.

Cacao – Pedaling for Peace Super Foods Series

Pedaling for Peace - Super Foods Series cacao raw chocolate The seed of the cacao tree Theobroma cacao is one of the richest sources of antioxidants available and the basis of chocolate. However, it’s important to keep it raw to preserve all their nutrients intact, once roasted, baked of cooked, many components are destroyed or transformed, specially it’s most important component theobromine, a cardiovascular stimulant alkaloid that provides lots of energy without affecting the nervous system and increases nutrient uptake during digestion, but when heated, turns into caffeine that is damaging to the nervous system and that stresses kidneys and liver.

You can consume raw cacao in the form of beans, nibs, powder or cacao butter. Personally, I prefer the nibs and powder but only because of convenience.

Some of the benefits of consuming cacao are:

* It’s high in antioxidants such as oligomeric procynanidins, resveratrol and the polyphenols: catechin and epicatechin (that prevents stroke damage). Antioxidants help to protect from environmental and metabolic toxins like free radicals and may reduce the risk of several types of cancer.

* Increases the levels of specific neurotransmitters in our brain such as: anandamide (the only food that contains this neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of “bliss”), N-linoleoylethanolamine (prevents the re-uptake of anandamide), phenylethylamine (known as the “love molecule”, a mild mood elevator that increases focus and alertness), dopamine (boosts motivation and pleasure), MAO Inhibitors (prevents the re-uptake of serotonin and dopamine), coumarin (appetite suppressant that has anti-tumor properties), asparaginase (an enzyme that has anti-leukemia properties), serotonin (antidepressant, promotes a sense of well being), ergosterol (a precursor to vitamin D) and sitosterol (decreases LDL cholesterol).

* Helps to maintain a healthy weight because of it’s high contents of chromium and coumarin.

* Prevents cavities. Theobromine kills streptococci mutans bacteria one of the main tooth decay agents.

* Regulates blood sugar, strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system, and dissolves plaque build up in the arteries.

* It’s the highest source of magnesium that balances brain chemistry, regulates heartbeat and blood pressure, relaxes muscles, improves proper bowel function and builds strong bones.

And on top of this, it’s one of the most nutrient dense foods available with hight contents of vitamin A, B (1, 2, 3, 5 and 6), C, E, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, omega 6 fatty acids and amino acids… and tastes great, what else is there?!

Cacao – Pedaling for Peace Super Foods Series

Pedaling for Peace - Super Foods Series cacao raw chocolate The seed of the cacao tree Theobroma cacao is one of the richest sources of antioxidants available and the basis of chocolate. However, it’s important to keep it raw to preserve all their nutrients intact, once roasted, baked of cooked, many components are destroyed or transformed, specially it’s most important component theobromine, a cardiovascular stimulant alkaloid that provides lots of energy without affecting the nervous system and increases nutrient uptake during digestion, but when heated, turns into caffeine that is damaging to the nervous system and that stresses kidneys and liver.

You can consume raw cacao in the form of beans, nibs, powder or cacao butter. Personally, I prefer the nibs and powder but only because of convenience.

Some of the benefits of consuming cacao are:

* It’s high in antioxidants such as oligomeric procynanidins, resveratrol and the polyphenols: catechin and epicatechin (that prevents stroke damage). Antioxidants help to protect from environmental and metabolic toxins like free radicals and may reduce the risk of several types of cancer.

* Increases the levels of specific neurotransmitters in our brain such as: anandamide (the only food that contains this neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of “bliss”), N-linoleoylethanolamine (prevents the re-uptake of anandamide), phenylethylamine (known as the “love molecule”, a mild mood elevator that increases focus and alertness), dopamine (boosts motivation and pleasure), MAO Inhibitors (prevents the re-uptake of serotonin and dopamine), coumarin (appetite suppressant that has anti-tumor properties), asparaginase (an enzyme that has anti-leukemia properties), serotonin (antidepressant, promotes a sense of well being), ergosterol (a precursor to vitamin D) and sitosterol (decreases LDL cholesterol).

* Helps to maintain a healthy weight because of it’s high contents of chromium and coumarin.

* Prevents cavities. Theobromine kills streptococci mutans bacteria one of the main tooth decay agents.

* Regulates blood sugar, strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system, and dissolves plaque build up in the arteries.

* It’s the highest source of magnesium that balances brain chemistry, regulates heartbeat and blood pressure, relaxes muscles, improves proper bowel function and builds strong bones.

And on top of this, it’s one of the most nutrient dense foods available with hight contents of vitamin A, B (1, 2, 3, 5 and 6), C, E, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, omega 6 fatty acids and amino acids… and tastes great, what else is there?!