First of all, what is a superfood? This is a buzzword that people have created to describe natural plants that contain a high level of health benefits and nutrients. They aren’t always expensive either although some of them can be. There are a lot of superfoods that you can incorporate into your diet and don’t worry, they do taste good!
Balance Your Bodies pH
I don’t know about you but I my body’s pH was not on my radar growing up. I didn’t even hear about this until my twenties. The pH of our body greatly affects our pain though. We should have a slightly alkaline pH and luckily many superfoods are alkaline and will help us reduce pain just by eating them. Some of these include spinach, chlorella and kale. If you aren’t a big fan of salad, include these superfoods into your smoothie. Instead of using acidic juice or sugary milk substitutes, just add alkaline water to your smoothie. Avocados are another ‘superfood’ that will make your smoothie delicious and help heal your pain.
It’s very important to consume superfoods in their raw form so the nutrients are still alive. Once they are heated or pasteurized, they no longer have the same effects. Most superfoods are sold raw which is good but just be aware that raw coconut is much better than coconut flakes in the baking section. Also, dehydrated items still have nutrients but frozen items lose at least 30% of their nutrients.
Reduce Cravings for Junk Food
Junk food like fried foods and processed foods with strange ingredients significantly add to the inflammation in our body because they contain toxins that increase inflammation. Eating nutrient dense superfoods will significantly reduce your hunger cravings. Essentially when we feel hunger it’s not that we haven’t had enough calories, it’s that we need more vitamins and minerals. These mineral packed superfoods will lower your pain because you will get what your body needs without the excess calories that turn into fat and slow your digestion. Try coconut oil, coconut water or coconut meat in your smoothies or just by itself. Some examples of superfoods you can eat instead of junk food are: goji berries, blueberries, avocados, spinach, maca powder, spirulina, cacao powder, almonds, quinoa, chia, garlic, strawberries, beans and broccoli.
Strengthens Your Immune System
There are phytonutrients that actually bolster your body’s ability to fight off sickness. The more colorful the plant is, the more nutrients it’s packed with. Sweet potatoes, red quinoa, dark berries, dark leafy greens and chia seeds are examples of superfoods with lots of pigments that will keep you strong and healthy. When your body is in a state of inflammation, it causes pain and makes you susceptible to all different viruses floating around.
Some super foods shine above the rest when it comes to reducing inflammation. Ginger, garlic, turmeric and cinnamon are all great at keeping your inflammation down. But also, when your diet consists of superfoods, you will have a lower pH and because your blood will be more pure, your emotions will even be more stable, allowing your stress to go down as well. Stress releases an acidic hormone called cortisol into your body which causes inflammation. You can help regulate your mood by choosing nature’s medicines of herbs, natural spices and delicious plants. Sunflower seed butter or almond butter are great alternatives to peanut butter because peanuts have been shown to cause inflammation. Additionally, quinoa and oats have been found to be better grains to eat for chronic pain management than things like wheat flour or white rice. Superfoods can also kill harmful bacteria in the gut and instead of eating gluten based products, these foods will lower inflammation. They can heal your stomach and your pain.
Many superfoods have healthy fats which will lower your inflammation. Hemp seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are examples of superfoods with healthy fats that can help reduce your pain.
Helps Reduce Weight which Lowers Pain
People that eat superfoods are thinner. Superfoods are low in calories and you can eat a lot of them without feeling guilty. They are filling and flavorful. There is really no drawback to them. That means that they have less belly fat. Belly fat is the worst kind because it surrounds your organs and releases toxins into your body that your filter organs (liver, pancreas, gallbladder and spleen) need to remove. If you picture a line of toxins waiting to be processed, it makes sense that you will want to keep that line at an all time low. The toxins that don’t get processed filter into your body through your bloodstream and cause free radicals that create painful inflammation. As the body loses excess weight, there is less pressure on the back. When the intestines are swollen from bad foods, they will push on the back causing pain. Many superfoods lower blood pressure and and reduce bad cholesterol. Superfoods are known to have a high level of antioxidants which fight cancer and reduce free radical damage in your tissues.
When your digestion is slow, the food literally builds up in your intestines. Your back will probably hurt because of the pressure. Superfoods are rich in fiber and will help you have daily bowel movements. If you aren’t having one or two bowel movements each day, this could be an issue that is creating chronic pain. It’s worth keeping track of this so you can know if your intestines are clean or not.
Believe it or not, they consider organic coffee beans a superfood and coffee also works as an excellent laxative. Don’t go adding sugar to it or you will be adding to the problem, not the solution. Stick to no more than one cup daily and try to choose a low-acid organic roast. Both coffee and green tea (without sugar and in moderation) can also help boost your metabolism and keep excess weight off.
Notice that these superfoods are 100% unprocessed, unrefined and they are each just one plant, not a mixture of strange ingredients. Some people consider eggs and salmon a superfood as well. We have been marketed to to think that pasta, bread, pizza, cereal and cookies are ‘foods’ when they are actually not good for us. They temporarily satisfy our hunger but they don’t contain many nutrients and will leave us craving more and more food. Do yourself a favor and make smoothies and salads a new habit in your life. You will notice a difference. You can find superfoods in the produce section and at health food stores. You can also order them in bulk off of Amazon.com or other websites to save money.
Be patient with your tastebuds as it takes time for them to like natural flavors. When I first tried these things, they tasted bland but now that I have no artificial flavors in my diet, I can finally taste their delicious and rich natural flavors.
One more important thing to mention is that while it may seem like superfoods are more expensive, they are not. Their higher nutrient density means you will not have to consume as much food and you won’t get sick as often. You will spend less on medicine and health care and have less time away from work because you will be healthy and strong.