Part of our daily regimen is a shake chock-full of “Superfoods”. While it can vary, the basic formula is as follows (this is for two people):
Bananas (two, and green is better for you than fully ripened): This is of course organically grown bananas. While I was born in the US and grew up in Canada, I now live in the Philippines, the largest producer of bananas in the world. Besides adding natural sugars to the shake, which makes it tasty, as well as viscosity (as the banana naturally thickens), bananas have “Resistant Starch“. If you click the link you can read about the benefits of Resistant Starch, which include improved insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, reduced appetite and various benefits for digestion. The Resistant Starches are resistant to digestion and pass through your body. Along the way, it does several highly beneficial things. First, it feeds the friendly bacteria in your intestine (your gut flora). In short, we need our gut flora to be properly balanced for optimum health. Many people today are out of balance, in part attributable to the modern diet. I will talk about this in another blog entry because it is a big subject. Resistant Starches also attach themselves to certain harmful substances in your body, including Visceral Fat, and carry it out of your body. As discussed on Livestrong.com, too much Visceral Fat can interfere with how your liver functions and interrupt normal hormonal communications between your vital organs. This can lead to insulin resistance (the beginning of diabetes), high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and a higher risk for developing heart disease. High visceral fat storage has also been linked to breast cancer, colorectal cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Bad stuff all around. So let’s get it out! I’m sure we’ll talk about Visceral Fat again at some future date.
Coconut Oil (1 teaspoon): Make sure it is organic, virgin olive oil. Refined oil will not come with the same benefits! Coconut Oil has many benefits. Amongst other benefits, it is a natural fat burner, it boosts energy levels and reduces hunger. Be careful with how much you add to your shake. It’s a powerful substance. You need to ramp this up over time. If you consume too much too quickly, it can make you feel nauseous and can also keep you up at night. So start with a small amount and increase it over time. But the health benefits and many! Read this article to learn more.
Goji Berries (maybe 20 or so berries): Goji berries are the most nutritionally dense berries on earth, containing all essential amino acids, the highest concentration of protein of any fruit, they are loaded with Vitamin C and contain more carotenoids than any other food, have 21 trace minerals and are high in fiber. This article is an interesting read about the history and benefits of Goji berries.
Wheatgrass (1 teaspoon): Wheatgrass is a powerful liquid nutrient. It’s benefits are highlighted in this article. As stated in the article, in addition to flooding the body with therapeutic dosages of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and phytonutients, wheatgrass is also a power detoxifier, especially of the liver and blood.
Spirulina and Chlorella (1 teaspoon each): These are microalgaes packed with nutritional benefits, which are summarized in this article. In short, Spirulina enhances immunity and Chlorella is a purifier.
Acai Berries (1 teaspoon of powder): Indigenous to the Amazon rainforest, the health benefits of Acai Berries are many (as summarized in this article), but Acai Berries are proven to contribute to a healthy heart, makes you resistant to harmful organisms, aids in weight loss, promotes skin health, helps with digestion, reduces irritation, improves cellular health, is an immune booster, has anti-ageing effects, boosts energy, contributes to better sex, and improves mental function.
Maca (1 teaspoon): Indigenous to the high plateaus of the Andes mountains in Peru, the health benefits of Maca Root, a sister to the Radish, are many (as summarized on WebMD and in this article). Maca is used for “tired blood” (anemia); chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); and enhancing energy, stamina, athletic performance, memory, and fertility. Women use maca for female hormone imbalance, menstrual problems, and symptoms of menopause. Maca is also used for weak bones (osteoporosis), depression, stomach cancer, leukemia, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, erectile dysfunction (ED), to arouse sexual desire, and to boost the immune system (courtesy of WebMD).
Psyllium Husk (1 teaspoon): Pysllium is a natural laxative and helps regulate your bowels. It is also helpful in promoting weight loss, manage cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improve lipid levels, strengthen your heart muscle, generally contribute to heart health, regulate blood sugar levels / glycemic levels and reduce hunger (as summarized in this article).
Aloe Vera Gel (a squirt): While it is widely known that aloe vera is a natural way to treat sunburns, the substance has a variety of health benefits for your skin and hair. It also promotes weight loss. It’s benefits are highlighted in this article.
Raw Honey (to taste, but careful not to make too sweet): As summarized in this article, natural honey is a healing substance (as well as a natural sweetener).
Orange Juice (about a cup, but as much as you need to allow the mixture to mix): Make sure it’s 100% natural, preferably not from concentrate.
Pineapple (to taste): This is of course organically produced Pineapple. Again, this is something that is easy to get in the Philippines, but makes sure it has not been adulterated in any way. Organically produced pineapple, which is rich in all its nutrients, is best.
Coconut Milk (about a cup): You could also use Rice Milk or Cashew Milk. My wife makes ours from scratch, which frankly takes minutes with a bit of prep.
Other Fruit (to taste): We buy all kinds of fruits and chop them up and freeze them so they can just be dropped in, or just buy frozen, organically produced fruits that are already chopped. Fruits we like include papaya, strawberries, rasberries, blueberries, mango, and soursop. All of these foods have their own benefits as well (by example, Soursop seems to help in the treatment of cancer).
So all-in-all, a pretty power packed shake. To be honest, I was more than a little skeptical about the effects that these superfoods would have before we started consuming them. The first day we had them, I was 100% convinced of their benefits. I could instantly feel the neurons in my brain firing and connecting. It was the most amazing feeling. And we started with just three of these foods in the beginning. Now I can’t imagine not having them each day. When traveling (which I do regularly for work), I seek out my daily superfoods and have even started traveling with some!