Sometimes the best things come in the smallest packages! What am I referring to? The tiny goji berry, which is one of nature’s most nutritionally complete foods.
Never heard of it? Goji berries are referred to as “red diamonds” in their native Himalayan China and Tibet. The bite-size super foods contain 18 different amino acids, aka the building blocks for protein, including 8 of the 9 essential food-based amines that our body cannot produce on their own. This makes them especially crucial for vegetarians and vegans who are not eating complete animal proteins like eggs, fish, and meat products.
Goji berries are sold around the world and are usually packaged as dried berries. (They kind of look like pink raisins.) You can find them in most health food stores and increasingly in regular grocery stores too. The berries are pretty sweet in taste, but they’re also pretty complex tasting overall because of all the nutrients and minerals they deliver.
History of Goji Berries
Goji berries have always played an integral part in Chinese medicinal practices since ancient times, dating back as far as 5,000 years! They are still prescribed for their eye, liver, and kidney-supporting properties and they are also believed to boost “chi”, or invigorating life energy, in those who eat them. There are many well-documented claims that daily consumption of goji berries played a key role in unbelievable longevity: one man even claimed to have lived 252 years! (I’m not convinced of his math, but still!)
Super Food Superpowers
Here’s a cheat sheet on the benefits you can expect from go-go-goji berries:
- Contains 21 trace minerals like zinc, iron, copper, calcium, and phosphorus
- Richest source of carotenoids of all known foods on earth. Way more than even carrots!
- 500x more Vitamin C than oranges by weight
- 8 of 9 essential amino acids, almost a complete protein
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If you’re looking to decrease stress, stabilize your hormones, boost your sex drive, neutralize the acidity of your body, and blast your system with nutrients, look no further than that section at the health food store you always ignore: the supplement aisle.
I know what you’re thinking: Supplements? Aren’t those the often untested, unapproved sorta drugs that always seem too good to be true. For the most part yes—I largely avoid most of the powders, pills, and formulas available in this section of the health food store. But there’s one supplement that’s definitely worth picking up for any of the above conditions: Maca powder.
Maca powder has also been called “Peruvian ginseng”. Although it’s thought of as a supplement, researchers suspect this South American staple has been consumed for around 2,000 years. The Incas considered maca to be a gift of the gods, due to its superior nutritional value, and it’s one of the only plants to thrive in the tough conditions of the Andes mountains. Maca powder comes from the root of the plant.
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The chia plant didn’t have the best introduction to the American market. (Ch-ch-chia, anyone?) But don’t be fooled into thinking that chia seeds—which are being added to everything from smoothies to cookies—are all hype. The truth is, chia seeds may be just what your diet is missing!
Chia’s Superfood Superpowers
Chia is the ancient Mayan word for “strength” and these tiny seeds, which are primarily grown in Southern Mexico and have been eaten for thousands of years, live up to their name. They’re packed with amazing amounts of goodness to keep you strong and vibrantly alive. Here are just some of the superpowers packed into the minuscule seeds. A serving boasts:
- more Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon
- more calcium per ounce than milk
- more Vitamin C than an orange
- fiber, iron, magnesium and potassium
- tons of antioxidants and anti-cancer properties
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This guest post comes from Gale Tern, author, alternative health proponent, and blogger at Arthritis Pain Central.
According to mainstream medical literature, lupus is one of many disorders of the immune system known as auto-immune disease. The immune system is supposed to protect the body from invaders like harmful bacteria and viruses. However, in the case of auto-immune diseases, the immune system actually attacks parts of the body it is supposed to protect.
The theory is that when your body turns on itself and begins to damage cells and body tissue, this leads to inflammation. And so the inflammation you see associated with lupus is really a symptom of the disease. Lupus affects all parts of the body including the heart, kidneys, joints, skin, lungs, brain, tendons, and blood vessels. The most common symptoms of lupus include extreme pain, inflammation, kidney problems, swelling of the joints, fever, weight gain, and skin rashes.
The thing about lupus is that it discriminates. It primarily affects women. In fact, approximately ninety percent of all lupus cases affect women in their thirties.
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eDiets is hosting a day-long event in Ft. Lauderdale this weekend, with special guests Jillian Michaels, sharing news about her new meal delivery plan, and Dr. Steven Pratt, author of SuperFoods Rx.
eDiets Live is a fun day dedicated to keeping you motivated and informed about nutrition and fitness. Who better to learn from than the two guest speakers?
Saturday, June 7, 2008
9a.m. – 5p.m.
Embassy Suites Hotel
1100 SE 17th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Event Registration: 800.265.6170
Everyone receives a gift bag worth $200 and a chance to win an E80 Elliptical Trainer, worth $1499. If you attend, please share your experience with us!
Learn more about eDiets online weight loss programs.