Archive for the ‘Super Food’ Category

Superfood Nutrition for Stress

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Providing your body with nutrition is intricately linked with nourishing your mind. If your body is unhealthy, you will be more likely to suffer from symptoms of stress, low mood and anxiety. Eating foods that are high in calories but low in nutritional value can cause dramatic spikes in blood sugar and leave you feeling unsatisfied and tense. Eating foods, such as cottage cheese or those high in vitamin C can help combat stress, take the edge off and keep you calm, no matter how tense life may get.

Paying attention to your nutrition can help you nurture your mental health. Try to incorporate the foods below into your daily diet.Superfood Nutrition for Stress

  • Spinach: This leafy green vegetable can regulate your blood pressure and keep you calm. Spanach also contains high levels of Vitamin C, A, B, and K.
  • Cottage cheese: Loaded with protein and calcium, cottage cheese can help you feel satisfied and reduce hunger pangs.
  • Citrus fruits: When you’re stressed, your body releases free radicals that can be damaging to your health. Eating foods that are high in vitamin C can provide the nutrition you need to maintain a healthy immune system and combat health hazards.
  • Chocolate: Although it’s best to avoid excess sugar when dealing with stress, chocolate may activate the pleasure centers in the brain, helping to boost mood and relieve anxiety. Dark chocolate, which has more cacao, can be more effective at reducing stress than regular or milk chocolate. Eating too much chocolate can cause moodiness after the effects of the sugar and caffeine have worn off, so eat chocolate in moderation to regulate your mood.
  • Fish: Fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce surges of stress hormones that are released during tense situations. Tuna, an excellent source of omega-3, is also high in vitamins B6 and B12, which support the production of stress-relieving neurotransmitters.
  • Oatmeal: Besides being a great remedy for soothing the skin, oatmeal can also soothe your nerves. The grain stimulates the production of serotonin in the brain, which has a calming effect on the body. Because the body digests oatmeal slowly, the calming effects are long-lasting.
  • Avocado: This rich, creamy, natural treat is packed full of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals used for to combat stress. The healthy fats and high levels of potassium in avocados can also help lower high blood pressure.
  • Beef: Lean red meat is a good source of nutrition and is packed with the mood stabilizers zinc, iron and B vitamins.
  • Asparagus: With high levels of folic acid, asparagus can help you regulate your mood. Folic acid helps create serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of happiness.
  • Green Tea: Well known for its stress fighting ingredient Theanine, this soothing beverage is also packed full of free radical fighting antioxidants such as vitamin C. Studies have also shown that the act of making tea can help relax the mind.

What foods do you use to balance your stress levels? Share your nutrition secrets in the comments section below.

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Benefits of Cottage Cheese –
Vitamin C Antioxidants -


Maca and Its Super Food Benefits

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

maca rootSimilar in appearance to a turnip or radish, the humble maca root has been used by the natives of Peru and Bolivia for centuries for its nutritional value and stimulating properties. Now recognized as the next in a long line of super foods, dried maca root is available in supplemental form for those who don’t have access to the real thing. The dried root consists of about 14 percent protein with high levels of calcium, potassium and essential fatty acids. If you’re interested in adding this super food to your diet, here are a few more of its benefits.

Maca is an Adaptogen!
This funny name simply means that maca can do great things for most people without causing any negative side effects for anyone. The list of benefits includes:

  • Boosts Immunity and Speeds Healing
  • Increases Energy Levels and Endurance
  • Supports the Endocrine System for Healthy Hormone Regulation
  • Enhances Memory and Brain Functioning
  • Nourishes the Skin, Bones and Teeth
  • Helps Build Muscle

Is Maca Root Really an Aphrodisiac?
Many claim it is, and the actual studies have shown some positive results in this area. A few random trials have been conducted that indicate maca root can increase the male sex drive and improve male fertility. Other studies conducted on animals found that male rats demonstrated an increased desire to mate when maca root was included in their diet compared to rats that weren’t given this food source. Some feel that these results are due to the hormone-balancing properties of the maca root while others credit the exceptional nutritional value of this super food.

Maca has also been credited with helping the ladies in this same area. While we won’t go so far as to claim this super food is an actual aphrodisiac, feeling your best has to help put anyone in the mood. Those same hormone-balancing properties help ease the symptoms of menopause and pre-menstrual syndrome while filling the body with energy and vigor. Many women who suffer from iron-poor blood or thyroid conditions also benefit from including maca root in their diet. This super food alleviates anemia and helps regulate hyper-thyroidal symptoms.

How Much is Too Much?
Although maca root has no ill effects according to many, there is one thing to watch out for. If your diet is low in iodine, the glucosinolates in maca can cause goiters if you consume this vegetable in huge quantities. However, this is not a major risk for most people.

Like anything else, you should enjoy maca root in its original form or as a supplement in moderation noting any positive or negative effects on your body. No one has reported any allergies to this healthy super food to date, but you should always contact your doctor if you have an unusual reaction to maca root or any other supplement.