Saturday, August 7, 2010

Why you need to eat SUPERFOODS!

If you have been following me on facebook and twitter, you know that I lah-ove to talk about, consume, and get people pumped about eating superfoods. There are so many reasons to get into them.

The Highest Reason to Eat Superfoods is Two Fold

1. So that you can be the most highly functioning-badass-warrior-able-to-serve-the-world-and-make-it-a-better-place, all while feeling amazing.

2. Many times the sustainable harvesting of super foods (which grow in highly pristine, bio-diverse places on the planet), actually supports the environment, keeping rain forests standing, and natural ecosystems intact, while providing much greater prosperity for local tribes, entrepreneurs, and farmers. Much more savory than soybean fields and cow pastures resulting in drought and climate change!

My Story
In 2007, our community lost a dear Anusara yoga student and friend. Her name was Deb Lavender. She was an avid yogini, an outdoors woman, she was fit and ate organic, and she was prosperous in her career.

She was only 47.

Deb passed away after a 6 year fight with cancer. When Deb was in hospice it occurred to me, that something was very much not right about this fate. She was a yogini, successful in her career, ate organic, and was an accomplished and fit outdoors woman. It occurred to me that Deb's story was not unique.

You always hear that stress is the #1 killer. And as a yoga teaching professional, it is my job to help people learn how to be happy. We' have been on the happiness train for over a decade getting happy, and we have figured out how to eat organic and stay fit. So I wondered why this was still happening and seemingly increasing in frequency? Air pollution and radiation exposure, yeah, I could see that.

However, what came to me was that supplementation was lacking. And so I pursued an informal education on all supplements. I discovered that every single nutritional organization in the world now recommends supplementation for a healthy diet, even one that is all organic, free-range, vegetarian or even raw.

What I Discovered
Deb's passing led me to scour the world, talking with the best naturopaths and nutrition experts, and I came upon this the buzz word, "superfood". Wikipedia says: "
Superfood is a term sometimes used to describe food with high phytonutrient content that may confer health benefits as a result. For example, blueberries are often considered a superfood (or superfruit) because they contain significant amounts of antioxidants, anthocyanins, vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber.

Eaten consistently, superfoods will help you meet the recommendations of the U.S. government's 2005 Dietary Guideline, supplying you with nutrients and minerals that are typically missing from American diets.

It is no surprise that the indigenous people who live in the places where superfoods grow have zero cases of degenerative diseases like cancer, heart disease or diabetes. Statistically, they perish from snake bites or machete wounds which occur from the outside in. Meanwhile here in the States and in Europe, our people (and our pets!) are dying from the inside out.

If you ask me, if given the opportunity, I'd rather eat out of the rainforest or other pristine places and join those who are thriving from bio-diverse wild foods, vs. mono crop foods grown in overly tilled soils. Of course growing your own food is a great idea too, however as a supplement, you will benefit immensely from superfoods.

What's in it for YOU?
How about increasing your energy levels, brightening your eyes, getting that "glow", keeping you regular, increasing your recovery time from exercise and sports,
and giving you the antioxidants you need to fight free radicals all day long?

Back in 2007, I started eating Superfoods in mass quantity and I have to say, I FEEL much more uplifted in my moods, more inspired, and I notice a difference in the luster of my skin, hair, nails, and energy. People worry about the price of such foods, as they are premium quality. And they way I see it, I'd rather pay a small amount over time for these precious foods now, then inflated hospital and doctor's bills later!

How You Can Get in on the Buzz
After class, I am often bombarded with questions from students wanting recommendations on juicers, products to help their digestion, and superfoods they can throw in their smoothies. I am always so delighted that people want to get educated, want to know more, and mostly that they want to have radical health, regularity, and radiant beauty for themselves and their families.

So, to make it easier, to get this info out there, we have now created a special page on my website dedicated to superfoods and juicing where you can find my juicing and smoothie recipe ideas, the specific superfoods I recommend, juicers, and more. Please enjoy this page and spread the word!

May you thrive, not just survive, and change the world while you are doing it!


Kari said...

Dear Amy,
Let me tell you I couldn't agree with you more! I have started on the "superfood" path as well and feel well, I am hardly ill (not even with the occasional sniffle) and hair and nails a strong and growing faster than ever.

But....when in Norway this summer I bought a book about superfood and was telling about it to my 81 year old mother. Talking to my mom I was ranting about the book and praising acai berries, goji berries, spinach, spirulina, amaranth, raw chocolate and raw food in general and all the other WONDERFUL super-foods out there. You probably get the point - she didn't know half of the stuff I was talking about!!

After listening to me for a few minutes her comment was: "I'm 81 and your Dad is 85, we have been eating normal, Norwegian food since we were born, not thinking too much if the food was SUPER or not. We have been eating all kinds of meats, fruits and vegetables in season and lots of fish. We have been enjoying home made bread and cakes when we felt like it. The clue is variation and moderation and most important - enjoying your meals". Some truth to that perhaps?
This got me to think that perhaps one of the things that is wrong with most food today is all the "stuff" that is put into it for preservation, color, taste and what not. AND maybe even more important, most of the food my parents grew up on came from their own farm, it hadn't "traveled", it hadn't been put into cans - it was as fresh as it gets!!!

No, I don't think that my parents will switch to Superfoods...and may I tell you that my mother is just like one of those Duracell bunnies that just goes on and on and on.

Nevertheless, living in this time and age, I will continue with my Superfoods, try to eat fresh produce and keep away from food whose content label scares the sh.t out of me!! So please continue "bombarding" us with information on Superfoods....with love, K

Amy said...

Hey Kari,
I agree precisely - my grandmother is in her 90's with not one degenerative disease (no heart disease, no cancer, no diabetes) in her system. I really believe it is because the food she ate most of her young life was local, fresh, and grew in soil with much more biodiversity and richness than what you can find today. I think our parent's generation was not this lucky, nor are we, thus the need totally eat superfoods galore, as you say!

Thanks for sharing your story. :)

Myriam Lluria Sitterson said...

Great article Amy. Thank you for sharing this. I am an avid consumer of superfoods and when people try to convince me to eat differently I simply tell them that I eat to feel well and if something doesn't make me feel well then I have no use for it. I am hypersensitive to foods that do not agree with me and also follow the blood type diet because it is how I feel my healthiest and most energetic. Namaste!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Amy,

Another shri read. I'm so with you on this one, as ever.
Power to the food and people, honey.


hayley said...

what would you say for those that cant afford 'superfoods'? im not saying i cant, i do supplement my diet with a few... but for extremely poor people that want to be healthy- what should they do?

i also wonder if part of healthiness is genetic... i know a lot of cancer runs in families- could it be prevented with superfoods, or is it just part of some people's dna?

Amy said...

Thanks so much for the comments!

Hayley - I hear I said in the blog - I'd rather pay now then get blasted later when the hospital and doctor's bills (subject to inflation) come in to treat a disease I could have prevented. I tell those on a budget, it is health insurance. And for example, are they still buying lunch out,or buying a cup of coffee on a daily basis? If they cut that out, they'd have the money to spend on healthy alternatives in a comes down to choice and priorities I think.

And yes, I think there is definitely something to be said about genetics. And ultimately? We are not in charge of when and how we are going to die. We can only do our best, and we might as well feel AWESOME while we are alive, and superfoods make you so!

xoxox Amy

Scott Newsom said...

You mentioned juicing, but doesn't that rob you of fiber?

tbone388 said...

Superfoods are a great addition to anyones diet.

I have health articles on my website