Updated: Mar 3, 2019
Over the last several blogs, I have outlines the importance of cutting out processed carbohydrates and fructose laden products. I have repeatedly stated that the more processed a food, the harder it is to stay healthy; what I haven’t mentioned is what can be done to replace those foods.
Obviously, cutting out grains and sugar (particularly fructose), is the first crucial step to improving your health and normalizing your weight. But we still need to pay attention to what you replace those “bad” foods with. Remember, the food industry is sneaky. They operate on the edge of legality, always attempting to find ways to substitute cheaper product to maximize their profits, and always trying to figure out ways to fool you into believing their food is healthier than it really is.
One of your most basic health principles should be to eat a diet of whole, nutritious foods rather than processed "diet" fare. But what exactly is a “whole food?” For now let’s call a whole food the type of food that God made. So you can eat carrots because they grew from the earth and man had no hand in altering it or “improving” its flavor. Twinkies on the other hand…well you get the idea. If the food is essentially as it grows or develops in nature, then it’s generally ok.
Obviously, using this barometer is a little too general. Some foods have very little nutritional value while others have super amounts of nutritional value and are far better for you! These superfoods are the foods that we need to focus on. These are the foods that change the way we look and feel, that reverse disease and normalize hormonal imbalances caused by processed foods.
Feeding your body the right types of nutrients rather than stuffing it with "empty" calories is obviously the path we all need to take. Empty calorie foods will not help you lose unwanted pounds. Foods that are super-condensed with nutrition will. And, by the way, eating superfoods is also a key ingredient for living a long and healthy life. Believe it or not, most people who are overweight are actually malnourished (nutritionally not calorically). At Revibe, we see people all the time who are mineral deficient, even though they eat plenty of food or drink lots of water.
So let’s be clear about a few things. Taking multiple-vitamin supplements will not make up for a poor diet. The intent of supplements is to, wait for it….supplement your diet; not replace it! One of the most important supplements you should consider is vitamin D. Recent research has indicated that the RDA may have been badly miscalculated by a factor of 10! That means the 600 RDA should be more like 5-6,000!
Vitamin D may also be very beneficial in weight loss, as well as decreasing your chances of dementia. Co-Enzyme Q-10 is also vital if you are over 40 years of age, and especially important if you are taking statin drugs. Co-Q 10 levels naturally decline as you age and having lots of it protects you from heart disease and inflammation.
Another important supplement to consider is magnesium. Most individuals are deficient in it. It has been implicated in migraines, muscle knots, and stiffness as well as a host of other health issues.
While these include a small idea of good supplements to take, it is important to understand that we need to eat nutritious food as part of our lifestyle. We need to avoid processed carbs and sugars and bad fats.
It is interesting that we still have professional nutritionists telling us to lower our fat intake, versus lowering bad fat intake. Fat is not the bad guy or at least natural fat. Obviously processed oils and Trans fats have been proven bad for some time. While dairy is not the best choice, full-fat dairy—and in particular raw, unpasteurized dairy—is far healthier than low-fat varieties, both for overall health and for weight loss. One reason is the higher the fat the less you tend to eat and the more your food brakes are applied to stop you from over eating.
In one study, women who consumed at least one serving of full-fat dairy a day gained 30 percent less weight over a nine-year period than women who ate only low-fat (or no) dairy products. But there’s no magic to milk. Most people are sensitive to it, and many have allergy reactions that limit its value (that and it has very little nutritional value left after it has been processed). So, it’s not the milk but the fat that has the value. Fact is, saturated fats provide the building blocks for your cell membranes and a large number of hormones and hormone-like substances that are essential to your health. So avoiding them in a low-fat diet is simply bad advice.
When we look at higher fat diets around the world, we actually see that disease rates fall with less processed foods and sugar, even if the fat intake is higher. Healthy fats from animal and vegetable sources (such as meats and tropical plant oils like coconut and avocado) also provide a concentrated source of energy in your diet—an important consideration when you're cutting out carbs. But fats from oils are another story. Anything with Trans fats, all processed vegetable oils, and most other oils heated to high temperatures are unhealthy because of the toxic byproducts like cyclic aldehydes that form.
When you eat fats as part of your meal, they slow down absorption so that you can go longer without feeling hungry, but low-fat foods have the opposite effect, especially if they are laden with sugar or other sweeteners.
Fats act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes, so a low-fat diet is not always a healthy option, even though nutritionists and dieticians often tell you to lower the fat when trying to lose weight. It’s logical, but obviously it does not work well since the low fat craze has been going on since the 80’s and yet we have increased our fat overall, not decreased it.
SO what are these superfoods? You may be surprised, but you should include them in your diet as often as you can.
Kefir is an ancient drink that originated in Asia and Eastern Europe. Similar in taste to yogurt, kefir is made from fermented milk and is slightly sour. Its popularity has soared in recent years because of growi
Kefir contains about 30 different strains of probiotics, making it better than most supplements. One of those probiotics is Lactobacillus kefiri, which is unique to kefir. Studies show that this probiotic can inhibit the growth of various harmful bacteria, including Salmonella, Helicobacter Pylori and E. coli.
Kefir is lower in sugar than traditional yogurt and a great addition to smoothies. You can find it in the refrigerated aisle at your local supermarket or health-food store.
#2. Spinach and Kale
Glycoglycerolipids are the main fat-related molecules in the membranes of light-sensitive organs in most plants. They're indispensable for the process of photosynthesis carried out by plants. However, recent lab research in laboratory animals has shown that glycoglycerolipids from spinach can help protect the lining of the digestive tract from damage — especially damage related to unwanted inflammation and protects against cancer too.
Kale can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in kale do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they've been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it's easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw kale still has cholesterol-lowering ability—just not as much.
Kale's risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer. These types include cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates in kale play a primary role in achieving these risk-lowering benefits.
Kale is now recognized as providing comprehensive support for the body's detoxification system. New research has shown that the ITCs made from kale's glucosinolates can help regulate detox at a genetic level.
Researchers can now identify over 45 different flavonoids in kale. With kaempferol and quercetin heading the list, kale's flavonoids combine both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits in a way that gives kale a leading dietary role with respect to avoidance of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.
Avocados are an excellent
The addition of avocado to already well-balanced diets has been shown to lower risk of heart disease, improve blood levels of LDL, lower levels of oxidative stress in the bloodstream and are helpful for regulating your blood sugar levels.
Avocados have high potassium which help balance your potassium to sodium ratio; important for optimal health.
#4. Wild Caught Fish
A powerhouse of
The quality of protein and the fiber content of beans, nuts, seeds, and grains improve when sprouted. The content of vitamins and essential fatty acids also increase dramatically during the sprouting process. This makes sprouted bread a better choice than regular gluten laden bread products.
Sunflower seed and pea sprouts tend to top the list of all the seeds that you can sprout and are typically about 30 times more nutrient dense than organic vegetables. Sprouts in general also support cell regeneration and are rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes that protect against free radical damage.
Sprouts also have an alkalinizing effect on your body, which is thought to help protect against disease, including cancer (as many tumors are acidic), and are abundantly rich in oxygen, which can also help protect against abnormal cell growth, viruses, and bacteria—none of which can survive in an oxygen-rich environment. While this concept is largely unproven and considered myth, very little research is published on the subject.
Regardless, sprouts are an excellent source of high-quality fiber, which is an important yet frequently overlooked weight loss and health aid.
#6. Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts have been shown to help detox your body of heavy metals, lower cholesterol, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and may also help us solve our vitamin D deficiency epidemic. When large supplemental doses of vitamin D are needed to offset deficiency, ample supplies of vitamin K and vitamin A are needed to keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance. Broccoli has an unusually strong combination of both vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin K. For people faced with the need to rebuild vitamin D stores through vitamin D supplements, broccoli is an ideal food to include in the diet.
Flaxseed is loaded with plant
#8. Organic Eggs
Eggs have been vilified in the past, but now we are realizing their importance to our diet. Not only do eggs contain high-quality protein and fat—nutrients that many are deficient in- they also contain valuable antioxidants , including lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help prevent age-related macular degeneration; the most common cause of blindness.
A 2009 study discovered that the proteins in cooked eggs are converted by gastrointestinal enzymes, producing peptides that act as ACE inhibitors (common prescription medications for lowering blood pressure).
#9. Raw Nuts
Something I eat every day as a
While almonds often receive top billing when health benefits of nuts are mentioned, all almonds sold in the US today are pasteurized—a mandatory requirement implemented in 2007 by well-intentioned and misguided people. Nuts are best consumed unsalted and raw. Peanuts are best avoided due their high rates of fungal growth; however peanut butter (from 100% peanuts) are generally fine.
#10. Green Tea
Arguably one of the healthiest beverages you can drink. It's packed with vitamins A, D, E, C, B, B5, H, and K, manganese and other beneficial minerals such as zinc, chromium, and selenium, and has been shown to benefit your brain and heart, boost metabolism, and has anti-cancer properties to boot. Research suggests this brew can be of particular benefit for those who are insulin resistant and/or overweight.
Green tea is not without its controversy. It can be contaminated with a variety of toxins, including fluoride and lead, both of which are readily absorbed from the soil. Areas with excessive industrial pollution, such as China (where nearly 90 percent of the world's green tea is produced), may contain substantial amounts of lead.
Japanese teas tend to be less contaminated and are generally preferred for that reason. If you're consuming Matcha green tea, it's especially important that it comes from Japan instead of China, as Matcha contains the whole leaf, ground to a fine powder.