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Ultimate Guide to Buying Superfoods Online

      Why Superfoods

      WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING ORGANIC SUPERFOODS

      Perhaps you’ve heard about the innumerable benefits of organic superfoods and are considering incorporating them into your daily diet?

      When my Husband and I started to include superfoods into our diet, we found there was such a vast amount of confusing and conflicting information on superfoods that it was difficult to know where to start.
      We want to help you and arm you with the facts before you begin your new, healthier lifestyle.

      We have all been accustomed to expecting malnutrition being associated with starving children in the developing world. However, the National Diet and Nutrition Surveys (NDNS) conducted by the UK Government over the last few decades suggest that the problem is much closer to home. Their surveys reveal that our intake of several vitamins and minerals are below recommended levels, putting significant numbers of adults and children at risk.

      The government found for example, that over 90% of UK women had an iron intake below RNI (recommended nutritional intake) and some 50% of men had a vitamin A intake below the RNI.

      This page provides a fascinating insight into the rapidly deteriorating quality of our food, which is contributing to this worrying trend. It also reveals how some food products are being actively promoted as ‘healthy’ or ‘organic’, when in reality they are anything but.

      You:

      • will be introduced to the benefits of incorporating raw foods and organic superfoods into your diet
      • will be empowered to make some simple, yet effective changes in your eating habits
      • will discover how to enjoy improved health and vitality, without having to totally alter the way you eat, or spend hours slaving in the kitchen.
      • will also learn how to obtain more energy and acquire a fitter, leaner body, without compromising on great food.

       

      The 7 facts that you need to be aware of before buying organic superfoods are:

      1. There has been a dramatic and steady decline in the quality of our food
      2. Many so-called ‘healthy’ food products are not good for us at all
      3. There is a growing "rawfood" and “superfood” trend
      4. There are 9 key superfood categories
      5. There are 4 common nutrient deficiencies
      6. An "Organic" label doesn’t guarantee that a product is 100% organic
      7. How to get started

      Why Superfoods

      1) ARE YOU SURE THAT THE FOODS YOU’RE EATING RIGHT NOW ARE HEALTHY?

      If we were to stop and examine what we eat on a daily basis, two common themes become immediately apparent, both of which pose a grave threat to our health.

      If you want to prevent disease, stay healthy, procure sufficient energy to face the day, enjoy beautiful hair and skin or even lose weight, you need to be fully aware of these issues:

       

      i) The dramatic decline in the quality of our food

      In addition to a well documented rise in the popularity of processed ‘fast foods’ which contain high volumes of saturated fats, bad sugars and artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives, there has also been a dramatic reduction in the quality of our fresh food products in recent decades.

      These days, many fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products contain significantly fewer vitamins, minerals and other valuable nutrients, than they did say 50 years ago.

      For example:

      A Kushi Institute analysis of nutrient data from 1975 to 1997 found:

       

      For meat and dairy products the pattern is the same.

      This is particularly worrying when so many of us are making a conscious decision to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, precisely because they are supposed to be such a valuable source of nutrients.

      There are a number of reasons for the sudden mineral depletion of some of our favourite foods:

      • Firstly our fresh produce is suffering from the so-called ‘dilution effect’, caused by modern farming techniques. The use of fertilisers and irrigation on an industrial scale might produce larger and more affordable crops, but this careless practice also demonstrably erodes the valuable mineral content of the end product.
      • Secondly, is ‘genetic dilution’. Plant breeders are continually developing new strains of fruits and vegetables, often with the sole aim of producing a higher yield and with absolutely no focus on the nutritional content. Additionally, by using large quantities of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, hormones, heavy metals, and antibiotics, we are subjecting our environment to a heavy toxic load which not only results in a rapid soil degradation, it also contaminates our once pure food.

       

      ii) The baffling selection of ‘Healthy’ and ‘Light’ choices

      These days our supermarkets shelves are overflowing with a seemingly infinite variety of food products which are marketed as a ‘healthy’ option or a ‘light’ choice.

      However, closer inspection often reveals quite the opposite. Many are crammed with artificial additives, (chemicals in other words), which have been added to improve the product’s shelf life, appearance or flavour.
      Many alleged health foods are packed with artificial flavourings such as yeast extract (MSG – especially in Asia) and bad sugar substitutes (including high fructose corn syrup and corn starch), or artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame), which are known to have a detrimental effect on our health.

      For example:

      • popular breakfast cereals and muesli bars that saturate the market are brimming with nasty additives and refined sugars.
      • many of our favourite fruit drinks and ready-made smoothies, which might appear to be a healthy option upon first glance, in reality contain exorbitantly high quantities of bad sugars and very little actual fruit
      • Acai drinks, currently all the rage thanks to clever advertising campaigns promoting the berry’s long list of beneficial ingredients, are a classic example of this. The cheap, inferior Acai drinks currently flooding our shops and supermarkets often contain just 1% fruit, are heavily diluted and packed instead with bad sugars. This makes the optimistic claims on their misleading labels highly questionable.

       

      The impact on our health

      The increasing consumption of processed ‘fast foods’ combined with the mineral depletion in our fresh food products, is having a direct impact on our health. Scientists have linked food additives to an entire range of health conditions including:

      • hyperactivity in children
      • allergies such as asthma and eczema, migraines and even cancer
      • obesity – In the Unites States more than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese. About 1 in 3 children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese Obesity has a significant knock-on effect on our overall health and wellbeing
      • Diabetes - there are currently 30 million diabetes sufferers in the U.S. and there has been a threefold increase in the number of childhood diabetes cases in the last 30 years
      • Cancer - according to Cancer Research UK, the incidence rates for all cancers has increased demonstrably for every age group since the mid-1970’s.

      Faced with these grim statistics, it’s hardly surprising that more and more of us want to regain control of what goes into our bodies and are switching to organic superfoods.

      Why Superfoods

      2) THE RAWFOOD AND SUPERFOOD TREND – WHAT IS IT EXACTLY AND COULD IT BE SOMETHING FOR ME?

      ‘You are what you eat’ might be a well-worn saying, yet it has never been more relevant. We have already seen the quality of our food is not what it once was and that an increase in processed, fast foods is affecting our health.
      Hippocrates said, ‘let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be food’. We are going to help you in putting his sound advice into practice.

      Changing our relationship to food was one of the single most important steps my Husband and I made when we started our journey to enhanced health and mental wellbeing, although we found we didn’t need change our eating habits dramatically in order to benefit from welcome improvements. In fact, my Husband found that by incorporating just one organic superfood into his existing diet, he was able to enjoy a very real and significant health boost.

      Before implementing any changes however, lets first take a more detailed look at rawfoods and superfoods:

       

      Rawfoods

      • a rawfood is essentially a food in its natural state
      • rawfoods are living, uncooked, unprocessed and often organic, such as raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and even covers raw eggs, fish, meat, and non-pasteurised/non- homogenised dairy products including raw milk, raw milk cheese, and raw milk yogurt
      • the raw food trend is definitely steering away from animal products and focusing more on raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and milk made from, for example, almond or cashew nuts.
      • rawfoods are ‘live’, which means that they have an innate life force all of their own. They give us a zest for life and provide a powerful feeling of vitality. As part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, they can offer a myriad of health benefits.

      You should be aware however, that whilst many rawfoods contain valuable enzymes and minerals, eating them in isolation could lead to serious deficiencies in certain nutrients. This is partly due to the steady depletion of minerals in our fresh food products and because rawfoods don’t necessarily have a high nutritional content by default.

       

      Superfoods

      • organic superfoods are pure, ancient foods, created by the force of nature
      • found in some of the finest, most remote and untouched corners of our planet, where local inhabitants have harnessed them for centuries. Their myriad of powerful properties are finally being recognised by the western world, whose scientists have confirmed a range of beneficial effects such as longevity, on indigenous populations.
      • as well as being an incredibly delicious addition to any balanced diet, organic superfoods can offer an almost limitless selection of health benefits including:
        • a strengthened immune system
        • increased energy levels, libido and athletic performance
        • enhanced mental clarity and focus
        • improved physical and emotional balance and a heightened sense of spiritual connection.
        • they are also an effective aid in weight loss, can delay the signs of aging and may prevent or offer relief from the symptoms of a variety of modern diseases.
        • unlike rawfoods, organic superfoods do all have an exceptionally high nutritional value and are densely packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
        • superfoods are by definition, low in calories and rich in nutrients, making them an excellent choice for those wishing to pursue a healthier lifestyle.

      The great thing about superfoods is their flexibility - you don’t have to switch to an exclusively superfood ‘diet’ or cut out other foods that you enjoy, in order to reap their benefits.
      So, regardless of whether you want to lose weight, improve your overall physical fitness, strengthen your immunity, or simply enjoy a more balanced diet that addresses any current deficiencies, we can assist you in tailoring the perfect range of organic superfoods for you.

      Why Superfoods

      3) FOUR COMMON NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES THAT CAN DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH

      There are many advantages to rawfoods, however, eating them in isolation can have worrying consequences. That’s why rawfood fans, vegans and vegetarians often need to take extra special care to ensure that their diet provides both sufficient energy and all of the essential fatty acids, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals that their body needs.
      Studies have consistently shown that you are at more risk of the nutrient deficiencies outlined below if you don’t complement your rawfood or vegan diet with organic superfoods

       

      Vitamins

      Research indicates that vegans and rawfood enthusiasts are most at risk of developing a vitamin B deficiency, and in particular B12 and B9.

      • Vitamin B12, which can only be obtained from animal protein, plays an integral role in brain and nervous system function, as well as the formation of red blood cells. As your body is able to store vitamin B12, you may not notice the signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency immediately after switching to a raw food or vegan diet. However, if it isn’t addressed quickly, a lack of vitamin B12 may cause a whole host of symptoms such as fatigue, depression, poor memory and can lead to permanent nervous tissue damage, anaemia, mania, psychosis and even Alzheimer’s.
      • Vitamin B9 (or folic acid as it is also known) is vital for the synthesis of nucleic acid, including DNA and RNA. It is important for cell division and growth, healthy red blood cells and particularly crucial for pregnant women, because it can prevent birth defects of the brain and spine. As our bodies are unable to store folic acid, we must obtain it on a daily basis from our food. A lack of vitamin B9 may cause anaemia, premature birth, birth defects, stress related disorders and certain types of cancer including gastric, colorectal, breast and prostate cancer.

       

      Protein

      Protein is known as the ‘building block of life’ and our bodies require it to both build and repair itself and to make essential hormones and enzymes. It is formed from amino acids, some of which we make ourselves (non-essential amino acids) and some of which we have to obtain from our food (essential amino acids)

      The amount of protein that you need differs greatly from person to person and depends on a number of factors, such as how often you exercise.
      Those on a strict vegan or rawfood diet may slowly start to use up their body’s protein reserves. The problem is that this won’t always be immediately evident because the process can take several weeks or months. The early warning signs of a protein deficiency include weight loss, reduced muscle mass and a thinning of the hair. If left unchecked, it can lead to other health complications such as oedema, skin rashes, lethargy, muscle cramps, delayed healing of wounds, bedsores and skin ulcers, insomnia, headaches, nausea, stomach pain, anxiety and depression. An acute deficiency may ultimately lead to gallstones, arthritis, heart problems, organ failure and even death.

       

      Omega-3 Fatty Acids

      Omega-3 Fatty acids are important for our all round health and cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioural function.
      Population studies have also indicated that omega-3 fatty acids can protect against strokes caused by either a build up of plaque or blood clots in the arteries leading to our brain. As our bodies are unable to manufacture omega-3, we must secure it from our daily diet. It is also important to receive omega-3 in the correct ratio, as a healthy balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is known to prevent heart disease.
      Rawfood fanatics and vegans often experience a deficiency in this essential fatty acid, which can manifest in a variety of symptoms including fatigue, poor memory, mood swings, depression, dry skin, poor circulation and heart problems. If ignored, this may ultimately lead to a range of chronic ailments including heart disease, cancer, arthritis and diabetes.

       

      Iron

      A lack of iron is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies and not only for rawfood enthusiasts and vegans.
      Iron performs several crucial functions within our body, including the manufacture of DNA and haemoglobin (the protein in your blood that carries oxygen around the body) and an enzyme called cytochrome oxidase (which actively destroys the body’s toxins). It also provides immunity from infections caused by bacteria and viruses and plays an important role in the transmission of nerve signals.
      In addition, we need iron to produce protein, which as we already know, is the very building block of life. If your body lacks iron you may begin to suffer from anaemia, the symptoms of which include fatigue, dizziness, pale skin, hair loss, irritability, lack of energy, brittle nails, impaired immunity and restless leg syndrome.

       

      How can I prevent nutrient deficiencies?

      If you take care to enjoy a varied and balanced diet, you will be able to prevent the type of nutrient deficiencies listed above, even if you are a strict rawfood fan, vegan or vegetarian. In chapter 5 we outline important organic superfoods that are a perfect complement to a rawfood, vegan or vegetarian diet, as they supply all of the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and proteins that you might be missing.

      Why Superfoods

      4) WHAT DOES ‘ORGANIC’ MEAN AND IS IT REALLY WORTH THE MONEY?

      Today, more than ever, we are insisting on food that is healthy, ethical and environmentally friendly. Consequently, the demand for organic food is growing at an unprecedented rate. Global sales of organic produce will double between now and 2018 and consumers are willing to pay up to one third more for organic products.

      Yet organic foods are no longer the preserve of the wealthy - they have gone mainstream and our supermarket shelves are literally overflowing with them. This has resulted in some confusion over the labelling of organic produce and what the term ‘organic’ actually means.

       

      What is Organic Food and Why should I choose it?

      Organic food is more than just a label – it is a food that avoids artificial fertilisers, herbicides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives, uses only sustainable farming methods (to ensure the long term fertility of our soil), avoids depleting our precious natural resources and makes animal welfare a number one priority.

      5) HOW TO GET STARTED

      By now you’ve learnt:

      • that our food contains considerably less of the beneficial nutrients than it did before and that this can have a direct impact on our overall mental, physical and spiritual health
      • you are also aware of the potentially serious consequences of sticking rigidly to a rawfood, vegan or vegetarian diet
      • you know the difference between a rawfood and an organic superfood and what to look out for when shopping for organic products.

      A report, ‘Towards a Healthier Britain’ supports the idea of eating supplements to address any gaps in our dietary intake. It also concludes that by specifically choosing foods and supplements that boast high quantities of valuable nutrients, we can boost our vitamin and mineral intake by as much as 45%. In addition, it points to a definite link between an inadequate intake of vitamins and minerals and the risk of poor health.

      That’s why incorporating some carefully chosen superfoods into your diet will not only increase your vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, enzyme and omega-3 intake, it will also help reduce the threat of disease.

      By sprinkling chia seeds on your breakfast cereals, soups, salads and sauces, for example, you’ll immediately receive more:

      • vitamins • minerals • proteins • enzymes • amino acids • fibre • antioxidants • omega-3 fatty acids

      In turn this can hep reduce blood pressure, stabilise blood sugar levels, improve brain function, help you lose weight and gently detox your body.

      A study on diabetic patients by Dr. Vladamir Vuksan of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, found that blood was thinner and less prone to clotting and that blood pressure dropped significantly, after only three months of taking Chia seeds on a daily basis.

       

      First steps

      Begin ‘slowly but surely’ – even augmenting your diet with just one organic superfood will have a positive influence on both your nutrition levels and your health. Introduce one of our organic superfoods or mouth watering recipes into your daily diet and gradually expand your selection.

      From our own experience we would suggest the following categories and the corresponding superfoods for beginners:

      1. - Cacao powder , nibs and beans
      2. (Sea) Algae - Spirulina powder, Marine phytoplankton, Chlorella
      3. Dried Roots, Grasses and Vegetables - Moringa Leaf Powder, Maca Powder, Brazilian ginseng powder
      4. Dried Berries and Fruit - Lucuma powder, Goji berries, Mulberries, Incan berries, Acai powder, Baobab powder
      5. Vegetable Fats - Coconut Oil, Almond or Cashew butter
      6. Nuts and Seeds - Chia seeds, Flax seeds
      7. Bee Products - Pollen, honey
      8. Medicinal Mushrooms & Super Herbs - chaga, reishi, maitake, lion's mane
      9. Other Superfoods - Colloidal Silver

      Alternatively, you can start by simply replacing some of the bad foods we have already discussed with a much healthier option. See our table below.

      By taking these small, tentative steps, you’ll not only get to enjoy pure, delicious, natural foods packed with nourishment, you’ll quickly notice a tangible improvement in your energy levels, appearance, overall physical health and mental wellbeing too! How wonderful is that?!

      Unhealthy Choice Healthy Choice
      Sugars, artificial sweeteners Stevia, lacuma
      Chocolate bars Organic raw chocolate, raw cacao
      Sweets & other sugary snacks Dried fruits and organic nuts
      Sunflower oil Organic coconut oil
      Cows milk / soy milk Hemp, cashew or almond milk
      Breakfast cereals Superfood smoothies, trail mixes