Superfood Schooling: Lesson 2
How do you lose weight, increase energy and improve memory?
Eat Yourself Super
Dr. Todd’s Superfood Pyramid is an easy way to learn what superfoods to choose and how much of each superfood to consume.
Eat The Rainbow (Fruits And Veggies)
Unraveling Omegas: Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6 ) are fats not produced by the body. These fats are important to ingest because they support healthy functions in the body. In particular, these fatty acids support inflammation in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids support an anti-inflammatory response, and omega-6 fatty acids support a pro-inflammatory response. Since the modern diets and lifestyles already expose the body to a chronic inflammation, it is important to eat more Omega-3 fatty acids to support a health internal environment. Chia, flax and walnuts are great sources of essential fatty acids.
Omega-9 is another fatty acid. The body can create this fatty acid by combining omega-3 and omega-6, so it’s not categorized as an essential fatty acid.
Functional Foods: Superfood Superstars
Within the superfood pyramid, there is a special set of superfoods with exceptional health properties. Spices, herbs and mushrooms are among the functional foods that offer a delicious dose of support for the body’s health system These superfood superstars include:
- Cilantro – One of the most powerful detoxifying plants and supports a anti-glycation response.
- Mushrooms – They are immunomodulatory. Mushrooms contain antibiotics — which they need to protect against viruses and pathogens, not unlike humans — and they help regulate sugar and cholesterol. Also, mushrooms are a rare source of D2 and B12.
- Peppers – They contain more Vitamin C than oranges.
- Matcha Green Tea – A potent antioxidant tonic.
Balanced Proteins: Bioavailable Building Blocks
Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Animal products, nuts and plants are common sources of protein, but it is important to distinguish between plant-based and animal proteins. Plant-based proteins are alkalinizing and void of the excessive animal fats found in animal proteins.
Seeds and nuts are a great source of plant-based proteins. Their nutritional value can be improved by soaking and sprouting. Seeds carry a pouch of sugar and starch to fuel their growth, so by sprouting the seeds, the pouch is released, enzymes are activated and sugar levels are reduced.
Proteins are important, but they should be a relatively small portion of your diet. A balanced diet aims to consume 80% of calories from carbohydrates, 15% of calories from proteins and 5% of calories from healthy fats.
Essential fatty acids are important for supporting inflammation management, but the excessive consumption of the wrong types of fat can threaten your health. The body stores excess fat along the walls of the arteries. This buildup puts stress on the circulatory system and cardiovascular function. Remember, fat toxicity is a driver of disease. We want to be careful of the types and quantities of fats we consume.
We prefer to consume fats through plant-based sources over animals fats. Animal fats are bioconcentrated through the animal’s processing of the fats. The bioconcentration of the fats makes it harder for the human body to efficiently process. However, if you are including animal products in your diet, we recommend you look for wild, humanely pastured, hormone-free, healthy animals and minimize portions and frequency.
The Fat Management Checklist:
- Drizzle, Don’t Pour – Minimize consumption of fats and oils
- Anti-inflammatory Omega-3 – More Omega-3 fatty acids; Less Omega 6 and 9 fats
- Go Nuts – Fatty-acid rich seeds and nuts support good health
- Saturated Fats Selection – Choose the MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) over the LCT (Long Chain Triglycerides).
Sugar is the body’s cellular fuel, but, as with fats, excess sugars can throw off the balance of the body’s health systems and drive disease. Sugar is a type of carbohydrate. We want to avoid simple and processed carbohydrates in favor of complex carbohydrates. In nature, we get our complex carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables. The sugars in fruits and vegetable are intertwined with fiber to help slow the absorption and prevent the sugar from hitting the blood stream at once.
When people discuss sugar, they often bring up the “GI” of foods. The GI (Glycemic Index) of a food relates to how quickly the carbohydrates in that particular food raise the blood glucose levels. The higher the GI, the faster the glucose levels rise subsequent to eating. This corresponds to the speed with which your digestive machinery does its job creating monosaccharides for absorption.
- Aim for low glycemic foods
- The GI scale is 1 -100. GI values below 55 are low; GI values between 56 and 69 are medium; and GI values above 70 are high
- Eat foods that support an anti-glycation response like blueberries and yacon syrup
Know Your Source
You are a product of your ecosystem. To achieve the most nutrient density in your food, we recommend eating local, organic and seasonal.
To eat yourself super, you need to know where your food comes from.
We prefer organic food.
Since the nutrients in organic foods are less likely to be compromised by pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, larvicides, synthetic growth aids, genetic modification, preservatives, dyes, high-fructose corn syrup, MSG and artificial sweeteners, we recommend organic foods when possible. However, we recognize organic options aren’t always affordable or available, so we like to refer to the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 when considering what produce should be organic.
8 Key Sourcing Factors
If you’re serious about where your produce comes from, then remember these 8 key sourcing factors.
- What do they use for composting and cover crops?
- Do they use drip irrigation?
- Is the grow process fully integrated?
- Is the produce fully traceable?
- Do they use genetically modified organisms?
- Do they use integrated pest management?
- Is their farm sustainable?
- Do they have any third-party certification?
The Dirty Dozen
Twelve produce with high concentration of pesticide residue:
- Sweet Bell Pepper
- Imported Grapes
- Support optimal body chemistry and physiology*
- Support optimal body energy and vitality*
- Support optimal immunity and inflammatory balance*
- Raw, Wholefood-based Multivitamin
Suggested dosage: twice per day ideally
- Bioavailable Iodine
Suggested dosage: 3 mg daily
Suggested dosage: prior to bed
- Vitamin D3
Suggested dosage: 5,000 IU daily
- Algae based DHA and Omega 3
Suggested dosage:150mg daily
- Matcha Green Tea
- Cat’s Claw
- B Vitamins Complex