Updated: Feb 28, 2019
What is good everyone!!
Superfoods part 2 is here! As I already told you on the previous episode, there are some foods (actually a lot in my opinion) that have so many benefits that should be in any nutritional plan.
In today’s episode we are going to talk about: kale, blueberries, quinoa, olive oil and cinnamon. Let’s get started!!
One of my all-time favorite vegetables. It is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, and the perfect vegetable to get those micronutrients in with almost no calories. 100grs of kale are full (and when I say full, I mean it) of vitamin A, C, K (it is actually one of the best sources of vitamin K on the planet) and it also has some decent content of vitamin B1, B2 B3, B6, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, iron and phosphorus.
All of this for the cost of 50 calories! It also provides you with a good amount of fiber and a good amount of protein (considering that it is a vegetable). If that was not enough, a large part of the very little fat that it contains is omega 3.
It is also filled with antioxidants, helps with cardiovascular health, it has cancer fighting properties, it is good for your bone’s health, helps with digestion and keeps your skin and hair healthy.
If there is a specific type of berries that I would recommend consuming, it is blueberries. They are very high in vitamin K, C and manganese, but they
also contain smaller amounts of many other nutrients.
Amongst their benefits:
High in antioxidants
Boosts brain health
Cancer fighting properties
They have a good amount of fiber, promoting good digestion
They may help preventing heart diseases and they may lower blood pressure.
They even may help with recovery after your training.
Helps improving memory
They are basically perfect to keep your brain healthy, boost your brain cells and keep and improve your memory.
Quinoa has become very famous during the last couple of years and honestly, we shouldn’t be surprised.
It is high in protein (actually it is one of the few plant foods with all the essential amino acids), it is high in fiber, numerous minerals (like manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, zinc, iron and phosphorus), it has plenty of vitamins and antioxidants. On top of that, it is gluten-free. In other words, it has a little bit of everything you need.
One of the most important things about quinoa is that, besides being primarily a carbohydrates source, it contains all the nine essential amino acids, meaning that it contains lysine, which is key for protein synthesis. This makes it a great protein source to for vegans and vegetarians.
It contains quercetin and kaempferol, two strong antioxidants. It even has squalene, which is a precursor of steroids. Yeah you read that right… but keep in mind that steroids are (definition):
“any of a group of lipids with a complex molecule containing carbon atoms in four interlocking rings forming a hydrogenated cyclopentophenanthrene-ring system; three of the rings contain six carbon atoms each and the fourth contains five. Steroids are important in body chemistry and include steroid hormones such as the gonadal or sex steroids, corticosteroids, glucocorticoids, and mineralocorticoids; vitamins of the D group; and the sterols, including cholesterol, the main building block of the steroid hormones in the body. The cardiac glycosides, a group of compounds derived from certain plants, are partly steroids.”
Steroids are naturally secreted by the endocrine glands. Cortisone, aldosterone, androgens and estrogens, they all are steroids. Even cholesterol and vitamin D are steroids, due to its molecular composition.
The steroids that first came to your mind are “anabolic steroids”, which are produced in laboratory and are what we commonly call steroids ;)
If you want to know more about squalene and its role as a precursor of steroid click here.
Anyways, it helps reducing your blood sugar levels (one of the reasons is because it has low glycemic index), it has anti-inflammatory properties, it contributes to the proper functioning of diverse enzymes and it helps keeping your heart healthy. Just to name a few of its benefits!
My favorite spice of all time. Cinnamon is filled with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C, E, K, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and
manganese (a lot of manganese actually). It is also rich in fiber.
It is full of antioxidants, actually has been proved that it is higher in antioxidants than many other herbs and spices (more here). It also helps with inflammation, cardiovascular health, keeps your blood sugar levels under control, keeps your brain and skin healthy, can improve insulin sensitivity and helps with oral hygiene. It also can help with digestive discomfort and It also can lower bad cholesterol and it has antimicrobial properties, which makes it perfect when you are ill.
All in all, if you are not consuming cinnamon, you are missing out!!
However, there is one main risk with cinnamon: it contains coumarin, which in high levels can lead to liver problems in sensitive individuals. But if you consume normal quantities you will experience nothing but benefits from cinnamon.
Now, olive oil is one of the best fat sources, but also it is the most calorie dense food on the planet. It is pure fat; 100 gr of olive oil are 900 - 999 kcal and 90 - 99 gr of fat. It is literally fat. This doesn’t mean it is bad (if it was it wouldn’t be on this post), it just means that you need to be careful with how much you consume.
That being said, olive oil, especially extra virgin, is super beneficial. It is an amazing source of monounsaturated fats (up to 70% of its fat content is monounsaturated fats), it is also filled with antioxidants, has huge amounts of vitamin E and K, and it has anti-inflammatory properties.
The most important things about olive oil are its antioxidants content and its anti-inflammatory properties. The second one is associated with oleocanthal, a strong antioxidant that has been shown to have the same effects as an ibuprofen (about 50ml of olive oil have been proven to have the same effects as 10% of the adult ibuprofen dosage in terms of pain relief, check it out here).
That’s it for today’s episode of SUPERFOODS!! If you have any doubt, question, suggestion, constructive critic or are not agree with something you read, please let me know in the comments section, by sending me an email (click here) or using my social media!!
And don’t forget to share this!!
See you soon!! :)