Although I do limit supplements, there are a few that are worth including in your diet. These are what I found works best for me. Do some research in finding what will work best for you. Always make sure you consult your doctor first before taking suppliments, superfood or herbs if you are on any type of medications.
Now I have tried my share of proteins sense I started becoming more athletic about 10years ago. First, it was the cheap gargage from the department stores which were not vegan. Then I went to trying some of the GNC brands which after doing a bit of research was not that great either. The more I learned about the food industry and when I became a whole foods vegan, the more cautious when purchasing proteins. I had my favorites for a while like Vega, Garden of Eden Raw, and Plant Fusion. One thing that you have to be careful of when purchasing proteins and what to look out for is added synthetic ingredients, preservatives, sugars, wether or not it is a complete amino acid protein, and if it has been heat treated during manufacturing process. For about a year now I have settled with SunWarrior protien and Warrior Blend (chocolate of course). It is a plant based protein with all of the complete amino acids, it is not heat treated and it has no added sugars at 0% and 2% carbs, they use Stevia as a sweetner. This one is by far the best tasting and makes my smoothies taste super yummy!
This is one of those superfoods that when I put it in my smoothie will turn it super green so that when people see me drinking it they say, "ewww what are you drinking?". This is a food that is highly nutritous and one that I recommend for all it health benefits for every part of the body. It is actually a bacteria a blue green microalgae that can be found naturally in warm alkaline lakes, rivers, streams and ponds in Africa, and Central and South America. Some of the benefits are:
It has between 55 and 70% protein
8 essential and 10 non essential amino acids
B12 (which vegans have to suppliment) as well as other B vitamins
High in Potasium, chromium, copper, zinc, sodium, selenium, magnesium, manganese
High in iron, calcium, phosphorus, chlorophyll, nucleic acids RNA & DNA
Provides a boost of energy, improve endurance and reduce fatigue
Improve the immune system
Natural detoxifier, oxygenating the blood getting rid of toxins
Supports heart, liver and kidneys
powerful anitoxidents, reducing inflammation
As you can see, there are a ton of health benefits. I put about 1/2 tbsp. in our smoothies regularlly. Spirulina can be found in powder or pill form at most natural health food stores, or on line such as Amazon. Also, be careful on what brands you choose. Some companies are growng spirulina with harmful pesticide and herbicide chemicals and make sure it is certified organic. For more information check out the website below.
Cha Cha Chia, The all familiar tune that appears on commercials usually around Christmas time, the tune that leaves you humming it all day long. The Chia pet, person, or cartoon character. Just rub the seeds on the head, water and watch it grow (or something like that). But, these tiny little seeds are not only good for growing hair on a bold ceramic head; they are loaded with massive amounts of nutrients. The Aztecs and Mayan have been consuming them for centuries long before the chia pet arrived, and is a staple in their diets. Chia is the ancient Mayan word for “strength”. However, only recently have they been labeled a “superfood” here in the US. Legend has it that they used them to fuel their athletic performance. Here are some of the health benefits and the reason why you should be including these into your diet:
·Very high in omega-3 fatty acids 60%, (polyunsaturated fats) making them on of the richest plant based sources. They help to reduce inflammation and cholesterol. ·High source of fiber at 10 grams in 2 tablespoons. Fiber is good for digestion ·Very high in antioxidants which is known to help fight off free radicals and prevent cancer ·High in calcium, phosphorous, manganese, and magnesium. ·They are about 14% protein with a good balance of amino acids ·Can provide increased energy
They have a mild nutty flavor but, won’t alter the taste of the dish. They have a long shelf life (I usually store them in the freezer to keep them fresh). Here are a few ways to include them in dishes:
·They gel when liquid is added so they are great to use as an egg replacer ·Great for making pudding ·Make energy gels or include in juice for your long runs ·they can be sprouted (like on you cat chia pet) ·add them to smoothies ·sprinkle them on homemade crackers ·sprinkle on salads
Here is another one of those super foods that is taking gaining attention by storm. This beautiful red berry is full of nutrients that I include in my diet daily. These berries were used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years and still is today for many health aliments. They are often called Wolfberries by the Chinese. They are grown on a shrub in subtropical regions as in China, Mongolia, and Tibetan Himalayas and are unable to grow here in the US. They are always sold in dired form and they resemble a prettier version of a raisin but, they are a bit harder than the softer raisin and it is also available in juice form. They are sweet tasting and some say they have a bit of a herb-like aftertaste, yet I personally dont find this. These berries can be eatin right out of the bag or I usually put them in my smoothies, they give them a great crunch and added sweetness. They are also great sprinkled on salads, added in granola, and cereals. They can be rehydrated by letting them soak in water, baked, and steamed. They can be a little pricey but well worth it. You can find different brands that may be a little cheaper depending on if you want them organic or not (which I do recommend them being organic). Here is some Goji Berry facts that will surely have you putting them in your shopping bag.
1. Low in calories. One serving about 1/4 cup has 90 calories 2. Fat free! 3. High in dietary fiber containing 4 grams per serving, good for healthy digestion and makes you feel fuller. 4. 4 grams of protein per serving 5. one serving contains 180% of your daily value of Vitamin A (an anitoxident and protects your body from free radicals) 6. one serving contain 30% of your daily value of vitamin C which is good for overall immune health. Slows down the aging process, reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease, and is used in the production of collagen. 7. Iron is essential for the body, this mineral is needed to make bood cells. It produces hemoglobin and myoglobin two proteins that carry oxygen through out the body. One serving of berries has 15% of your daily value.
Other benefits include:
- Protects the liver - Increases metabolic activity, meaning burns fat! - Improves circulation - Promotes logevity - Provides energy and boosts libido - High in phytonutrients and antioxidents - Lower cholesterol and blood glucose - May prevent the growth of cancer cells