Increased energy, a higher sex drive, and a decrease of PMS symptoms — what can't maca root powder do? This ancient superfood, prized by Incan warriors, is now popping up at health food stores everywhere. Find out what it is, why it works, and whether or not you should be tossing it into your smoothie!
Hemp seems to be popping up in everything from our food to our clothes. But what is it — and is it good for us? We love its nutty goodness and think it's primed to become the next superfood. Watch and find out reasons you should be including hemp seeds in your diet and just how much of it is a good thing.
We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Health here on POPSUGAR Fitness.By Sunny Sea Gold
You already know it's important to start your day off right. Now it's time to kick it up a notch nutritionally, with these easy ideas from Jackie Newgent, RD, author of 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes. The best part? You don't have to change your regular morning menu. Just add these five nutrient-packed ingredients.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed in your bowl of oatmeal for brain-boosting omega-3 fats and two extra grams of fiber.
Spread toast with chocolate nut spread; add chopped pistachios for cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.
Toss a pinch of ground turmeric into beaten eggs to add earthiness and cancer-fighting antioxidants to a veggie omelet.
Keep reading for two more breakfast superfoods.
- Prevent kidney stones: Drinking one half-cup of lemon juice every day raises citrate levels in the urine. Studies have shown that this could protect against calcium stones in the kidney.
- Soothe a sore throat: Mixing lemon juice with honey can help alleviate the discomfort that comes from a nasty sore throat.
- Support weight loss: Beyond the old notion that the Master Cleanse was the only way lemons could help you lose weight, new studies have shown the ways lemon juice supports your goals. Lemon juice contains pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to aid in weight-loss struggles.
- Start your day right: Leave caffeinated drinks behind, and start your day off with hot water and fresh lemon juice to stimulate your digestive track and add vitamin C.
- Stop an itch: When it comes to poison ivy or insect bites, the combination of lemon juice and cornstarch can help relieve some of the sting.
Keep reading for five more ways lemon juice is super.
Finally, something even more healthful than dark chocolate! Raw cacao nibs are the predecessors to chocolate products. They are rich in flavonoids, which are the antioxidants that play an active role in heart health and the reason dark chocolate is so much healthier than milk chocolate. So why not go straight to the source for even more antioxidants? Here are three ways to start eating raw cacao now.
Toss in your trail mix: You can add raw cacao nibs to your very own homemade trail mix. Cacao nibs definitely deliver greater nutritional power than the trail mix staple M&M's, and you can throw whatever you want into the bag. Nuts, dried fruit, and cacao nibs, and you have yourself a snack!
Add to your morning shake: In addition to purchasing raw cacao beans, you can buy them ground or mash them up yourself in a coffee grinder. This makes a perfect addition to your morning smoothie or protein drink. Since raw cacao is usually too bitter on its own, the use of milk and fruit can sweeten it up naturally so you don't need to add sugar like they do in order to make dark chocolate.
Top your yogurt: Skip the ice cream and opt for a dessert that won't leave you with a guilt trip. Try a plain version yogurt, either Greek or regular, and top with nibs or ground cacao sprinkles. These two perfectly complement each other and balance out the bitterness and tartness they tend to have on their own.
If you are what you eat, then why not be super? Here are five superfoods, loaded with nutritional benefits, that are in season now. Unlike gogi berries and acai, these fruits and veggies are not exotic, and you should have no problems finding them in the produce aisle of your neighborhood grocery store or local farmers market. Take a look to see why you should be putting these seasonal delights in your grocery basket and what to do with these fruits and veggies once you get them home.
It's no surprise that we love smoothies over here. Whether they're sweet, green, or a combo of the two, they're almost always a delicious option. If you already have a go-to recipe with a flavor you love, then there's no need to fix what's not broken. But if you're looking for a little boost to your favorite blend, then any of these amazing superfoods can do the trick.
- Chia seeds: If you haven't caught onto the chia seeds craze yet, then it's time to get acquainted with their ancient magic. High in protein, fiber, calcium, and omega-3s, little chias can do wonders for your morning routine.
- Raw cacao nibs: Cacao is chock-full of magnesium and antioxidants called flavonoids that can improve heart health. If a heaping handful of cacao nibs a little too bitter for your taste buds, then choose the powdered form instead.
- Acai: Harvested from palm trees in the Amazon, acai may be tough to pronounce, but it's easy to toss in. While acai doesn't necessarily aid weight loss, it is a great source of antioxidants, fiber, and heart-healthy fats.
Keep reading for three more easy superfood smoothie additions.
The superfood spirulina is a long lost love of health nuts in the 1970s, and I'm here to make a serious case for its comeback. This blue-green algae has gone a little under the radar, but there's good reason to incorporate all its goodness into your diet.
Amino acids make up 62 percent of spirulina, making it a complete protein. It's one of the few known plant sources of vitamin B12 (great for vegans), and it's full of amino acids, enzymes, and probiotics that may help to enhance your immune system and digestive health. At first glance, the dark green powder can be a little intimidating, so here are five easy ways to go a little greener with this superfood.
Our lifestyle habits don't just affect our waistlines and physical health; they also affect our intelligence. If you want to keep your smarts, make sure you do these three things.
Exercise regularly: Exercise has been proven to be good for your brain because it promotes brain cell growth. Not only that, studies have found that being obese prematurely ages your brain, which can lead to a higher risk of Alzheimer's — all the more reason to make exercise a habit as early as possible in your life.
Sleep right: Sleep rejuvenates your body as well as your mind, and when it comes down to it, quantity matters. We've probably all been there: the forgetfulness and dulled reasoning skills that we have to deal with after an abbreviated sleep time, and it's been proven — sleeping fewer than seven hours a night can result in a decline in brain function the next day. But make sure you don't overdo it; the same study found that sleeping for more than eight hours also lowers your brain's ability to function.
Eat superfoods: We eat right for our bodies, so why not our brains? From blueberries to chia seeds, there are many types of superfoods that do double duty by lowering your risk of diseases while also increasing your brain power. A new study confirms the power of omega-3 fatty acids for your brain — it found that people who ate a diet low in omega-3s had smaller brains and scored lower on cognitive and memory tests than those who ate a more omega 3-rich diet. Ready to add more brain-boosting foods into your diet? Here's a list of seven superfoods that increase your brain power.
Gone are the days of taking a few basic ingredients and throwing them into a blender. Bananas, strawberries, and yogurt? So last year. Now that you've discovered the wonderful world of kale, chia seeds, and spinach, it's time to expand your smoothie-making skills even more. The following five food items are guaranteed to increase the nutrient (and flavor) quotient of your smoothies.
- Avocado: Besides the nutrient content, avocados help add a creamy, smooth texture to smoothies. If you are not an avocado fan, add only one-half of an avocado to a smoothie — you'll barely taste it (yet still reap all the health benefits). Here's a basil avocado smoothie recipe to help get you started.