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Food as Medicine: 3 Nutrient-Rich Superfoods For Healthy Body Function

There's much truth to the saying, "you are what you eat".  However, many people subconsciously consider food only as a way to satisfy hunger, for emotional fulfilment or as a source of calories to get them from A to B.

Of course all of these philosophies have their merit, but what if food should also be considered medicine?

As the ancient physician, Hippocrates, famously taught: "Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food".

And this is a philosophy that is particularly relevant when it comes to many plant-based foods that are packed with nutrients and super powers for health and healing.

Here, we reveal three of the most potent superfood groups from nature's table and explain why you should incorporate them into your diet for their amazing wellness benefits.

What Are Superfoods?

Let's start by demystifying the term "superfoods" and understanding why they hold such esteem in the world of nutrition.

Superfoods are simply those foods that are packed with a disproportionate amount of essential nutrients, antioxidants and other bioactive compounds relative to their density. 

In other words, these whole foods punch far above their weight whilst being easy to digest, and at the same time, bolstering your immune system, energy and reducing the risk of chronic disease.

Here are three of nature's top superfood groups that definitely fall into the "food is medicine" category.

1.  Berries – Nature's Antioxidant Powerhouses

For centuries and among many different cultures, berries have been revered for their remarkable nutritional qualities.

From the indigenous wisdom of Native Americans who saw them as symbols of health, to the ancient Greeks who believed in their healing prowess, berries have stood the test of time as a natural superfood.

These small but mighty fruits are jam-packed with an array of antioxidants, phyto-nutrients and vitamins, making them an absolute must for those seeking optimal health and wellbeing.  Specifically they contain potassium, magnesium, vitamins K & C, fibre and prebiotics which feed the good bacteria in your gut to support healthy digestion and immune function.

Berries are nature's answer to oxidative stress and inflammation - two of the biggest causes of sickness and dysfunction within the body.

For this reason, be sure to stock up on a variety of fresh, locally sourced berries when in season such blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. 

It's also a good idea to stock up and freeze fresh berries as the season draws to a close so that you have a handy supply of berries to include in your smoothies, breakfast bowls and raw desserts when they're not available.

2.  Leafy Greens – Nutrient-Rich Giants

Leafy greens are not just vegetables, they are nutritional giants packed with vitamins and minerals that greatly reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and which boost your eye and skin health and your ability to maintain your ideal weight.

Leafy greens are typically available year round, although the lighter versions such as iceberg, butter and cos (or romaine) lettuce and water cress tend to be at their best in the summer months, while the denser darker greens like kale, chard, rocket (or arugula) and spinach come forth in greater abundance during the cooler months.

The secret behind the allure of leafy greens lies in their impressive nutrient profiles. They are brimming with phytonutrients that support everything from robust bone health to a resilient immune system.

Modern science continues to unveil the vast spectrum of benefits these greens offer – from bolstering cardiovascular health to reducing the risk of chronic diseases and supporting a healthy digestive system.  With all of this in mind, one of the best dietary habits you can have for your health and longevity is to eat something leafy and green everyday!

3.  Super Seeds – Tiny Nutrient Bombs

Seeds such as chia, flax, sesame and hemp are considered diminutive powerhouses and all have their roots in ancient cultures where they've been esteemed and consumed for their health and vitality properties for generations.

From the wisdom of the Aztecs who saw chia seeds as a source of strength and endurance, to the traditions of ancient Egypt, where flax seeds were a symbol of abundance and health, these incredible nutritional seeds have been symbols of wellbeing for millennia.

What sets super seeds apart is their highly concentrated nutritional content.

Packed with protein, fibre and super healthy essential omega fatty acids, they not only support digestion but also assist in hunger and weight management because they won't spike your insulin levels. 

These seeds are the embodiment of nature's wisdom, offering a blend of nutrients that promote satiety, whilst regulating blood sugar and providing lasting energy.

Beyond chia and flax, there's a diverse array of super seeds waiting to be discovered, each with its own unique nutritional profile, including pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, which all offer their own distinct health benefits from heart health to bone strength and everything in between.

The Main Take Away

While the term "super food" is thrown around loosely these days, there are definitely foods in nature that are dynamically nutritious and that typify the true meaning of super food.

Remember, a true super food is one that has a disproportionate amount of nutrition relative to it's density, meaning it delivers an abundant amount of nutrition in a small, easily accessible package that is easy on your body and digestive system.

Here we have shared with you three of the most common super foods that are readily available seasonally and year round in some cases.

By incorporating these amazing food groups into your diet regularly, you'll be super charging your nutrition and boosting your diet that helps to ensure a healthier, more vibrant you.

Tolman Self Care.


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