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These days, it feels like everywhere you turn, there’s a new magic elixir that is supposed to be the new fountain of youth, the secret fat burner, or the miracle skin solution.

The truth is, no single powder or superfood is going to be the miracle cure – but many of them will absolutely help you with your wellness goals, and they are safe alternatives to unsafe, toxic diet pills. Give any of these a try*:

*Before giving any new supplement a try, keep in mind:

  • You must give your body at least two weeks to notice whether it is beneficial to your system or not
  • If you experience an immediate negative reaction (itching, swelling, stomach discomfort) stop consumption immediately and do not attempt to “give it another try” – not all supplements are for everyone!
  • It’s easier to determine what’s working best for you by trying one superfood or supplement at a time – though it’s probably tempting to try everything at once, narrow it down to 1-2 new superfoods per week just to figure out where your body stands with certain supplements.
  • Quality counts: your organic food costs a lot more than your conventional food, so if your superfood is of good quality, it’s going to carry a heavier price tag than lower-grade. Since superfoods and supplements are rarely regulated by the FDA, it’s best to do your own research from independent companies that test supplements.

 

1. Matcha

Matcha is a type of green tea that is grown in shade, so the chlorophyll in the leaves is a bit higher than regular green tea leaves. The leaves are then ground to a powder (this part is even done in the dark, to maintain as much nutrients as possible!)

Matcha contains powerful antioxidants in the form of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG for short). Though all green teas have EGCG, matcha boasts up to 10 times more per serving.

What can it do for me?

  • Lower blood pressure: after 12 weeks of drinking tea, the average decrease in blood pressure is 2.6 systolic/2.2 diastolic,
  • Enhance fat loss when coupled with regular exercise: consuming 625mg per day of EGCG has shown to aid exercise-induced weight loss in comparison to control group who performed the same exercises without EGCG consumption.
  • Fight free radicals & inhibit tumor and cancerous cell growth:  studies have shown that 3 cups of green tea per day decreases breast cancer in women by as much as 50%!

How to try it: By itself just as you’d drink regular green tea, in a matcha latte, or in a smoothie (when put in a smoothie, you won’t taste it).

Get it on Amazon.

 

2. Turmeric

A root in the same family as ginger that contains the bioactive compound curcumin, an anti-inflammatory polyphonic compound that works by blocking the effects of 2 enzymes in the body that are responsible for swelling of the body tissue and organs.

What can it do for me?

  • Aid in joint paintstudies have shown that it aids in pain just as much as ibuprofen.
  • Aid in digestion: relieves gas and improves bowel movements.
  • Enhance weight loss by increasing bile production: turmeric helps increase the bile in the stomach, which is the digestive liquid that helps break down your food and emulsify fat.
  • Lower cholesterol: prevents cholesterol production in the liver, blocks cholesterol absorption in the gut, and reduces LDL cholesterol oxidation in the arteries.

 How to try it:  Indian cuisine is full of turmeric-laced foods, but you can also give a turmeric latte – also known as golden “mylk” – a try!

Get it on Amazon.

 

 

3. Cacao

A part of the cacao bean that’s left after the fat is extracted that’s full of polyphenols (including flavonoids), magnesium, iron, and fiber.

What can it do for me?

  • Lower blood pressure: flavanols improve the level of nitrous oxide in the blood, which improves your blood flow by relaxing the arteries.
  • Boost weight loss: inhibits certain digestive enzymes to reduce the rate at which they store fat.

How to try it: Try a healthy hot cacao made with almond milk and sweetened with stevia, or add a teaspoon of raw cacao powder do your next smoothie – we like it best added to almond butter and cherry berry smoothies.

Get it on Amazon.

 

 

5. Bee Pollen

A mix of bee saliva and pollen that collects on the bodies of bees, which the bees bring back to their hive as their primary food source. There are about 250 substances in bee pollen, including amino acids, lipids (triglycerides, phospholipids), vitamins, macro- and micronutrients, and flavonoids. 

What can it do for me?

  • Keep you full: a 2-teaspoon serving is only 40 calories but contains 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber – that’s a pretty powerful punch in a small package.
  • Lower cholesterol and reduce blood vessel lipids: antioxidants in bee pollen prevent lipids from oxidizing, which clumps them together in the blood vessels.
  • Better topping options: use in place of sugary granola as a topping to reduce empty caloric intake.

How to try it: Blend in a smoothie or top your acai bowls and yogurts. Also try sprinkled over sliced fruit.

Get it on Amazon.

 

 

5. Spirulina

A type of algae with high protein and vitamin concentration that works as a magnet for toxins already present in your body, and a proactive antioxidant for fighting off anything threatening your body.

What can it do for me?

  • Get rid of the bad stuff: binds to toxins in your body and carries them out at excretion.
  • Lower blood pressure: by increasing the production of nitric oxide, allowing blood to flow so that the heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump blood throughout the body.
  • Suppress appetite: spirulina contains an amino acid that has been linked to satiety.
  • Increase metabolism: promotes digestion while reducing the uptake of fat in the body.

 How to try it: Be warned – it does have a slightly “fishy” smell and taste. You can give it a try in a smoothie, or mix with some water and lemon. If you can’t stand the taste, you can get it in pill form. But, when purchased in the blue form (some is more pure blue, some is more turquoise colored), it adds a divine coloring to yogurts and smoothies.

Get it on Amazon.

 

 

6. Flax

A powerful little seed full of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and polyphenols in the form of lignan.

What can it do for me?

  • Keep you fuller longer: thanks to all its fiber.
  • Reduce cholesterol: by making platelets in the blood less “sticky” so that they’re unable to clot and harden in the arteries.

 How to try it: Blended in a smoothie, mixed in with your cereal, as a topping on your yogurt.

Get it on Amazon.

 

 

7. Chlorella

Another form of algae (similar to spirulina), it gets its name from having the highest amount of chlorophyll of any known plant!  Like spirulina, it’s high in A, B, C, E, and K vitamins, calcium, folic acid, potassium, omega-3s, antioxidants, and protein.

What can it do for me?

  • Get rid of the bad stuff: binds with toxins in your body and helps carry them out.
  • Keeps you full: contains more protein per ounce than steak!
  • Supports hormonal balance: with the high potency of enzymes, chlorella can restore balance to any minerals lost, which promotes a balanced hormonal cycle – balanced hormones are not only responsible for healthy weight patterns, but also healthy mental and emotional patterns!

 How to try it: Like spirulina, chlorella has a slightly “fishy” taste and scent – mask it in a smoothie, or in a glass of water with lemon.

Get it on Amazon.

 

 

8. Hemp

Note: you can purchase hemp seeds, which have the outer shell, or hemp hearts, which have the outer shell removed, which makes the nutrients more accessible. My personal preference is hemp hearts, but both pack powerful benefits.

Hemp “seeds” are technically a nut, but regardless of what they are, they contain omega-6, omega-3, gamma-linolenic acid, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, and most predominantly, protein.

What can it do for me?

  • Keep you full and fuels your muscles: High protein and high fiber curbs hunger
  • Metabolizes “bad fat”: Full of the “good” fatty omegas, hemp seeds help the body reset its fat-digestive processes to metabolize the bad fat.

 How to try it: Hemp seeds have a wonderfully nutty flavor (think, a bit like hazelnuts, but not like peanuts) that add a smooth richness to anything they accompany – add to a smoothie, use as a yogurt topping, or sprinkle over freshly cut fruit.

Get it on Amazon.

 

 

9. Acai Berry

Small berries that grow on acai palm trees that are full of antioxidants and fiber – they have 3 times as much antioxidant power as blueberries!

What can it do for me?

  • Fight off free radicals: prevent damage to cells with antioxidant power.
  • Keep you fuller, longer: high fiber content not only keeps you satiated, but also helps for healthy digestive movement.
  • Help cholesterol: acai berries contain plant sterols that can help keep the body from absorbing cholesterol.

How to try it: Acai smoothies and acai bowls are all the rage everywhere – you can purchase frozen acai packets in your local grocery store (make sure to get the ones without added sugar), or use the powder in smoothies.

Get it on Amazon.

 

 

10. Wheatgrass

The fresh grass of the common wheat plant is high in Vitamins A, C, and E, chlorophyll, and 8 essential amino acids (amino acids that your body can’t produce itself).

What can it do for me?

  • Get rid of toxins: chloraphyll neutralizes toxins in the body and helps carry them out.
  • Suppress appetite: thylakoids found in wheatgrass have proven to increase the hormone ghrelin, which is essentially what tells your brain that the body is hungry.

 How to try it: Order a wheatgrass shot at your local health food store, add powder to your smoothies, or take the pills if you can’t handle the taste (it’s very… grassy).

Get it on Amazon.

 

 

11. Chia

A tiny seed from an ancient Aztec plant in the same family as mint, full of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and calcium.

What can it do for me?

  • Keep a healthy heart: omega-3 fatty acids lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure.
  • Stay fuller, longer: high fiber and protein keeps you satisfied longer and prevent blood sugar spikes after eating.

How to try it: Chia seeds are virtually tasteless – toss them in a smoothie, on top of your yogurt, sprinkle on fresh fruit, or try whipping up a batch of chia pudding!

Get it on Amazon.

 

 

12. Ginger

A root spice with bioactive compounds with proven anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antioxidant effects. Gingerol and shogaol are the main constituents responsible for ginger’s powerful capabilities.

What can it do for me?

  • Improve digestion & metabolism: increases fat burning and carbohydrate digestion while simultaneously increasing the rate of gastric emptying (you know, going to the bathroom).
  • Reduce muscle soreness: anti-inflammatory properties keep your muscles from swelling excessively in hard workouts.
  • (this isn’t pertaining to weight loss, but it’s super important) prevents sickness and reduces down-time when sick: because it’s antimicrobial, it’s great at killing all the bad stuff that’s making your body sick.

 How to try it: A ginger shot at your health food store, ginger tea by the bag, even ginger chew candies. You can also try ginger-carrot soup!

Get it on Amazon.

 

 

13. Yacon

Actually a flower, but the root is what’s consumed for its health benefits and most resembles a potato. It’s high in fiber and potassium and can even be used as a sweetener for diabetics. 

What can it do for me?

  • Reduce appetite: yacon syrup is a good source of fructoologiosaccharides (try to say THAT 5 times fast!) – low calorie, non-digestible carbohydrates that not only keep you fuller longer, but are also considered prebiotics and aid in digestion.

 How to try it: The easiest and most common way to find it is in syrup form, which can be used in place of agave syrup or sugar as a mild sweetener.

Get it on Amazon.

 

 

14. Baobab

A fruit full of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants – it actually has 3 times as many antioxidants as acai!

What can it do for me?

  • Block carbs (kind of): baobob has been shown to reduce the body’s absorption of starchy food by blocking the enzymes that break down starch and sugar.
  • Keep you fuller, longer: fiber keeps you full while keeping your digestive tract moving regularly.

 How to try it: It’s a little tart and fruity, so it’s good to add to your fruit smoothies or stirred into water with lemon.

Get it on Amazon.

 

 

15. Lucuma

A high-fiber fruit native to Brazil that is high in nutrients and an excellent alternative to sugar as a sweetener.

What can it do for me?

  • Replacement for sugar: a low-glycemic sweetener; 2tsp contains 20 calories, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of fiber (versus regular sugar, where 2 tsp contains 30 calories, 8.5 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of fiber).

How to try it: Use lucuma powder in place of sugar in your smoothies and baking recipes.

Get it on Amazon.

 

 

16. Amazing Grass Superfood

If this all seems overwhelming and you just can’t pick where you want to start, leave it to the experts – Amazing Grass has a bevy of options, from tasteless powders to smoothie mixes, all that boast the nutritional benefits of the superfoods listed above.

This is personally our favorite brand that we use regularly in our smoothies and acai bowls.

Get it on Amazon.

 

Remember, no superfood powder will ever be a substitute for the real thing. It’s always better to get the nutrients directly from the source – but hey, we can’t all go picking acai berries and baobob fruits on a different continent, can we? Thankfully, these superfoods are now available in various forms so that we can reap the benefits of nutrients around the entire globe.

 

Ugh, I’ve heard of all of these superfoods already, give me something else!

If you’ve run through this whole list already and are seeking even more superfoods and supplements, check into:

Dandelion roothigh in Vitamin A, B, and C, it’s an alkaline herb with powerful detoxification properties that support a healthy liver.

 Schisandra: an adaptogen that improves mental and physiological function, reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, and improves liver function.

 Ceramides: the integral part of plants’ skin membranes that keeps them elastic, which can help your skin maintain elasticity.

Ashwagandha: an adaptogen that helps the body cope with stress – physically and mentally. It lowers cortisol levels and mimics the neurotransmitter GABA, which improves sleep quality and reduces stress and anxiety.

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