Nutty, Seedy Superfoods

Hemp Hemp is big right now. It is more alkaline than most proteins, and more easily digestible. Our bodies need to be more alkaline, and it also needs protein. Hemp is a complete protein containing all 10 essential amino acids our bodies don’t produce. When muscle repair and reduction of inflammation is paramount, hemp would be the protein of choice as it contains anti-inflammatory properties for speeding soft-tissue repair.

The athletic community will swear by animal protein stating treat like with like -eat muscle to treat muscle. I have swallowed my tongue a few times because I just can’t expend too much energy on brainwashed, sore-muscled athletes! My gym experience speaks for itself. I have experienced little to no muscle soreness, and quicker recovery than my meat-eating workout partner (She’s great but a staunch believer in treat like with like).

I believe in eating an array of foods, and our bodies like diversity, so you don’t need to make hemp your only protein! There are plenty of nuts, grains, oils that are equally beneficial in combination. Hemp is very easy to add to a smoothie for protein, more easily digested as a powder than possibly adding ground seeds to a smoothie. Whichever form you choose Thrive states to “look for a deep green color, pleasant smell and sweet, nutty taste” free of pesticides and herbicides.

Quinoa Here’s one of those protein alternative to hemp. Is it a grain? is it a seed? No matter, it is cooked like a grain, pulverized into a gluten-free flour, sprouted in the raw tradition. I’ve been eating quinoa since the mid-90’s. I didn’t like it initially since I was used to rice and pasta, but soon it became a staple. I started eating it as a cooked grain, then as flour in my gluten-free creations, and most recently as a sprouted raw ingredient. The profile of quinoa? It contains twenty percent protein, is packed with lysine, iron and potassium and B vitamins. It does contain a high fat profile but its good fat.

Amaranth is another high protein (17%) grain/seed but lower in fat (8% in the form of Vitamin E) than quinoa. It is not as readily available in grocery stores, but easily found online. I started using this as a gluten-free grain in the beginning of 2002 as the easily digestible protein in my Power Puff muffins for my triathlete friends. It has a 90 percent digestion rate so it is easy on the digestive system and a high net food meaning you get lots of nutrition in this one seed! It is high in calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C. Amaranth contains THREE times the fiber of wheat and FOUR times the iron.

Twister Powder Superfood Blend contains Hemp, Cacao, and Maca providing antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and protein. Mix your hemp that is high in protein and omega 3 oils; your antioxidant rich cacao and maca for the endocrine system creates an energizing nourishing easy blend that is also easily digested and absorbed. (see previous post for info on Cacao and Maca)

Navitas Naturals, the maker of Twister Powder provides organic power foods that increase energy and enhance health. You can easily add this to cereals – I like it with oatmeal, or use in smoothies, or as a flour substitute.

Coconut Tried coconut water? The water of the young Thai white coconut is sweet, cooling, refreshing and chock full of potassium, magnesium and calcium. The potassium makes it a great supplement for some forms of hypertension. Magnesium is beneficial for stress reduction and easing muscle tension. Coconut contains lauric acid which can ease digestive issues during pregnancy. It contains antiviral properties and is said to improve the immune system.The electrolyte content makes it perfect for replenishing and rehydrating the body after a workout or a day in the heat. If you need serious replenishing after a workout, you may need to add a little sodium to your post workout intake since coconut water doesn’t have as much as commercial sports drinks. Coconut water is available commercially, but I prefer to purchase cases of coconut at Asian markets to avoid any processing.

You can also use the water to make coconut kefir. Kefir consists of healthy bacterial strains like yogurt but at higher concentrations. Adding kefir starter to the naturally sweet coconut water creates a fizzy, sour, champagne-like drink, like a spritzer. The bacteria feeds on the natural sugar and your body won’t suffer from the long term effects of consuming too much sugar. Those unwanted effects are any conditions resulting from a too acidic environment: joint pains to skin and intestinal issues to cancers.

How about coconut meat? If you mix the meat with the water, you have the creamy coconut base for Thai curry. Coconut oil and therefore the meat are a saturated fat. Use of saturated fats in moderation is beneficial; coconut oil specifically can aid is weight loss as it boosts the metabolism. Of course it is most beneficial used in conjunction with a whole plant-based diet. I personally still promote the primary consumption of olive oil, flax and hemp oils.

Next, By Land or By Sea, we will find the Green Superfoods.

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