Superfoods are foods that are high in nutrition, enhance the bodies health and enables it to work at peak performance. The word superfood is bantered around a lot and every time I see an article on superfoods the list is always different or there is a new found superfood from an ancient rain forest in some remote area of the world. So let’s look at the real meaning of a superfood.
I’m sure our ancestors had no such word in their vocabulary, food was there to provide a means for survival, and a time to gather and communicate. Their lifestyle was based on survival, as the seasons ebbed and flowed they ate the foods available to them during that time of year. Sweet fruits and fatty meats were available in the summer while nuts, seeds and lean meats were eaten in the winter. Our ancestors had to do certain things in order for their survival, they hunted, gathered, moved, ran, walked, slept, walked barefoot, enjoyed sunshine and knew the movements of the moon.
In this day and age most people have the choice as to whether to engage in activities for survival or not. With modern technology life has changed dramatically, we go to the grocery store and buy packaged foods that are filled with ingredients we can’t even pronounce, transported from another country, with a use by date of 2 years or worse – indefinite. Seasonal foods are obsolete, sleep is deprived, few know when the moon is full or waning and we’ve been told by science and medicine that the sun is dangerous.
When we start to realise that we have an evolutionary body living in a very modern world and that our biochemistry is not coping, thus the proliferation of disease not only in the elderly but also our young then we might realise that the modern foods that we now eat and the lifestyles we live are two of the main problems for the increase in disability and illness. Most foods in the supermarket, are not superfoods, they are foods that are devitalised, grown in chemical laden situations, traveled hundreds if not thousands of kilometers and possibly dressed with preservatives and additives.
Now that we know what is not a superfood let’s look at what is a superfood. If I was to define a superfood of today it would be a food that is wild or grown seasonally without chemicals and in naturally fertile soils, picked when seasonally ripe and eaten soon after. Superfoods can be in the form of a vegetable, fruit, bacteria, fungii and even animal produce.
Rather than looking at specific foods, I like to look at groups of superfoods as I believe that all real, clean foods that nourish the body are a super food.
The ultimate in superfood fruits, vegetables and herbs are the ones that are picked ripe, straight from the tree, vine or ground, grown on fertile soils without the use of pesticides or herbicides. When I was hiking through the Sierra Nevada in Spain this summer our whole hike was littered with mulberry, fig, mint, kiwi, almond, walnut, pomegranate trees to name a few. It was like being in the Garden of Eden because all foods grew wild, and I knew by the sweetness of the mulberries and the figs that the fruit was brimming with nutrition that enabled my body to work at peak performance through the high altitude, strenuous hikes.
We have lost the art of eating this way, we don’t even know if foods that we buy in the grocery store are regional or seasonal, if they are there, we buy them and eat them without much thought as to where they have come from and how they were grown and if they have been gassed or stored for long periods of time or whether they have been exposed to light or heat. All have the potential to decrease the vitality and nutrition of the food.
It’s all well and good to say this but how in a modern society do we satisfy our evolutionary bodies with my definition of superfoods.
4 Steps on how to find Super fruits and vegetables in an urban or city region.
Have a herb garden if you have a bit of land or herbs on your verandah, use these herbs on a daily basis, with your eggs for breakfast or your salads for lunch or dinner.
- Grow Your OwnVegetables, especially green leafy are easy to grow in pots and in the garden, plant seasonally, and like herbs use daily in your salads and with your eggs. Tomatoes, peppers, chili, cucumber, peas and beans can also be part of your superfood repertoire when grown in your garden. In case you don’t think you can do this, one of the largest vegetable and herb gardens inNew York is on the roof of a high rise. If you want super foods it just takes a little effort to get them.
- Grow fruit trees. Edible gardens can be as beautiful as gardens you can’t eat, so begin growing fruit trees and vines for your area, so that you can pick the seasonal superfruit as it ripens. You will know when you are eating a superfruit as it will be the sweetest, most beautiful fruit you have ever eaten – this is when you know it is at its ultimate nutrition.
If the first three steps are unavailable to you, then find a local farmers market or fruit and vegetable store near you, create a relationships with the sellers, growers and suppliers, Ask questions; is the food organic, or chemical free, where is the food grown, what day is the food picked, not all questions can be answered by all concerned, but you won’t know unless you ask the questions.
Superfoods don’t have to be from an exotic location, they are everywhere it is just a matter of knowing how to source them or trying to find a place to plant them. By eating superfoods our body uses the abundance of nutrients to work at peak performance.
Watch this video below to show you what can be done in a small amount of space.