When most people think of superfoods they think Acai or Goji berries or some other exotic fruit. True superfoods are a little bit less glamorous and have been consumed for thousands of years. These foods are time tested and give you the most nutrients per mouthful. As you read through this list, be thinking about which one you’re brave enough to try making in the next couple of days!
Bone Broth & Gelatin
Bones are our body’s main store of minerals. As you cook bone broth, the water pulls all the minerals from the bones into the water making bone broth a mineral rich superfood. Bone broth is a great source of protein because it also pulls the gelatin from the joints. Gelatin is the most abundant amino acid in your body. The only protein supplement I recommend is minimally processed gelatin powders made from grass-fed animals such as this one. Collagen and gelatin are essentially the same thing. Gelatin forms a gel and can be used to make custards and jello, but collagen does not.
To make bone broth, over the bones from grass fed animals with water in my crock pot. Then add different vegetables and herbs depending on how I’m going to use the broth later. Let it cook on low for 6-24 hours. When the broth is done, it can be kept in the fridge for a few weeks, or store it in the freezer for a few months.
Fermentation was one of the first forms of preserving fruits and vegetables for the winter. Fermentation increases the amount of vitamin C and turns the vegetables into a probiotic powerhouse. To ferment vegetables, all you have to do is cover a vegetable in salt water and let it sit at room temperature for a couple of days. If you want to get fancy, you can use whey or a culture starter. You can learn everything you need to know about fermenting foods by checking out Cultures for Health.
Cultured, Probiotic Drinks
Kombucha and Water Kefir are the two main probiotic drinks. Kombucha has great probiotics and the enzymes to support digestion. It is fermented tea, and you can buy it from any health food store, or purchase starter kits if you are interested in making some at home. Water Kefir has a greater variety of probiotic strains, but does not include the same enzymes as Kombucha. Water Kefir is a bubbly, sweet drink. I’ve made probiotic cream sodas and fruity fizzy drinks fairly easily at home. You just have to purchase water kefir grains to start the process. Kombucha starter kits and water kefir grains are available for purchase through Cultures for Health website.
Ew! Liver! I know … it totally sounds weird, but pates are actually pretty delicious. We, in our Western food snobbery have limited ourselves to eating muscle meat. This is not the way nature intended it – we need to eat the skin, bones and organs of the animal for a complete nutrient profile. Organ meats are much more dense than the muscle meats. This chart from Chris Kresser gives a side by side comparison of the vitamins and minerals found in fruits, vegetables, meat, and liver.
|APPLE (100 g)||CARROTS (100 g)||RED MEAT (100 g)||BEEF LIVER (100 g)|
|Calcium||3.0 mg||3.3 mg||11.0 mg||11.0 mg|
|Phosphorus||6.0 mg||31.0 mg||140.0 mg||476.0 mg|
|Magnesium||4.8 mg||6.2 mg||15.0 mg||18.0 mg|
|Potassium||139.0 mg||222.0 mg||370.0 mg||380.0 mg|
|Iron||.1 mg||.6 mg||3.3 mg||8.8 mg|
|Zinc||.05 mg||.3 mg||4.4 mg||4.0 mg|
|Copper||.04 mg||.08 mg||.18 mg||12.0 mg|
|Vitamin A||None||None||40 IU||53,400 IU|
|Vitamin D||None||None||Trace||19 IU|
|Vitamin E||.37 mg||.11 mg||1.7 mg||.63 mg|
|Vitamin C||7.0 mg||6.0 mg||None||27.0 mg|
|Thiamin||.03 mg||.05 mg||.05 mg||.26 mg|
|Riboflavin||.02 mg||.05 mg||.20 mg||4.19 mg|
|Niacin||.10 mg||.60 mg||4.0 mg||16.5 mg|
|Pantothenic Acid||.11 mg||.19 mg||.42 mg||8.8 mg|
|Vitamin B6||.03 mg||.10 mg||.07 mg||.73 mg|
|Folic Acid||8.0 mcg||24.0 mcg||4.0 mcg||145.0 mcg|
|Biotin||None||.42 mcg||2.08 mcg||96.0 mcg|
|Vitamin B12||None||None||1.84 mcg||111.3 mcg|
Coconut Oil and Coconut Products
Coconut Oil is one of my favorite sources of fat. It is made primarily of medium chain triglycerides. This means they are slightly smaller molecules than other types of fats, and does not need bile in order to digest it. It is easy on the digestion, and is absorbed efficiently. It is also one of the best oils to cook with because it stable under heat. This is one food we buy in huge 5 gallon buckets 🙂 You can also purchase coconut flour (my all time favorite flour), coconut butter, and coconut sugar.
Ghee is clarified butter. The clarification process makes it more stable in high heat processes. It is one of the most flavorful fat options out there. Butter or ghee from grass-fed animals is a great source of healthy saturated fats. Remember: our cell wall is made of lipids, and dietary fats are crucial for building a healthy cell wall. This allows the cell to regulate the nutrients that go into the cell, allows the cell to eliminate waste and toxins, and promotes communication between the cells.
Even above fats, people in today’s society are most deficient in water. Water is an important factor in transporting nutrients to the appropriate cells and organs. If you eat healthy food – properly digest it, but are dehydrated- then your body’s ability to transport nutrients is compromised, and you still might not have access to the nutrients you’ve put into your body.