I absolutely have a few foods that I eat and keep in my kitchen on a regular basis that I feel contribute to my optimal health. However, often when I am talking to others about some of these food items, many times they have never heard of them or never tasted them. Here are a few foods that I keep in my kitchen as I continue to eat foods that promote healthy living.
I like to put hemp seeds in my salads, smoothies, or just grabbing a handful to toss in my mouth before I workout. Hemp seeds are excellent for the vegan or plant-based athlete as they are high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation in the body and can help the natural wear and tear on the joints. And if you are not a omnivore, like myself, hemp seeds provide a great source of protein, like high quality protein at that because it is easy to digest (unlike meats). Oh, and no they will not get you high or buzzed. They contain no THC even though they come from the marijuana plant.
I recently started putting cacao powder in my smoothies and will do some experimenting with baking desserts as well. Cacao powder is like the antioxidant lord of all foods, packing 40 times more power than even blueberries. It is also a great source for plant-based iron. And if you’re looking for something for your heart and brain health, this is also the food to have, as it full of magnesium. Being that it cacao powder is a natural mood elevator and anti-depressant, I will also be using this more in my postpartum doula work, as mamas start to balance out their hormones post childbirth. Lastly, if you’re someone looking to remove dairy from your diet but worry about your calcium intake…. Problem solved!! Cacao powder has more calcium than cow’s milk.
Yes, another seed, pumpkin seeds! Tis the season that everyone is going crazy over all things pumpkin! Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin desserts, pumpkin recipes to try for the holidays. Just pumpkins everywhere! Well pumpkin seeds also known as pepitas, are tasty and full of nutritional alkaline value. They are great in salads, or to sprinkle on sweet potatoes or avocados for a nice crunch, or just to throw in your mouth as a quick healthy snack. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of dietary fiber, iron and protein. The green color of raw pumpkin seeds come from the fact that it contains chlorophyll, which helps detoxify and cleanse the body. They also have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agents.
If you are vegan, then this is not for you (vegans do not eat honey), but the health benefits are still undeniable. I use manuka honey the same as I would use any honey, I put it in my tea. Whenever you buy manuka honey, it will come with a rating on it. You want to buy a rating of 10+, which represents the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). This basically tells it’s antibacterial strength. Manuka honey comes from New Zealand and is made by bees that pollinate the manuka bush. Manuka honey is great for just about everything, at least that is what I tell people (haha!). You have allergies, take some manuka honey. You have bad acne or skin issues, take some manuka honey. You’re having issues with your teeth, take some manuka honey. I can be pretty ridiculous with my recommendation of manuka honey, but it really is just worth having around, but it is also pricey, ranging from $15-$45 (just as a heads up).