The minute people hear the word “food,” panic often sets in. That’s because the word conjures up having to wash, prepare, cook and then plate it. With many people’s hectic schedules taking a toll, lunch and dinner often mean having a meal delivered or picking one up. That way, the only obligations involve unpacking and tossing the wrapping.
The good news is that many “superfoods” – nutrient-rich products, often from countries where they’ve been ingested for centuries– are now available as supplements. All that’s entailed is opening the container, taking out the capsules and deciding what beverage you’re having as your chaser. It couldn’t be simpler.
Here are some superfoods that provide easy supplementation to healthy meals or snacks.
Maca. Maca (Lepidium meyenii) has been used as a food source in the Andesfor hundreds of years. The folklore behind this annual plant, which grows in the highlands of Peru, is that it helps increase stamina and energy. Maca also has a reputation for enhancing libido safely and naturally.
Moringa. Moringa (Moringa oleifera), which is native to the Himalayan mountain region of northern India, is now cultivated in many tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. All parts of this tall, fast-growing tree have been used as food, and its leaves are recognized as a good nutritional source.
Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), an herb whose roots have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 2,500 years, is popularly known as Indian ginseng. It’s often taken to support a healthy mood during times of physical and mental stress, and may even promote healthy levels of sex hormones.
The roots, which have been used both as an adaptogen and geriatric tonic, contain withanolides, including alkaloids and lactones. Ashwagandha has antioxidant properties, which can aid in protecting cells against free radical damage.
Have you discovered any superfoods that have benefited your health? Share your feedback with us in the comments below.
Laurie Steelsmith, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health. She is the co-author of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine and co-author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health: How the Secrets of Natural and Chinese Medicine Can Create a Lifetime of Wellness.