Superfood focus for Shuddha
A lot of research and development goes into curating our recipes, matching flavor profiles and enhancing palatability. We realize the impact modern day diets and stressors have on inflammation and disease and have tried to incorporate foods that will help the body fight free radicals and inflammation and manage stress better. At Shuddha, we intend to create a healthy solution by using nutrient dense foods that help keep the body alkaline and provide an antioxidant boost. Here is the gist of our favourite superfoods that feature in our recipes. Stay Healthy!
The Acai Berry is touted as a superfood for many health benefits. Unlike other berries, these tiny but mighty berries have a particularly high antioxidant ratio that keeps you bright eyed and healthy. They can contain up to 30 times more anthocynanins (antioxidants) than strawberries making it an effective tool to drive out free radicals and help prevent oxidative stress on the body. Put simply, the root cause for all disease is inflammation and these antioxidants help fight free radicals that lead to inflammation. When consumed regularly, the Acai berry can also help lower blood cholesterol levels and can be supplemented in the treatment of high cholesterol. The Acai is a low sugar berry and low GI (glycemic index) making it a safe choice for weight watchers, diabetics and the insulin resistant.
Coconut oil, unlike other vegetable oils is cardio-protective and stable at high temperatures, which makes it a good oil to cook with. Cold Pressed coconut oil on the other hand is great when added to juices, smoothies, cereals and even coffee to help with better assimilation and assist in fat breakdown and metabolism. Islanders like the Kitawans that use coconut oil liberally have the lowest incidence of heart disease in the world. Coconut oil is a rich source of lauric acid- also found in breast milk that have antimicrobial properties that are great at supporting the immune system. We say you do away with the rancid vegetable oil and adopt coconut oil as your pantry staple.
Curcumin, the active component in Turmeric or haldi is a very potent antioxidant that has been used to treat tumours, organ damage, joint inflammation and prevent infection. Also a powerful antihistamine, it can be used to treat allergies, rhinitis boost immunity. Turmeric is safe to consume in small quantities but should be consumed with black pepper and tulsi leaves for improved assimilation. The golden milk with turmeric and almond milk is a great beverage for delayed onset muscle soreness, cramping and in reducing inflammation. So go ahead and embrace haldi and start incorporating it into your diet so you can reap the benefits.
This green powder is bursting at the seams with nutrients. Spirulina a form of blue, green algae, is considered one of the healthiest foods in the world because it is marine based and is a rich source of omega 3, protein, iron and B vitamins. The protein available in spirulina contains all the amino acids and can be compared to the nutritional count of eggs, which makes it a great protein source for vegetarians.
Theobroma is regarded as the food of the gods and raw cacao is unprocessed cocoa that contains flavonoids that are great at driving out free radicals and eliminating inflammation. Widely regarded as a mood booster, cacao drinks can be effective tools at beating the blues and PMS symptoms because it raises serotonin (feel happy chemicals) in the brain. Cacao contains a substantial amount of magnesium, which is great as a nerve and cardiac tonic and as a solution for muscle cramps.
These tiny but mighty Aztec seeds are rich sources of omega 3, fiber that boosts satiety and protein and calcium. They can be incorporated into smoothies or sprinkled onto cereals, salads and stir-fries for an added nutritional boost. The recommended allowance for daily chia consumption is 2 tbsp or 28 g. A serving of chia has more calcium than a glass of milk- making it a safer and better source of calcium minus the hormones and antibiotics. A serving of these tiny seeds will fetch you about 9 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber which makes it a great supplement with your meals. Don't confuse chia with sabja (Indian chia) which has a completely different nutritional profile.
Flax Seeds are one of the richest sources of plant based omega 3 that are cardio protective. Regular consumption shows a marked decrease in blood cholesterol and triglycerides and research suggests that they can be a safer substitute to statins for people with high cholesterol. Found either or ground- these seeds are sources of unsaturated fats and need to be sealed and stored to avoid them becoming rancid. Flax is also an excellent substitute for eggs and oily fish for vegetarians.
The gel from this succulent plant contains powerful antibacterial and antiviral compounds that can stop infections and help heal wounds. Most commonly used in tropical countries as an after sun gel- it is also very effective at treating and soothing burns. Aloe, when used in conjunction with a fiber supplement like psyllium husk can have a laxative effect and can help with constipation. Aloe Vera is naturally alkalizing for the body which is why we recommend you start your day to maintain pH balance.
Also known as the Indian gooseberry, amla is a pretty commonplace fruit that is used for its vitamin C. A single serving of amla has more vitamin C than a glass of orange juice. This fruit is also rich in fiber, which makes it an effective aid in treating constipation and bowel issues. It can be used to enhance immunity if consumed first thing in the morning and can be an effective digestive tool when coupled with triphala.
Matcha powder is powdered green tea that is prepared from the young leaves of the plant. This powder can be added into your coffee or tea or sprinkled onto a juice or in a smoothie. Matcha can substitute coffee and can boost concentration and help you stay alert because it has 3 times more caffeine than regular green tea. A little bit goes a long way with this potent powder so don't overdo the matcha. A rich source of chlorophyll, it can be used to rid the body of heavy metals and other toxins. Matcha lattes, anyone?