Welcome to the Fuel for Fall Performance Nutrition Challenge Blog.  This week will be all about micro-nutrients and super-foods. Wikipedia defines micro-nutrients as nutrients required by humans and other organisms throughout life in small quantities to orchestrate a range of physiological functions. We’ll be talking about how to ensure you get your micronutrients and how you can use superfoods to help get your intake up to spec. I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of the term ‘superfood’, as it implies that a single food is good for all people all the time. As with any other food, superfoods are all relative to the specific situation and should be moderated and rotated so that you get a lot of variety.  However, we will be focusing on foods that have a history of making our members feel and perform better.

We’ll be looking at 3 different categories of superfoods this week.

  1. Gut healing foods : This will include homemade broths such as fish, chicken and beef stock, as well as fermented foods such as saukraut, kimchi, kombucha.  You can read about the benefits of broth or stock and how to make it here and here.  Read about fermented foods here.
  2. Immunity and anti-inflamatory foods : This includes foods such as shellfish and wild oily fish, as well as shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms, along with delicious flavourful herbs and foods such as garlic, ginger, and turmeric.  Read about the anti inflammatory effect of turmeric here along with some other favourite anti inflammatory foods here. The rest is very easy to include in your meals.  Who doesn’t like garlic, mushrooms and ginger along with some meat and veggies?
  3. Anti-oxidant, mineral rich foods  & detoxifying super foods: this will include foods as well as seeds and powdered super foods such as green tea, raw cacao powder and cacao nibs, maca powder, chlorella & spirulina and other seaweed and sea vegetables, flax and chia seeds, as well as richly coloured leafy greens & tubers such as beets, kale, spinach, collards and chard, as well as cruciferous cabbage and broccoli, along with alkalizing citrus fruit lemon & lime and other anti-oxidant rich berries such as acai and gogi. A great way to increase your intake of these nutrient rich foods is to make a green smoothie.  You can read about green smoothies here and find tons  of recipes online, just google green smoothie recipe.

 

Your daily bonus challenge for Wednesday, December 3rd is to incorporate a fermented food in one of your meals.  If you know how to make your own, that is awesome, but you can also buy something from the store.  Kombucha is a fermented tea that comes in a bottle and you can get it at any health food store. You can also buy pre-made sauerkraut, kimchi or a fermented dairy or coconut product. Choose dairy, such as a greek yogurt or kefir only if you know you are not sensitive to dairy. What we mean by that is that you have already tried eliminating all dairy from your diet for at least 2 weeks and reintroduced it with no ill effects. Also be weary of store bought yoghurts, they tend to be pretty sneaky about adding sweeteners even when it says no sugar added. As always, read the ingredients! Your bonus challenges in the next few days will include homemade broth, so if you haven’t done this already make sure you go shopping and source out some bones.