For centuries the ancient civilizations have used these foods to promote their overall health and protect themselves from various diseases and modern society is just now beginning to realize their real potential. The following list contains five ancient superfoods which can help you optimize your digestion, tame inflammation and balance your hormones, all you have to do is eat them every day.
- Cinnamon and pepper
If you want to aid digestion, reduce bloating and manage stress you should add these amazing spices to your diet at least three times a week.
Black pepper possesses powerful antibacterial properties and it abounds in manganese, iron, potassium, chromium, vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. It stimulates our taste buds, boosting hydrochloric acid secretion and improving digestion. Plus, the outer layer of peppercorn stimulates breakdown of fat cells. Moreover, hot peppers like cayenne contain capsaicin, an excellent remedy for aches and soreness, which also improves circulation, and promotes cardiovascular health.
Cinnamon on the other hand is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. It also has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce blood sugar and triglyceride levels. Cinnamon is also a good source of manganese, iron, and calcium.
How to use it: I love adding these spice to chai tea. With the addition of these medicinal herbs—like ginger, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and black pepper—chai becomes a healing powerhouse.
As you probably know by now turmeric has an active ingredient called curcumin. This active ingredient has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, maybe even more powerful than conventional anti-inflammatory drugs. It can also boost digestion, reduce flatulence, bloating, and indigestion.
How to use it: You can add turmeric in almost every traditional Indian dish, but my favorite is chicken curry. You can also prepare a warm glass of golden turmeric milk.
- Chia seeds
South American cultures prize chia seeds for their ability to sustain energy. Actually, in the ancient Mayan language, “chia” translates into “strength”.
Modern medicine values chia seeds because of their high levels of omega 3s which promote good mental health, reduces inflammation and helps with diabetes. Fish is one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids, but chia seeds come pretty close to it and it’s definitely a better source than flaxseed, which especially important for vegans who don’t eat fish.
How to use it: Who doesn’t like chia seed pudding? Prepare it by mixing half cup of coconut milk with two tablespoons of chia seeds, and blend it up. Sprinkle some nuts and berries on top and enjoy.
Asian cultures have been using ginger for over 5,000 years ago knowing its vast medicinal properties. It contains gingerol, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It’s an ancient aid for digestion (speeding up stomach emptying), muscle pain, and cognitive function, and is known to have anti-diabetic properties.
How to use it: Adding ginger to your diet is easy, you can drink it in a tea, or grate it into any meal you like: stir fries, vegetables, soups, burgers, roasts, eggs, muffins, oatmeal, and desserts. Ginger can be added to green drinks and smoothies or to the jar when you’re pickling or culturing vegetables.
- Fenugreek seeds
Ancient medicine has been using this amazing herb for centuries thanks to its amazing results in the treatment of constipation, reflux, and improving blood sugar control. Fenugreek is also used as a natural aid for boosting breast milk in new moms.
How to use it: Fenugreek seeds are best used sprouted. Soak them in water and leave them to soak for three to four hours. Afterwards drain the water and put the seeds between two moist paper towels. Put the towel and seeds in an airtight container, like a Mason jar. The next night or the morning after you’ll get your sprouted seeds. Consume a spoonful every morning.