For Celiac Disease Awareness Month, we asked Kathy Smart – known as Canada’s leading gluten-free expert, which naturally gluten-free superfoods foods she recommends for gluten-free folk!
What are the healthiest naturally gluten-free superfoods?
Kathy Smart’s Top 10 Gluten-Free Superfoods
1. Broccoli Sprouts
Broccoli sprouts pack 20 times more cancer-fighting, enzyme-stimulating activity into each bite than the grown-up vegetable. Research suggests that eating the sprouts (they have a radish-like taste) kills off H. Pylori bacteria that cause stomach irritation and ulcers. Broccoli is part of the powerhouse brassica family of vegetables. Broccoli contains important phytochemicals that are released when they’re chopped, chewed, fermented, cooked or digested. The substances are released, then break down into sulphorophanes, indole-3-carbinol and D-glucarate, which all have a specific effect on detoxification. Broccoli sprouts can actually provide more benefit than regular broccoli as they contain 20 times more sulfurophane. Add these to your salads and get creative with them in your meals.
2. Savi Seeds
Sacha inchi seeds are the richest source of Omega 3 on the planet! At 7000mg of heart-healthy Omega 3 per one ounce serving, they offer 13 times more Omega 3 than an ounce of wild salmon – without having to deal with unpleasant fishy flavors and aftertastes!
Savi Seeds are an exceptional source of plant-based protein with 8 grams of complete protein per ounce – more than most nuts and seeds. This highly digestible protein is very useful in tissue regeneration and muscle development, and it’s easily digestible… no irritation, gas, or acidity.
This ancient food source is also a particularly abundant source of tryptophan, an amino acid that can help promote a positive mood – containing about 29 mg of tryptophan per gram of protein, which is more than 8 times higher than roasted turkey.
Sacha inchi seeds have a high concentration of powerful natural antioxidants like Vitamin E, which helps to ward off cardiovascular disease and cancer by protecting cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
3. Sesame Seeds
They’re credited with protecting liver cells from the damaging effects of alcohol and other chemicals. For a concentrated form, try tahini, the yummy sesame seed paste that’s a staple of Middle Eastern cooking.
Benefits of Consuming Hemp:
• Lower blood LDL cholesterol levels
• Lower blood pressure
• Improve cardiovascular circulation & function
• Improve organ function
• Improve immunity levels
• Increased energy levels & metabolic rate
• Reduce symptoms of PMS & menstrual cramps
• Reduce inflammation and the symptoms of arthritis
• Improve recovery of muscles after exercise
• Reduce & treat dry skin and hair conditions
• Reduction of many degenerative diseases through preventative measures
This plant’s bursting with soluble fiber, which mops up toxins (cholesterol, too) and helps clear them out. Stir powdered psyllium into juice to help cleanse your colon, or have psyllium-fortified Bran Buds for breakfast. (Start with a small amount and gradually increase your dose as your GI tract becomes used to it.)
6. Cranberry Juice or Fresh Cranberries
The organic acids of cranberry juice have an emulsifying effect on stored fat in the body, states Certified Nutritional Scientist Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D.
Cranberries stimulate the metabolism to start using stored fat! Cranberry juice is also a natural diuretic, and can help to rid one of extra water weight due to hormonal fluctuations and excess salt consumption.
7. Beets or Beetroot
You can’t beat beets! Beets are full of vitamins B3, B6, C and beta-carotene. They’re also a valuable source of iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium — all necessary to promote optimal detoxification and elimination. Beets also support good gallbladder and liver health — organs that are paramount for breaking down and removing toxins. The high amount of fibre in beetroot improves digestion and helps eliminate bodily waste.
8. Dandelion Greens
Dandelions are considered a powerhouse food full of nutrients that are essential for anyone regularly eating the “Standard American Diet” (SAD). They’re a rich source of minerals and provide a variety of phytonutrients. They’re super antioxidants that support cleansing of the digestive tract and offer great liver support. Try adding dandelion leaves to your salad.
9. Goji Berries
These berries are LOADED with antioxidants! Goji berries boost immunity, improve longevity and promote sexual health. They have also been shown to help cancer patients when used along with traditional treatments. The berries may also help regulate blood sugar and reduce cholesterol levels.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, which gives it its yellow color. The rate at which your detox pathways function depends on your genes, your age, lifestyle and a good supply of nutrients involved in the detox process. Curcumin is used a lot in Ayurvedic Medicine to treat liver and digestive disorders.
Kathy Smart is a nutritionist, holistic chef, bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, fitness trainer and instructor, and TV personality.
For more healthy information and loads of delicious gluten-free recipes, visit LivetheSmartWay.com