You may have heard of superfoods, those foods that have high concentrations of health-enhancing nutrients. Cacao, chia seeds, goji berries and blue-green algae are just a few examples. Many of these foods are traditionally used by indigenous cultures and have been in use for thousands of years. Super foods can boost the functioning of particular organs or bodily systems and can also address overall health. Let me, Jody Kriss, guide you through this and achieve better health!

To get started exploring these nutritional powerhouses, here are a few guidelines:

1. Start where you are (how you feel and want to feel, what appeals, what seems accessible).

2. Explore one category at a time (green, fruit & nut, bee superfoods, fermented foods, seaweed, herbs)

3. Start seasonally – certain foods are more useful in specific seasons. For example, green superfoods are good for spring and summer, whereas some of the stronger fermented ones are too cooling for mid-winter. Choose one or two foods to try at a time, especially paying attention to how they fit the season.

Green Superfoods

Green superfoods are filled with chlorophyll, which makes them cleansing, cooling and energizing. Perfect for summer. They have the highest concentrations of easily digestible nutrients, fat burning compounds, vitamins and minerals to protect and heal the body. They contain a wide array of beneficial substances including proteins, protective phyto-chemicals and healthy bacteria helping you to build cleaner muscles and tissues, aid your digestive system function and more effectively protect you against disease and illness.

Here are Jody Kriss‘ recommendations on a few green superfoods to try:

• Wild Bluegreen Algae (try simplexityhealth.com) – Algae was the first form of life on Earth and its power is immense. Wild blue-green algae is a phyto-plankton and contains virtually every nutrient. With a 60% protein content and a more complete amino acid profile than beef or soy beans. It contains one of the best known food sources of beta carotene, B vitamins and chlorophyll. It has been shown to improve brain function and memory, strengthen the immune system and help with viruses, colds and flu.

• Spirulina – Spirulina is a cultivated micro-algae which has been consumed for thousands of years by the indigenous peoples in Mexico and Africa. It is one of the highest known protein sources on Earth and contains 70% complete protein, towering over steak which consists of only 25% protein once cooked. Studies have shown that spirulina can help control blood sugar levels and cravings thus making it a key food for diabetics, and can be used to assist in weight loss and as a general nutritional supplement.

• Chlorella – Chlorella is a fresh water algae and like its other algae cousins contains a complete protein profile, all the B vitamins, vitamin C and E and many minerals. It is amazing for the immune system and for reducing cholesterol and preventing the hardening of the arteries, a precursor to heart attacks and strokes.

• Wheat Grass – Wheat grass is the sprouted grass of a wheat seed. Unlike the whole grain, because it has been sprouted, it no longer contains gluten or other common allergic agents. Wheat grass is super alkalizing and is excellent for promoting healthy blood. It normalizes the thyroid gland to stimulate metabolism thus assisting digestion and promoting weight loss due also to its high enzyme content and cleansing effect.

• Green Leafy Vegetables – Green leafy vegetables are so readily available and so highly nutritious, however most people do not eat enough of them. Studies continuously confirm that populations that eat a diet high in green leafy vegetables run a far lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Fresh raw green leafy vegetables contain high doses of chlorophyll, easily digestible proteins, enzymes and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. These particular vegetables act as mini-transfusions for the blood, a health tonic for the brain and immune system and a cleanser of the kidneys. Try any of the following: rocket, spinach, dandelion greens, kale, watercress, parsley, lettuce, endive, chicory, broccoli sprouts and mustard sprouts.

• Green smoothies (basic recipe): A few chunks of apple or pear; A dash of juice or coconut water, if desired; A tablespoon of almond or other nut butter (optional); One to three leaves of kale; Half cup or so of ice. Blend all until icy and smooth.