Are you ready for transformation in the Year of the Dragon? According to the Chinese horoscope the Year of the Dragon, is an auspicious time for starting new businesses or projects and making money.
- Make a list of your top 5 goals for 2012 (Hint: Make them fun, giving you a feeling of excitement when you wake up the morning)
- Include your health goals: Are you full of energy? Do you have the right mindset to do what you need to do? Are you excited about the potential that the New Year holds? What’s holding you back from doing and giving your very best?
- Look at your diet: do the food choices you make support your goals and dreams? If you need to make changes do you know which are the key the most important changes you need to make? Do you have someone to hold you accountable?
- How are your energy levels? Do you sleep soundly and awake refreshed, excited to start the day? Do your energy levels remain constant throughout the day or do you need to have an afternoon top up of coffee and cookies?
Superfoods are phytochemical rich, nutrient dense foods that promote radiant health and vitality, with no side effects. They give you more bang for your buck when you eat them: more energy, enhanced nutrition, as well as medicinal properties. Here’s my top three superfoods to supercharge the start to 2012, the Year of the Dragon.
Josse’s Top Superfoods
Known as the “mushroom of immortality”, Reishi (Gandoderma lucidum) or Ling Zhi has been used by the Chinese for over two thousand years. It was so revered by the ancient Taoists, that many paintings of enlightened beings in China, show them holding a reishi mushroom held in one hand. In the “Divine Farmer’s Classic of Herbalism”, written by Shen Nong, considered the foundational classic of Chinese herbalism, medicinal herbs are organized into three groups: 1. Superior herbs: nourishing, non-toxic and safe for long term use. Used for legendary longevity and ability, the herbs of the Taoist adepts. 2. General herbs: used for the prevention of illness, not suitable for long term use. 3. Inferior herbs: These are medicinal herbs: to treat specific diseases, suitable only for short term use.
Top Reishi Benefits
Anti-aging and combating stress: Reishi belongs to the superior herbs category which promote longevity. Of all these superior herbs Reishi is No 1. Reishi is very effective in treating aging related diseases such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, and liver disease because it has anti-inflammatory activity. Reishi’s adaptogenic effects improves adrenocortical function and relieves stress. According to Kosai Matusumoto, author of ‘The Mysterious Reshi Mushroom’: “If you eat it regularly, it will refresh your body and retard the process of aging. It will prolong your life and you will become like one of the legendary adepts.”
Boost your brain power and meditate better: If you want to be smart this is the mushroom to take. It not only boosts our brain power but elevates your “shen.” Reishi has the ability to nourish the Heart, which stores “Shen.” In Chinese medicine, Shen is your ability to be in touch with your Soul, your ability to meditate and your ability to see things clearly. It is also qualities such as love, kindness, compassion and spiritual insight. Reishi improves memory, sharpens concentration, strengthens the nerves and conquers depression.
Immune modulator: Reishi strengthens the immune system (enhancing monocyte, macrophage and T lymphocyte activity). Reishi is bi-directional meaning it can not only up-regulate a depressed immune system but it can also down-regulate a hyperactive immune system such as seen in autoimmune diseases and allergies, In Japan, reishi is commonly used as part of cancer treatment protocols.
Noni, also known as Morinda citrifolia, is a fruit that has been consumed for thousands of years. Found in tropical countries such as Tahiti and Hawaii, every part of the plant has has been used by indigenous healers. The best noni is to be found growing in volcanic soil.
Top Noni benefits
Pain relieving anti-inflammatory: Noni is 75% as effective as morphine sulfate in relieving most pain. In addition, noni is not addictive. Noni Juice contains a chemical compound called Scopoletin. Scopoletin has anti-inflammatory activity and can be used to treat bronchial illnesses and asthma. It also contains a unique compound called xeronine, which plays a key role in relieving pain. It is believed that xeronine has the ability to help normalize abnormal protein and subsequent cellular function, where pain originates.
Helps you feel good: Noni boosts feel serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter made in the brain that helps us with sleep, calming anxiety, and relieving depression. Serotonin also helps us to deal with stress.
Promotes great skin: Noni contains selenium, a mineral which is important for skin elasticity. Selenoproteins, proteins containing selenium in the form of the amino acid, selenocysteine. Selenoproteins are essential antioxidants, protecting against UV damage and are also necessary to prevent skin abnormalities.
Spirulina is a fresh water microscopic algae. The green color comes from chlorophyll and the blue green color comes from phycocynanin. Spirulina contains 70 % protein (the highest concentration of protein found in any food). This means it’s like eating red meat, only better because the protein is more bioavailable (beef contains 20% protein). Great for people boosting athletic performance. It contains all the essential amino acids, the beneficial omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a liberal dose of minerals, especially iron and magnesium.
Top Spirulina Benefits
Weight loss: As spirulina contains 65% complete protein, is rich in vitamins A (beta-carotene), B1, B2, B6 E and K, potent antioxidants such as chlorophyll and phyococynanin, RNA and DNA, no carbohydrates and no sugar it is very effective at helping promote weight loss when consumed regularly over a period of time. Supplying the body with the nutrients it needs helps suppress the appetite.
Improving Brain performance: Spirulina is rich in GLA (Gamma-Linolenic Acid), found most abundantly in mother’s milk. GLA is converted into a substance known as PGE1 (prostaglandin E1), a hormone-like substance that has a powerful effect on the brain’s performance. When PGE1 levels are low, the inflammatory prostaglandin PGE2 dominates leading to inflammatory conditions. Depression, mood swings and attention deficit conditions may ensue. The blue Phycocynanin enhances the functioning of the brain and nervous system.
Predominant blue pigmentation in food is rare. The chemical reality of spirulina’s blue color is demonstrated by its effect in the brain. Here phycocyanin helps draw together amino acids for neurotransmitter formation, which increases mental capacity.
“Healing With Whole Foods” by Paul Pitchford.
Blood builder and detoxifyer: For people who are vegetarians and are prone to iron deficiency, spirulina can alleviate anemia. Spirulina contains iron (as much as red meat), and chlorophyll (helps build blood). Chlorophyll is also powerful alkalizing cleansing nutrient – great for cleaning out after the New Year’s celebrations. Phycocynanin, the blue-green color in spirulinal has been documented by Chinese scientists as stimulating hematopoiesis (the creation of blood), emulating the affect of the hormone erythropoetin (EPO).
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