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Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future Paperback – April 28, 2009
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Superfoods are vibrant, nutritionally dense foods that have recently become widely available and which offer tremendous dietary and healing potential. In this lively, illustrated overview, well-known raw-foods guru David Wolfe profiles delicious and incredibly nutritious plant products such as goji berries, hempseed, cacao beans (raw chocolate), maca, spirulina, bee products, and a host of others. As powerful sources of clean protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, good fats and oils, essential fatty and amino acids, and other nutrients, they represent a uniquely promising piece of the nutritional puzzle. Each superfood is described in detail, accompanied by easy and delicious recipes. This accessible guide presents persuasive arguments, based on sound science, for the pivotal role of superfoods in promoting nutritional excellence, health and well-being, beauty enhancement, sustainable agriculture, and the transformation of diet, lifestyle, and planet.
A Q&A with David Wolfe
Question: What are superfoods?
David Wolfe: Superfoods are the greatest foods identified by the greatest civilizations in the history of the world. They are foods that have a whole array of tricks under their sleeve. They are extremely easy to use and agree with a lot of different body types and metabolisms.
Question: What contributions are you making in the world? What are you here to share with us?
David Wolfe: My goal is to make raw foods, superfoods, superherbs, and the best chocolate ever an option for everyone on the planet. I want to make becoming healthy simpler, easier, and more fun than ever before.
Question: Tell us about the goji berry. What is in it? How about the cacao bean? What is in cacao? Isn’t this the food that we make chocolate out of?
David Wolfe: The goji berry is a complete protein source with extraordinary levels of antioxidants, levels of carotenes (according to studies, the more carotenes you eat, the longer you live) which have been shown to be present in primates. The goji berry is easy to eat for people of all ages. It also assists with the digestion of other food. It is considered the number one medicinal herb in Chinese medicine--which has a 5,000 year history of about 8,000 herbs. It improves our ability to secrete HGH naturally and it the only food known to do so.
Cacao has a higher concentration of magnesium, chromium, iron, and antioxidants than any food in the world. Cacao is also exceedingly rich in copper, zinc, and manganese. Cacao contains fat-soluble forms of all of these minerals, which is unusual. Research has proven this food is associated with longevity. The cacao bean is chocolate, chocolate is cacao--you cannot have chocolate without cacao. Basically, chocolate is a nut butter made out of cacao beans. Chocolate contains PEAs, chemicals associated with falling in love, anandamide, the bliss chemical, and theobromine, which improves our cardiovascular health. Contrary to some opinions, cacao is very low in caffeine.
“Is there anyone more passionate, dedicated, or knowledgeable about the tremendous benefits of superfoods to our bodies, minds, and planet? Not likely. Wherever you are in terms of what goes in your mouth, David Wolfe presents a compelling claim to add a little more vitality to your plate.”
—Angela Bassett, actress and author
“A path of visionary nutrition informed by David Wolfe’s book Superfoods will lift body and soul to a higher evolutionary vibration. Raw food and David Wolfe’s guidance have had a transformative power in our lives.”
—Alex and Allyson Grey, artists and co-founders of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors
“David Wolfe has written a brilliant, wisdom-filled, illuminating book that is essential reading for everyone interested in reaching optimal health! Superfoods are indeed the food of the future for a healthier world.”
—Patricia Bragg, N.D., Ph.D., author and health crusader
“David has written the ultimate guidebook to connect us with the superfoods that will transform us into the supernatural beings that we truly all are! … David has inspired divine superfood creations beyond my wildest dreams—and more!”
—Roxanne Klein, world-renowned chef and founder, Roxanne’s Fine Cuisine
“David Wolfe is a nutritionist’s nutritionist. His knowledge in the fields of raw foods, superfoods, herbs, and chocolate are unsurpassed in the world.”
—John Gray, Ph.D., author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
“David Wolfe has become a dedicated expert in the field of living and superfoods. Anything he writes, I personally read and support. I consider David Wolfe’s works on superfoods a must read.”
—Jay Kordich (“The Father of Juicing”), author and entrepreneur
“Nutrition author, expert, and orator David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe continues to be a shining example of Success in America. His knowledge of superfood nutrition will astonish you and give you just that perfect piece of health advice that you have been looking for.”
—Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series
“The knowledge David Wolfe brings us is vital for reaching the ultimate level of health, clarity, and understanding about the power of foods to heal ourselves and the planet. I believe that David, with his wealth of information, is hands-down one of the most important people of this century.”
—Justin BUA, artist and author of The Beat of Urban Art
“David Wolfe’s commitment, not just to humanity but to Mother Earth herself, is second to none. He has discovered the gift of his true purpose and is unabashedly sharing it with the world. The energy of compassion and pure love that he pours into every plant and everyone is the same. I know few people more committed to us all finding our inner joy through the miracle of growing and eating the best food ever and thereby experiencing everyday as The Best Day Ever.”
—Demian Lichtenstein, motion picture producer and director
"Anyone who is ready to experiment with this class of foods can grab this book and get a complete overview of not only what a superfood is, but how one can effectively use them in their personal diet... The information in this book is absolutely complete."
—Raw Food Right Now
"Perhaps in this day and age of snippets and sound bytes we have simply lost the art of listening and deep thought. But David Wolfe is what I'd call a 'thinking man'... his infectious enthusiasm leaves you with that old line from the movie When Harry Met Sally dancing on your tongue...'I'll have what he’s having!'"
—Purely Delicious Magazine
"I’ve been inspired by and learning from David Wolfe for a few years now, and I love his energy. He is so amped up about superfoods! With good reason. This book will show you the world of raw, living superfoods and how you can add them into your life. If you believe, as David Wolfe does, that ‘what you eat becomes you,’ – you’ll love this book."
—Jenny Sansouci, Healthy Crush
“[Superfoods] was like eating a potato chip, I couldn't just stop at one page, or even one chapter! In today's society, trying to eat healthy isn't easy… Fortunately, raw-foods guru and world-renowned nutritionist David Wolfe is here to help guide us to the most powerful foods and best health available.”
“During these challenging times, we really need food to help us, and we really need to eat food that's going to help the planet. David is one of the Superheroes of the Superfood movement. And this book is an amazing tool for transforming your life.”
“In addition to excellent information, each section includes mouth watering recipes ranging from basic to advanced… Superfoods: The Food and Medicine Of The Future is a must read for anyone interested in nutrition and wellness.”
—Gluten Free Gidget
"Superfoods is David Wolfe's manual on the current state of food… of interest to anyone trying to outline their diet plans and choose better natural remedies.”
—Midwest Book Review
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Top Customer Reviews
Within the confines of the 342 pages, each chapter is devoted to a particular superfood. Each chapter also includes the superfood's origin, its place in history, its medicinal purpose, recipes and how to shop for them.
The old adage, "You are what you eat" really comes into play with this book. If you think about it, most (if not all) of the superfoods mentioned in this book have been consumed by human beings for centuries. So why aren't most people eating this stuff nowadays?
Basically superfoods fall into three subcategories; living raw plant foods, superfoods and superherbs. Take one look around and you will see the result of our fast food diet. More and more human beings have become overweight or obese and have been stricken with diseases that could have been avoided with a better and more nutritious diet.
Other topics covered in this book are proteins, minerals, antioxidants, good fats and oils, essential amino acids, glycol nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, co-enzymes, essential fatty acids and polysaccharides.
Wolfe asserts that too many of us live in a state of poor health, lethargy and moderate obesity. We live with back pain, headaches, inflammation, arthritis, cancer, skin problems and insomnia - they're the byproducts of our diet. This book is really designed to detoxify your body and boost your immune system. Nutrition is affected by something called acid - alkaline. With a poor diet, our bodies become a breeding ground for disease causing microbes and organisms. High acidity is usually the primary cause of being overweight because our body will store excess acids in the fat tissue which leads to cellulite and weight gain. Wolfe also asserts that when you introduce superfoods into your body, your energy level, your sex drive and stamina and your focus will improve.
I'll now give you an idea what each chapter is all about.
Chapter 1 - Goji Berries
a.k.a. Wolf berries, boxthorn, matrimony vine, and Desert Thorn
The author refers to Goji Berries (an adaptogen that aids in internal organ health) as the fountain of youth. Goji berries are most often grown in Asia but have recently been growing in North and Central America. The Chinese strongly believe that this fruit can significantly extend your life. Apparently there is a Chinese legend that speaks of a man (Li Qing Yuen) who lived to the age of 252 years from 1678 to 1930. He consumed Goji berries daily - whole or in his tea. It is also rumored that Native Americans regarded the Goji berries as an important food source. Tribes often spoke of astounding strength, agility and longevity due to a diet rich in Goji berries. The author also asserts that Goji berries will enhance her libido and sexual stamina by increasing HGH production which then facilitates an increase in testosterone production. Goji berries are also great antioxidants, they improve vision, it's an immune system booster, helps with hydration, it supports brain and neurological health, supports cardiovascular health, and it keeps vital organs healthy.
Chapter 2 - Cacao
Basically it's a chocolate nut. The Cacao bean has always been and will always be Nature's #1 weight loss and high-energy food. It's a great antioxidant that includes magnesium, iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin C, omega six fatty acids and the amino acid tryptophan.
Chapter 3 - Maca
"Andes Aphrodisiac" and Peruvian Ginseng
Maca is usually grown at an altitude between 9,000 and 10,000 feet and is considered the highest altitude crop on Earth. The Incas ate Maca Root over 2,600 years ago. It's known to improve the following conditions: anemia, chronic fatigue, depression, and fertility and sterility in humans and livestock, lack of libido, malnutrition, menopausal symptoms, menstrual discomfort and disorders, poor memory, stomach cancer, stress tension, and tuberculosis. Walker is also known to have quite the aphrodisiac quality the author calls it nature's answer to Viagra. One of the main reasons I bought Maca Root powder to help diminish wife's hot flashes.
Chapter 4 - Bee Products
Including honey, pollen, Royal jelly and propolis
Bee Pollen is the most complete superfood found in nature. Honey can be used topically to heal wounds and it will also has anti-biotic effects on anthrax, diphtheria, urinary tract infections, sinusitis, animal bites, pneumonia, tuberculosis, typhoid, dysentery, boils, impetigo, tooth decay, scarlet fever, sore throat and cholera to name a few. Royal Jelly is the combination of pollen and honey while propolis (meaning - "for the city") is the waxy substance that seals the hive and has a long history of medicinal, herbal and alchemical uses.
Chapter 5 - Spirulina
the protein queen
(Tecuitlatl (Aztec), Dihe (African)
Here's an ancient blue-green spiral algae that comes in more than 35 varieties and grows in freshwater lakes and waterways. Ancient civilizations consumed Sprulina for its nutrients including chlorophyll, protein, vitamins, major minerals, essential fatty acids, nucleic acids, polysaccharides and a myriad of antioxidants. It's also known to aid in healthy brain chemistry and is also an immune booster. Spirulina has as much iron as red meat.
Chapter 6 - AFA super blue-green algae
the primordial food
At least forty thousand species of microalgae phytoplankton exists. Fossil evidence indicates that they were the first organisms on Earth and are responsible for 80-90% of the planet's overall food and oxygen supply. Basically, it's a more potent version of Spirulina.
Chapter 7 - Marine Phytoplankton
the basis of all life
Improved detoxification, more loss of weight, improved memory, feeling stronger, more normal blood sugar, fewer food cravings, improved concentration, faster nervous system repair, better sleep, improved digestion, improved eyesight and better sex can all be achieved with this superfood.
Chapter 8 - Aloe Vera
Essene and Egyptian secret of immortality
Aside from treating the skin for burns, insect bites/stings, poison ivy/oak and athlete's foot, the gel of raw Aloe Vera contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, sterols, lignins and poly saccharides. Aloe cuts and dissolves mucous in the intestines which helps increase nutrient absorption. It also reduces inflammation, radiation sickness, cancer, heart disease and helps control blood sugar. It's also an "adaptogen" which helps keep internal organs healthy.
Chapter 9 - Hempseed
superfood of the future
You say hemp, we say Marijuana. It's actually a close relative to Marijuana with much less THC. Hemp's been around for centuries - Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew hemp on their property. It's packed with 33 - 37% protein, it's one of nature's richest sources of complete protein.
Chapter 10 - Coconuts
the symbol of paradise
This pre-historic plant is very salt-tolerant which explains why they can grow right next to the ocean. In Sanskrit (Ancient India's language) coconut trees are known as "the tree that supplies all that is needed to live." Fresh coconut flesh, coconut water, coconut oil or coconut cream can save your life. It has one of the highest sources of electrolytes found in nature. Coconut water is nearly identical to human plasma and soldiers were known to have used it as emergency plasma for injured soldiers! Benefits include improved digestion, boosting the immune system and it can improve the utilization of blood sugar and that can lessen the symptoms of hypoglycemia.
Wolfe gives honorable mentions to Acai, Camu Camu berries, Chlorella, Inca berries, Kelp, Noni and Yacon. He does include their benefits as well.
At first, I was annoyed by the book because it seemed like it was all about the author. Once I started reading the book, it became quite clear that it's all about our diets and how these superfoods can and will enhance our lives. I found the book to be quite informative and each of the 10 superfoods got a detailed history and use - with interesting recipes. If not for the annoying albeit plentiful pictures, this would be a 5-star book and wonderful as a reference guide and smoothie cookbook. After all, David Wolfe is the TV spokesperson for the NutriBullet.
Of the top ten superfoods llisted above, I currently use six of them in my smoothies. I will delve into the "honorable mentioned" as well. Funny thing, after reading this book, I've Googled where the Farmer's Markets are in my neighborhood and plan to visit them a lot more often than my usual supermarkets.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in making dietary changes for better health. There really is a science to superfoods and superherbs... most of which can and WILL save and/or improve your life.
The author closes with a page on "How to Order Superfoods" - basically he asks that you visit the links via his website (davidwolfe.com) so that it will help support continued research by the author.
Health is Wealth!
NOTE: I wrote this review for Epinions.com as well.