Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Top 5 Exotic Health Foods at Your Local Health Food Shop

As a Californian I'm happy to oblige to the stereotype that I'm a fitness freak. It's sort of like the stereotype that all Asian people are smart or all black guys have big - err you understand what I mean. Even if its not true, who's going to tell you that it isn't? I work at a smoothie shop for cash, and we get a lot of REALLY HEALTHY PEOPLE who come in. And I mean it, people who drink enough carrot juice to turn their skin orange and guys who load their system with enough anti-oxidants to satiate a horse. Well I got to talking with these people and I've compiled a list of the top 5 exotic health foods that you can get at your local health food store.

5. Acai (ah - sigh -ee)
Apparently it looks like a grape when growing on a tree but your local store probably gets it in packets like the one to the right(I apologize for the quality, I had to use a cellphone camera).

Acai is a Brazilian fruit that packs a punch - in bowl, smoothie or juice form. Supplying you with solid energy and these benefits: "

Compared with raw cow milk, Açaí fruit pulp contains:

4 times more energy
3 times more lipids

7 times more carbohydrates
118 times more iron
9 times more vitamin B1
8 times more vitamin C

the same amount of protein and calcium
half as much phosphorus
and even fights cholesterol and free radicals"

The best part is that this fruit can actually taste good when mixed with banana and some granola. Unfortunately, the stuff coming up next is not nearly as nice to your buds.

4. Mangosteen

Mangosteen is a fruit from Asia that took us in the West a while to find. It is loaded with

Vitamin A and C, anti-oxidants and Xanthones.

Well, what's a Xanthone you ask? A Xanthone is a chemical compound found only in Mangosteen.Supposedly, this compound gives you abundant energy and is an apt training supplement.

Some people even reccomend drinking mangosteen in place of a rushed take out or fast food meal since its nutritional values are so full bodied.

3. Goji

Goji fruit comes from China and the Himalayas(the different zones have different looking berries). I don't like the name Goji, I prefer to call them the Fountain of Youth.

You see, Goji berries reduce the rate of cell decay and increase the production of new cells. In effect, they slow down the process of aging. The best part is that there is no possible way to overdose(unlike other health juices) so no worrying abo
ut getting sick!

If that wasn't enough for you Goji also has these benefits:

  • Richest known natural repository of carotenoids of all foods in the world.
  • Contains 19 amino acids and 21 traces of minerals
  • Has more proteins than whole wheat.
  • Large quantities of Vitamin C, Vitamin B and Vitamin E

2. Noni
To be honest I don't consume this one. I tried it. Yeah, I did - and it tasted like some one threw up in my mouth. But stay here because its benefits may outweigh its taste: :

  • "In animal studies, noni juice treatments prolonged the life span of mice by more than 75%."
  • "... Rich source of potassium..."
  • "The active ingredients are polysaccharides found in a polysaccharide-rich substance in the water-soluble fraction of the fruit juice. A novel trisaccharide fatty acid ester was recently identified from the fruits of noni. The fruit also contains the plant acids, hexoic acid and octoic acid, and paraffin."

So, if you can stand the taste it might be good for ya.

1. Wheatgrass(My favorite)

Medically, wheatgrass has been used for chemo patients because they don't have anything better. The anti-oxidants in a one ounce shot of wheatgrass are equal to the anti-oxidants in 2.5lb of leafy vegetables. It contains 13 vitamins, it converts cancer causing free radicals, it has huge amounts of crude chlorophyll, it can father your children - err ok maybe not the last one.

But it was used to restore fertility to sterile cows.

I used to do a double shot of this every morning, there is a man who comes
in and buys 8 oz of it every day - it'll make you feel great. But remember, no matter what Jamba Juice tells you, don't take it with an orange - you might as well just been drinking bad tasting green stuff.

To illustrate the taste we had our friend try some: