ALFALFA: In Arabic, meaning “Father of all Foods.” This amazing plant’s lifespan is over 20 years and has a root system of 50-100 feet below the soil! It’s loaded with micronutrients vitamins A, C, E, and K4 and the entire spectrum of B vitamins; and minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and iron. The ancient Greeks used it to treat bladder, kidney and prostate conditions to increase urine flow. In our modern society, alfalfa is a powerhouse herb known to:

  • Detox and tonify the liver
  • Reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure
  • Strengthen immune system, aiding in relieving respiratory tract problems
  • Relieve inflammation caused from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Purify the blood: helpful for acne sufferers and revitalizes dry skin
  • Heal stomach and intestinal disorders
  • Bind toxins in the colon
  • Aid in the digestion of proteins, fats and carbs
  • Ease morning sickness
  • Reverse tooth decay by remineralizing teeth

Alfalfa is available as fresh sprouted which are high in protein. Supplements come in liquid chlorophyll, extract, capsules or tablets. Since 2015, the U.S. has become the largest grower of alfalfa next to Argentina, with 22,000,000 acres. However, 99% of the U.S. crop is genetically modified plant (GMO)! Be aware to purchase from a company that is organic or GMO-free. Always consult with your doctor

KALE: called the “King of Greens” and a member of the cabbage family. Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It’s valued for vitamins A, K, C, B’s and the minerals manganese, calcium, magnesium, copper, potassium, iron and phosphorus. Some health benefits from kale are:

  • Antidepressant because of the magnesium and abundance of vitamin B’s that calm the central nervous system
  • Increases the bile acid binding effect, making kale a powerful cholesterol-lowering food
  • Bone health; a good source of calcium and magnesium. Magnesium, an incredibly important mineral that most people don’t get enough of, also increases the absorption of calcium!
  • Lowers the risk of heart disease because of a high content of potassium
  • Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation helping to ease lung congestion
  • Rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, minerals linked to greatly lowered risk of macular degeneration and cataracts
  • Weight-loss food because it coincides with The nofad Weight Loss program’s philosophy that you need more nutrition, not more food!

Steam cook kale for the best health benefits.

CINNAMON: One of the most potent spices in our cabinet. Cinnamon has ancient roots in both Eastern and Western medicine recorded as far back as 2,000 BC. Cinnamon was prized as a preservative and as an anointing oil. Cinnamaldehyde is the botanical compound found in the oily bark of the cinnamomum tree that gives cinnamon its delicious aroma and taste. A study found that people who smelled cinnamon performed better at tasks involving attention, virtual memory recognition, working memory and visual-motor response speed. The other benefits of the powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property in cinnamon are:

  • Anti-aging because it reduces the amount of damage to the cell structures in the brain
  • Lessens inflammation in our digestive tract by damaging the cell membrane of deadly infections like E. coli and Staph Aureus
  • Anti-fungal directly affecting Candida cells
  • Ward-off respiratory infections
  • Help stop bad breath, strains of bacteria that cause dental cavities and mouth sores
  • Improves insulin and balances out blood sugar levels
  • Decreases the amount of nitrous oxide in muscles which leads to lower levels of inflammation
  • Binds damaging bile salts that cause gallbladder discomfort
  • Reduces levels of bad cholesterol while stabilizing good cholesterol
  • Increases the body’s ability to heal damaged tissue, including the heart tissue!

Cinnamon bought in our local stores is Cassia or Chinese cinnamon, cultivated in China. Look for the “true” cinnamon called Ceylon (pronounced “see lone”), that comes from Cinnamomum verum or Cinnamomum zeylanicum trees grown in Sri Lanka, an island nation located in the Indian Ocean that was known as Ceylon until 1972. Ceylon cinnamon has the most cinnamaldehyde, the botanical property studied for its health benefits. Grate Ceylon cinnamon sticks for the most health benefit and sprinkle on cereals (replacing sugar quantity!), French toast, fresh apples. You can buy bulk online from reputable companies but check their harvest dates. Studies revealed 2 tsp. daily to be safe for medicinal purposes. Always consult with your doctor. Also available in capsule, liquid gel cap, tincture and essential oil. Buy essential oil from a reputable company that clarifies it can be ingested and put a drop into your morning coffee instead of sugar!

This is the thing… regardless of clean eating, 68% of American adults don’t meet the RDA of life-sustaining vitamins and minerals. Eat superfoods to live a superlife!

Gerri Gatto, author of The nofad Weight Loss program