Superfoods: The secret to a new you?

Benefits include weight loss, more energy, clearer skin

Published On: Jul 17 2013 11:00:00 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 17 2013 11:50:51 PM EDT
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -

These days, the latest buzz word in nutrition seems to be superfoods. But what exactly are they? And how can they impact your health?

"You'll notice a difference in your skin, you'll notice a difference certainly in how you feel, your energy level will increase dramatically," says Rik Napoleon, the owner of the Wheat Berry Cafe in Altamonte Springs. His business is a one-stop shop for raw, organic living.

"Superfoods are packed solid, densely full of nutrients," says Napoleon. "They're giving you things that you can't get elsewhere."

But Napoleon says there are misconceptions about what superfoods really are.

Take blueberries. You've probably heard that they're loaded with antioxidants, which can lower your risk of cancer. But stack them up against the superfoods, raw cacao, or raw chocolate, and Napoleon says there's no comparison.

"There's 100 times more antioxidants in raw chocolate than there is in a blueberry," says Napoleon. "You can buy raw chocolate in a paste form, you can buy it in a butter form, you can buy it in the bean itself, and then you can do it in a powdered form."

While you're there, you might also want to check out another powder -- blue green algae.

"They grow in the ocean, in the saltwater, they grow in freshwater," says Napoleon.

He adds that when you put blue green algae up against a healthy vegetable like spinach, this one isn't even close.

"It has 70 times the amount of chlorophyll than spinach would," says Napoleon. That means more energy.

Napoleon also says that when you hit a wall late in the day, skip the coffee and instead go for the superfood, maca root -- also available in a powdered form.

"Good for your working out, after workouts, before workouts, just to increase your energy level throughout the day," says Napoleon.

He also recommends a handful of goji berries every day. They look like dried cranberries, and can improve your mood and brain power.

All of the superfoods are available at places like Whole Foods, GNC, even Walmart.

"They're so dense in nutrition that it's requiring a teaspoon, a tablespoon of this, a teaspoon of that, a quarter cup of this, and it's all you need," says Napoleon. That's why he doesn't want you to be turned off if the price of superfoods is a little higher than what you normally pay for food.

In the end, these things last a lot longer, so the cost evens out.

As for the easiest way to get superfoods into your diet -- Napoleon says you should make a smoothie with those powders before you head to work.