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Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future

by David Wolfe

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11211240,318 (3.85)None
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.… (more)
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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
David Wolfe expertly highlights 10 super foods, their chemical make-up, their origins and benefits, as well as an 'honorable mention' of lesser known ones. The book includes recipes and resources; the appendices are comprised of their nutritional information and scientific references. Overall a great reference for the paleolithic dieter and/or vegetarian but in practice some of the foods are hard to come by. ( )
  RoyalScatterBrain | Dec 31, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Oh, my- it has taken me years to get around to thins book. I will say that while this book is interesting, I think the jury is still out on most of the information and that it should be taken with a grain (or two) of salt- no pun intended. I do not see a whole lot of citations for current research into the validity of the claims and that is a bit worrisome to me. Also the difficulty to come by many of the items leads me to believe that only the people that shout from the rooftops about the awesome super powers of these foods are the "crunchy granola" folks. I think all foods have merits and what we all (as humans) need to do is eat a variety of foods from as many places as we can- vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or omnivore- the more variation we have the healthier we shall be.
This is a great reference book for the items discussed and gives plenty of room for thought and consideration, but I do not see it as a bible for health "eat a goji berry and you will live forever and be a sexual dynamite". More like a travel guide of places to visit and the highlights of things to see and why. Then you can do the research and decide for yourself- but it is a great starting point for that further research.
I gave 2 stars, because while a useful reference, the recipes are too full of hard to find (you can mail order from someplace and wait 2 weeks) ingredients- rendering them virtually useless. they might be fantastic, but I am not going to order and pay shipping to see if a recipe is a "keeper". And secondly because of the lack of complete information on possible contrary opinions. (i.e. Soy was a miracle food, until it was put into EVERYTHING and the over saturation was causing thyroid complications in some people). ( )
  abinanaaa | Sep 28, 2012 |
This is an extremely important book for all of us who wish to live in a state of optimal health. And surely we all wish that!

It introduced me to the concept of superfoods and I have now begun to include more of them in my diet. (I’d already been using coconut products and Spirulina, without knowing they were actually “superfoods”.) This is contributing to my physical and in fact total transformation.

David’s top 10 superfoods are as follows: Goji berries, Cacao (raw chocolate), Maca, Bee products, Spirulina, AFA Super Blue-Green Algae, Marine phytoplankton, Aloe Vera, Hempseed and Coconuts.

Additionally, seven products which he awards “Honourable Mentions” are Acai (pronounced ah-SAH’ee), Camu Camu Berries, Chlorella, Incan Berries, Kelp, Noni and Yacon.

Superfoods comprise foods that have a dozen or more unique properties. They are both a food and a medicine – they are “a class of the most potent, super-concentrated, and nutrient-rich foods on the planet”.

Below I will indicate only a few of the most important attributes of each superfood.

1) Goji berries. These are some of the highest antioxidant –containing foods in the world. They contain polysaccharides, that fortify the immune system. There is evidence that they increase longevity. They have anti-inflammatory properties and enhance libido and sexual function.
2) Cacao (raw chocolate). I had heard that dark chocolate was health-giving, but hadn’t dreamt that it was a superfood. Cacao beans contain no sugar, and cacao is one of the great weight loss foods owing to its content of minerals and PEA (Phenylethylamine) molecules that shut off appetite (surprise, surprise!).
3) Maca. This is a member of the cruciferous family of plants that includes broccoli and cauliflower. It is grown for its root, and has been cultivated in the Peruvian Andes for over 2000 years. Maca is a powerful adaptogen which has the ability to stabilize the body’s “glandular-hormonal system, nervous system, cardiovascular system and musculature”. It is known to improve innumerable disorders and has aphrodisiac qualities,
4) Bee products. These include honey, pollen, royal jelly and propolis. These various products have also been known to relieve or cure innumerable disorders.
5) Spirulina. This belongs to a class of single-celled, blue-green algae, and contains “an astounding array of nutrients”, including chlorophyll, protein, vitamins, etc. etc. It consists of 65-71 percent protein, which is the highest concentration of protein found in any food. It is “a powerful tonic” for the immune system, and is the only green food rich in the essential fatty acid GLA (Gamma-linolenic acid).
6)AFA Super Blue-Green Algae. These algae (Alphanizomenon flos-aquae) are a type of wild blue-green algae that live in Klamath Lake, the largest lake in Oregon. They contain even more minerals, chlorophyll, phycocyanin, Vitamin C and essential fatty acids than Spirulina. The product is “one of the most digestible and utilizable protein foods in all of nature”. It is filled with chlorophyll and contains 40 major and trace minerals. AFA is a wild food, and the author states that the key solution to mineral deficiencies appears to be incorporating wild foods into our diet.
7)Marine phytoplankton. These are the smallest plant organisms found on Earth. Marine phytoplankton forms the basis of the Earth’s food chain. It is the best “plant-based source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids” and “a natural source of wide-spectrum, plant-based vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, polysaccharides, and protein”. It is an ideal detoxification tool, helps you lose excess weight, improves memory, normalizes blood sugar, etc. etc.
8)Aloe Vera. The gel of raw aloe vera helps alleviate all sorts of digestive problems and is effective at killing yeast (Candida), It reduces inflammation, radiation sickness, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
9)Hempseed. Hemp is “one of the most nutritious food sources on the planet”. It contains all the essential amino and fatty acids. It is one of the few seeds that contain chlorophyll.
10)Coconuts. Coconut products can “save your life”. They improve digestion and contain antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial fatty acids. The saturated fat in coconut oil is in the form of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which support the immune system, the thyroid gland, nervous system, etc. Coconut water is wonderful for rehydration. (I myself drink coconut water every day without fail, and it removes all symptoms of the Crohn’s disease from which I suffer – and I use only coconut oil for cooking.)

Due to lack of space I will not go into the properties of the seven excellent products given an “Honourable Mention” by David.

This wonderful book has been an absolute eye-opener for me. It has introduced me to Goji berries, the amazing properties of Cacao, Maca, the healing properties of bee products and above all AFA blue-green algae and marine phytoplankton, which I feel to be the most powerful of the superfoods and which I hope will help me the most with detoxification and healing.

David presents an extremely informational overview of all aspects of the various superfoods, including historical, biological and other scientific facts, the benefits of each food, its healing properties, its nutrient contents specified in detail, how to use the products, what types to look for, recommended dosages and pages and pages of appetizing recipes. The book includes innumerable beautiful photos.

It is an amazing, invaluable and beautiful handbook. It is extremely well-written except for a few problems as regards whether the word “algae” is in singular or plural form. It is actually a plural form (“alga” is the singular form), but he uses it as both.

The book contains extremely detailed, informative and invaluable appendices listing the exact nutritional content of all the mentioned products and references to scientific studies. I found the quality of the book to be excellent.

I also applaud David for helping the public to gain access to these products – he is contributing to our health and longevity in innumerable ways! I look forward to reading his coming book on super herbs. ( )
  IonaS | Jul 17, 2012 |
David Wolfe has been in the forefront of the raw food movement of decades. He specializes in alkaline/acid balance.
  rockinchair | Apr 10, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as a Library Thing advance reader copy (even though it appears to be a final copy). I found the information interesting and helpful, but didn't actually try any of the recipes because, as others have mentioned, the items are difficult to find, and outside of my budget to order online.

I think this book would be worthwhile for a foodie with access to the Superfoods. Maybe someday this will be possible for everyone. ( )
  Electablue | Jan 19, 2010 |
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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.

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