+ Avocado

Avocados are filled with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which fight against heart disease and help maintain optimal cholesterol levels. Avocados are very high in essential vitamins and minerals, including fiber, vitamin K, B5, B6, and C, folate, and potassium. In fact, one avocado contains twice the potassium of a banana, which helps balance the body’s potassium to sodium ratio. The significant levels of potassium also make avocados a powerful fruit in the fight against hypertension. Potassium is a vasodilator, which relaxes the tension of blood vessels and arteries, reducing the chances of clotting, heart attacks, and strokes. This amazing fruit also enables the body to more efficiently absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein, in other foods eaten in conjunction. Avocados also contain Glutathione, an antioxidant that protects cells from cancer and the dangerous effects of free radicals. The list of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in avocados is extensive—studies have been performed widely on oral, skin, and prostate cancers, and the results show that instead of metastasizing, the organic compounds in avocados cause cancerous cells to undergo apoptosis (automatic cell death).

+ Raw Maple Syrup

The only product in our diet coming directly from a plant’s sap, this natural sweetener features over 63 antioxidants that can help delay or prevent diseases caused by free radicals, such as cancer or diabetes. In addition, maple syrup features high levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus sodium, potassium, and zinc as of well as vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and B6, which keep the heart healthy and boost the immune system. Maple syrup may also help manage Type 2 diabetes. Researchers have discovered that the polyphenols in maple syrup inhibit enzymes that are involved in the conversion of carbohydrate to sugar. In fact, preliminary studies found that maple syrup has a greater enzyme-inhibiting effect compared to several other healthy plant foods such as berries. Maple syrup is low in fructose (about 35%, compared to agave at 89%), which plays a major role in the development of obesity and type II diabetes.

+ Raw Cacao

Raw cacao is a true superfood, extremely high in essential minerals including magnesium, calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese; polyphenols called flavonoids with antioxidant properties; vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, and E; oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat; protein; and fiber. Flavanols, theobromine, and other components found in cacao lower blood pressure and enhance circulation by promoting dilation, strength, and health of blood vessels. The components of cacao work together to improve physical and mental health. For example, theombromine stimulates the central nervous system, relaxes smooth muscles, and dilates blood vessels, giving the body a boost of energy. “Bliss” chemicals found in cacao increase circulation and availability of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, improving mood and combating depression.

+ Coconut

Coconut has been recognized as a top immune booster, antifungal, antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial remedy for thousands of years all over the world. Coconut milk is rich in Vitamins C, E and many B, which boost the immune system, and provide energy to cells. Coconut milk is also high in magnesium, which regulates the heart’s rhythm and supports the function of nerve cells; potassium, which maintains the tissues of the heart, kidneys, brain and muscles; phosphorous, which keeps teeth and bones strong; and iron, which creates red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout the body. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut milk have been shown to kill the three major types of atherogenic organisms -- bacteria that cause plaque formation in the arteries -- that may lead to heart disease. Additionally, coconut’s nutrients fortify and condition skin and hair. The fatty acids in coconut milk are a natural antiseptic and help treat dandruff, skin infections, wounds and dry, itchy skin.

+ Pumpkin

Pumpkins are rich in carotenoids, the compounds that give the gourd their bright orange color, including beta-carotene, which the body converts into a form of vitamin A for eye protection. Pumpkin is also high in potassium, which helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout and keeps muscles functioning at their best. In addition, pumpkin is filled with fiber, vitamin C, and zinc.

+ Guar Gum

So what exactly is this stuff? Just a bean. Guar gum is the powdered form of the guar bean, and ingredient used for thousands of years for its thickening properties. Guar bean contains galactomannan, which acts as a thickening agent, but is also chalk full of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber, including guar gum, may lower your blood cholesterol by reducing cholesterol absorption from your small intestine. Guar gum also slows the rate of starch digestion and glucose absorption following a meal, helping to regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure.