Last week our feature showed you why pollution free food is the best choice- better than even organic! We also gave you comprehensive tips on how to choose your meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables to get the best out of them. Refresh your reading here food lovers.
But we can do much more than just ‘avoiding’ food pollution in forms of toxic chemicals or biological contaminants. Enter Urban Super Foods- they actually help you better “meister” your daily life and fight the downsides of urban life: pollution, stress and lack of sleep.
While you read this, pollution is actually getting worse. Since beginning of 2016, news on air pollution has not been encouraging. We won’t even talk about China and India- their glaring dangerous levels of air pollution are common knowledge already. But what about Europe, where the common perception is that all is good and people are not very concerned! Such complacency is so wrong and dangerous! UrbanMeisters has been reporting in previous articles how the vast majority of Europeans already breathe air that can lead to respiratory problems, heart disease and shortened lives (Source). In a new study, air pollution has even been linked to obesity (Source). And unfortunately, according to a new estimation, a lot of European cities like Paris, Milan, Stuttgart and Warsaw will see an increase in pollution levels far above acceptable limits by 2030 if no serious green measure is taken by governments and the people.
And here is where Urban Super-Foods come in and assist us in this daily fight against pollution. Foods with real superpowers that also help de-tox and de-stress. And to give this short but super guide to you, we invited a healthy and green foods expert to speak with us- Caleigh Megless – Co-founder of KEÏLI.
Spotlight on our food expert Caleigh Megless – Co-founder of KEÏLI
Caleigh is the cool and charismatic co-founder of the brand KEÏLI- the very in-vogue whole-foods caterer in Paris. Access their website HERE. Caleigh and her associate Francois have shown that the impossible is possible as long as it is done with love and passion: their food is mouthwatering, fingerlicking and eycatching, and at the same time healthy and wholesome. Bringing those two nuances together is no mean feat!
At KEÏLI food is much more than simple fuel for the body. For the American-French founder team, food is an experience. Caleigh and Francois offer not just food to their clients but a palliative trip and break from their busy urban lives. The company success is a true modern fairy tale- from the first food truck in Paris to becoming one of the most in-demand catering services offering their food at the most talked about events in fashion and art and also during brunches for Parisians.
Team UrbanMeisters.com fell in love with KEÏLI as we believe in the same thing: healthy, green living can be easy and exciting – even for busy urbanites juggling family, job and friends.
So here are the tips we jointly prepared with KEÏLI on Super Foods:
As we explained in our previous article, even organic food is not safe from pollution as it can enter through water and air. We discovered a sensor that can help check the level of pesticides: MyDx (My Diagnostics) is a portable analyzer that can test chemicals in food. You take a sample of the concerned food and put it in the analyser. The analyser then sends the results to your smart phone with advice on if it’s safe or not. It’s like a portable mini-lab not only for food, but water and air quality too. Inconvenience is that you do need a sample, so it is not a quick scan during your shopping in the supermarket. The technology however seems solid- being used by the NASA. The price is currently at 699$ (Shop here) so we will watch out for more accessible alternatives and keep you posted.
If you are using a similar tool or have heard of something similar the please drop us a line/review here. Your chance to be an Urbanmeister!
2. Urban Super-foods
In general, our food-expert Caleigh advices to get to know your body because people react differently to the same foods. Some people can sleep after a cup of coffee while other people are wired all day. She recommends for busy bees a mostly vegetarian, whole grain diet with lean proteins: “We see food as nourishing, but food can also heal the body after a long busy day of work, pollution and stress. On a polluted planet, we should stay away from commercial foods and too much animal foods. Raw foods, hot teas and fresh fruit are great ways to refresh and rejuvenate. I also use tons of fresh herbs, lots of raw foods, natural soy sauces like tamari, natural sweeteners like banana, coconut and dates. We are what we eat. So, at KEÏLI we care about every ingredient we use. Organic, fresh, living foods carefully prepared daily make the difference. I believe in a healthy balance that refreshes and rejuvenates the body to give that healthy glow!”
Super-foods that protect from air pollution
As often, we discovered during our research that there are not sufficient studies on air pollution, but there are more and more researches connecting a diet rich in antioxidants to improved lung performance. In particular Vitamin C helps to shield lungs from toxins and infections. The latest news come from a research in London where it was found that when air pollution was higher than average, patients with low levels of Vitamin C in their systems were more likely to be hospitalised for chronic lung diseases like asthma. Read more here.
When we hear Vitamin C, most of us see a lemon or orange. But citrus fruits are not the only sources of vitamin C. Actually Acerola Cherry has about 65x the amount of vitamin C than an orange (Source). Also Broccoli is super packed in vitamin C making it one of the best super foods fighting pollution. In a new study that was conducted in one of China’s most polluted areas, it was proven that broccoli also flushes out benzene (Source). Benzene is a known carcinogen and can be found in indoor pollution, e.g. paint thinner, as well as outdoor pollution, e.g. car exhaust.
Detox and purification through foods
With the bad news on air-pollution our lungs need VIP treatment. And there is another super-food that helps give our lungs that special treatment. Can you guess if we tell you it’s one of the most photographed food item on Instagram and still in for home deco in 2016? Pineapple! It has a particular enzyme that naturally detoxes the lung- read more here. It’s the perfect food for the stressed urban as it contains manganese, which according to nutritionists is a natural mood booster. And well who doesn’t like the yum taste!
To neutralise free radical damage caused by air pollution, we also need to look after our liver. Detoxification assists the liver by naturally eliminating toxins and lemon is one of the talented helpers for this liver detox. Furthermore, indoor and outdoor pollution causes acidity in our body (Source). Lemon is one of the best alkalising foods as it contains both citric and ascorbic acids that help maintain the pH levels. We recommend you to squeeze half a lemon into a glass of lukewarm water and drink it daily in the morning on an empty stomach. Adding a pinch of cinnamon powder makes it even more power-packed. Cinnamon accelerates metabolism.
Side note of our expert: weight loss should be an affect of healthy living and not the focus of detoxing.
Calming foods, no more stress
Another the tip from the expert: Matcha tea, a special form of green tea, is super popular as a coffee replacement. Matcha is actually drinking the leaves, which have been finely powdered and made into a solution. It is rich in antioxidant and also relieves stress. You see it has a high levels of a specific amino acid which increase levels of dopamine and serotonin when absorbed in the blood stream- producing feelings of well-being, happiness and relaxation. Read more here.
However, lead contamination is a growing concern. Even organically grown green teas have been shown to contain lead, particularly tea grown in China. Therefore, we recommend drinking no more than one cup daily, and no Matcha for kids, read more here.
Sleepless nights or sleeping bad? Natural desserts like bananas and dates (sugars=carbohydrates) can calm you down before bedtime. Banana in particular can promote sleep by multiple mechanisms:
- It’s a source of melatonin, a sleep hormone. Also it contains potassium and magnesium, which help calm the heartbeat and brain activity and relax muscles.
- Banana increases serotonin levels and thus improves the mood and can promote sleep by relieving depression and other mood disorders.
Starches too are very calming foods: the Japanese make puddings from a super starchy powder called kudzu. Available in health foods stores, it also affects neurotransmitters like serotonin. Caleigh combines kudzu with warm apple juice: “Eat it like a pudding before better. It’s super relaxing.”
Last advice from the expert
« Fermented foods is a hot topic in the wellness world: the gut is immediately linked to our health. At KEÏLI we use them in everything for balance! »
Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation. Natural bacteria create lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids and different probiotics. As urbans appreciate ease and efficacy, this is perfect food for them. Probiotic foods like Kefir and Kombucha introduce good bacteria into our digestive system and also help the balance of bacteria in our digestive system improving health and immunity in general. They also help absorb more of the nutrients in the foods we eat and thus empower us to get more out of it.
So, go out and use those healthy super powers, test various foods and see how your body reacts to identify your own Urban Super-Food. But do not forget to pay attention that the Super-Food you’re choosing is not marred by other demons. Pineapple for example, they’re super loaded and healthy but controversial in terms of human rights violation in farming and sustainability angle. So keep your eyes and ears open and make an informed choice UrbanMeister. For the rest we’re here for you 🙂
Did you know that you can easily grow Pineapples in your home garden? Discover in this short video:
2. COMPLETE PLANT GUIDE BY AIRY
Airy plant pots help plants clean 75% more toxins from air-get their plant guide here
3. NATURAL FOOD SUPPLEMENTS BY FRENCH BRAND
Made in France, natural supplements brand Rue Des Plantes makes organic solutions for our daily urban problems here