Written by Super Ambassador Dr. Alexia Harris, B.Sc., ND
With our increasingly busy lives, it is no surprise that our society has become dependent on stimulants to keep us going, and sleeping pills to shut off our busy minds at night. The human body is so brilliant that it was designed to adapt to short-term stress. However, the problem is that most of society is struggling to keep up with the high demands of these challenging times, which is putting the body in a state of chronic long-term stress. Chronic stress combined with lack of sleep–often a side effect of stress that many of us deal with–plays havoc on the body in many ways. On top of that, we are constantly bombarded by toxins and environmental chemicals which causes one of the most damaging processes in the body known as oxidative stress.
The antioxidant defense mechanism
Oxidative stress occurs when damaging molecules, known as free radicals or reactive oxygen species (ROS), are produced in the body as a result of both normal and pathological biochemical processes. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage or “oxidize” cells in the body by reacting with them through a process known as oxidation. The body has natural defense mechanisms in place in order to reverse a lot of this damage by producing antioxidant molecules. However, excessive oxidation over time can overwhelm the body’s antioxidant systems, and as a result, cells and tissues begin to lose their function which has a detrimental effect on our health.
One of the most important ways to support the body’s natural antioxidant systems is to take an external source of antioxidants on a daily basis, whether from the diet or through supplementation. Eating a diet rich in vibrant colored fruits and vegetables, especially dark purple and red foods such as berries, is an excellent way to provide the body with a good dose of antioxidants. However, some of best sources of antioxidants come from a category of foods, known as “superfoods”, that have been shown to possess an incredible nutrient profile with extremely high levels of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.
Super Maqui Plus™... Latte?
I have recently discovered the benefits of the amazing antioxidant-rich maqui berry. This superfood is gaining more popularity amongst health enthusiasts as it is considered to be one of the richest sources of antioxidants. It is well known for its vibrant purple pigment, which comes from the delphinidins, a subclass of anthocyanins, which have very potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. What I love about Super Maqui Plus™ is that it has a neutral taste and can be added to any food or drink, providing a stunning color and a mega dose of nutrients!
A great way to get antioxidants into your diet is by adding superfood powders to blended drinks, such as smoothies, shakes and hot drinks. There are tons of recipes and superfood powders available these days that are marketed as coffee boosters, or as healthy stimulants to get your day started with a kick! However, superfoods like Super Maqui Plus™ can also be used to calm and nourish the body at the end of the day. One thing I have been working on lately is creating recipes for nourishing, caffeine-free, superfood hot drinks to help with relaxation, sleep, anxiety, and insomnia.
Here is one of my recipes for a comforting latte using the antioxidant-rich Super Maqui Plus™ that’ll help you wind down at the end of the day.
Relaxing Super Maqui™ Latte:
- 1 tsp passion flower (optional)
- 1 tsp lavender flowers (optional)
Steep in 1.5 cups boiling water for 15 minutes Pour tea into a blender and add:
- 1 cup almond mylk or any milk/mylk of your preference
- 1 opened capsule of Super Maqui Plus™
- ¼ tsp lavender flowers (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp honey
Blend on high until warm and frothy. Garnish with a few dried lavender flowers and dust with a pinch of Super Maqui Plus™ with Delphinol® powder from one capsule!
When it comes to sleep problems, prescription or over-the-counter sleeping pills are not the only options! There are many herbal alternatives available to help promote deep restorative sleep without the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Two herbs that are commonly used for their gentle sedative and hypnotic actions to treat insomnia and disturbed sleeping patterns include passion flower and lavender. Add these optional ingredients and follow the steps above for a quality, calming latte.
Dr. Alexia Harris is a licensed naturopathic physician practicing at Sage Clinic in Yaletown and Tandem Clinic in Vancouver, BC. She has a general practice with a special focus on digestive health, detoxification, weight management, allergies, hormone balancing and skin health. Her work is all about guiding her patients to discover our bodies' incredible healing potential by removing any obstacles to health, detoxifying and nourishing the body, and supporting the body-mind and spirit. Her goal is to educate and empower her patients to take charge of their own health so they can start feeling better and experience optimal wellbeing. Follow her Instagram: @dralexiaharris