Thinking about what I would bring to a deserted island, if I could only bring a limited number of items, makes my head hurt. No matter how hard I think, I always come up with a different list, but feel like I am leaving something important out. I think that I have finally managed to get my food list down to the top four foods I would bring. It will take a lot of energy to survive being on a deserted island and these “island survival foods” will meet all of my nutritional needs and keep me at the top of my game! Oh, by the way, it would not hurt any of use to include generous portions of these foods in our diet now, before we head to the island!
I have always loved kale with its ruffled leaves and dark green color. I have not chosen kale because it looks good but rather because it is packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Kale, like other cruciferous vegetables, is relative of the wild cabbage, which originated in Asia Minor. Kale contains one of the highest amounts of health promoting sulfur compounds of any vegetable. These compounds allow the liver to produce enzymes that neutralize toxic substances in the body. Kale also contains carotenoids that protect the lens of the eye.
For calcium and iron, I choose beans. Never mind that silly song about “Beans, beans the more you eat………” Beans are one of the oldest foods known to mankind. They have been an integral part of the human diet for thousands of years. Beans are high in soluble fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates and folate. Not to mention, they taste great and are super easy to store for long periods. No need to worry about shelf life.
Berries rich color, interesting texture and amazing taste make them a favorite fruit of mine. Berries have a high amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber. In fact, one cup of strawberries has over 100 milligrams of vitamin C, which is about as much as a cup of orange juice. The vitamin C will keep my immune system functioning in top order. Berries are loaded with antioxidants, which protect the body from free radical damage. Berries are easy to dehydrate so they will not take up much room in my suitcase.
Most people think that Quinoa is a whole grain, but it is actually a seed from a plant much like spinach or Swiss chard. It has been a staple food for thousands of years for the South American Indians. The Incas and Aztecs thought of Quinoa as a sacred food, often calling it the “mother seed”. Spanish conquerors burned Quinoa fields and made it illegal, but the super food could not be extinguished forever. The nutritional potential of this seed was discovered in the 1989’s by two Americans who began importing it to the United States and growing it in Colorado. Quinoa supplies ample protein that includes all nine of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It is also an essential source of many vital minerals, and a concentrated source of dietary iron, which is needed for energy production and metabolism.
About Susan Patterson
Susan is a Certified Health Coach, Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor, and Master Gardener. With an extensive knowledge of whole foods and wellness, Susan has authored over 3,000 articles and numerous e-books. She presently lives in the mountains of Arizona where she enjoys hiking, biking, gardening and pursuing a healthy and sustainable lifestyle with her three daughters and numerous animals.