Monday, August 16, 2010

5 Super foods

When you eat a varied selection of foods from all the food groups you get visual pleasure, hunger satisfaction and far more than you could ever get from vitamin pills and supplements.

Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals which help the brain to manufacture dopamine – the feel good hormone. Apples are high in antioxidants to protect us against free radicals; they also contain lots of fibre, especially the skin. Apples are said to reduce the risk of diabetes, some cancers, asthma and heart disease. Oranges are probably the best source of Vitamin C – also rich in antioxidants.

Tomatoes, specially when cooked, contain lycopene, which is said to prevent prostate and breast cancers. We eat a lot of tomatoes all the time and my husband finds that this prevents his legs from getting dry and itchy in winter.

Nuts and seeds
Walnuts and almonds are anti-inflammatory. Sunflower seeds, almonds and brazil nuts are rich in protein. Most nuts and seeds contain Vitamin A, all the Bs, C and E and most minerals. All contain zero cholesterol and are rich in unsaturated fats.

Fish, such as salmon and mackerel, contain high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, which help keep the heart in good condition and encourage muscle recovery after exercise. Your body will store less fat when there are Omega 3s available, also the fat you store will be more easily converted to energy.

We should all be eating 5-8 servings of fruit and vegetables every single day. Preferably 8 servings.
Broccoli features high on the list of super foods, but other cruciferous veg are good, too, so have some cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spinach or kale. They all contain cancer fighting chemicals. Dark green leafy veg contain carotenoids which boost the immune system and protect us from harmful ultraviolet rays. Asparagus, carrots, green beans, romaine lettuce green peas and sweet peppers are great sources of Vitamin A and all the Bs, C and minerals.

Come back on Friday for another 5 super foods to boost your health.

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