Super Foods or just Super Healthy Foods?
With the nature of our quick response media we are often exposed to a plethora of nutrition information, some accurate and some not so. The topic of superfoods often raises the eyebrows of those who are nutrition aware, however there is no magic ingredient – superfoods are foods with a unique nutritional composition that have positive health benefits, so, look no further than your local supermarket. You’ll find a wealth of nutritious foods that possess powerful disease fighting and anti-aging vitamins, minerals and beneficial compounds scientists are now looking into.
Here is a list of super healthy foods in no particular order of priority.
- Salmon – Salmon and oily fish like tuna, mackerel, sardines and swordfish are rich in essential omega-3 fats that not only help reduce your risk of heart disease, but can also ease the symptoms of arthritis, delay mental decline and elevate mood in people suffering depression. Start with at least one fish meal a week, aiming for two or three.
- Blueberries – Blueberries and other berries like raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidants that help prevent cancer. Include a handful as one of your two serves of fruit each day.
- Walnuts – Walnuts are packed with a bunch of nutritional goodies, including omega-3s, fibre and the antioxidant vitamin E. They can help cut your cholesterol level and cancer risk. Grab a handful of nuts each day.
- Tomatoes – Tomatoes are one of the best sources of lycopene, an antioxidant that protects against prostate cancer in men. Include fresh tomatoes in sandwiches or salad and add canned tomatoes to recipes.
- Oats – Oats and other wholegrain cereals contain low glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrates that help fill you up and give you sustained energy. Porridge is ideal for breakfast as it also provides soluble fibre that can reduce blood cholesterol levels and is good for your gut health.
- Yoghurt – Yoghurt is highly nutritious with calcium for strong bones, protein for muscle repair and lactobacillus bacteria to help maintain the right intestinal balance. Add yoghurt to your oats or as a between-meal snack to help promote a healthy digestive tract.
- Broccoli – Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower (they have a cross shape in the stalk) are rich in vitamin C, folate and phytochemicals (beneficial plant compounds) that can help prevent a range of cancers. Include broccoli in your five serves of vegetables each day.
- Soy – Soy is another cholesterol-fighting food and a good source of protein. Soy contains phytochemicals that may also reduce cancer risk. For these benefits, add two to three serves of soy to your daily diet from soy milk (250 ml), tofu (100 g) or textured vegetable protein (100 g).
- Kidney beans – Kidneys beans, chickpeas and lentils are packed with soluble fibre to help cut cholesterol. They contain low GI carbohydrate so they also help level out your blood sugars. The protein and iron in beans also makes them a great addition to evening meals and salads.
- Lettuce – Lettuce is the ultimate weight control food. It’s bulky to fill you up, but contains almost no calories. One cup of shredded lettuce has around 5 Cal or 20 kJ. Lettuce varieties, particularly ones with dark green leaves, will also boost your antioxidant intake. Make lettuce an essential item in lunchtime sandwiches and salads.
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