Friday 5 August 2011


Some foods provide more value then others in terms of health benefits and these are known as super foods.  They may contain powerful antioxidants or be rich in essential vitamins and minerals. So what are they?

Apples are full of antioxidants and vitamin C which is essential for healthy skin and gums. One apple provides a quarter of your vitamin C daily allowance. Apples can help to keep digestive system healthy and lower blood cholesterol.  It also has a low glycaemia index (GI) type so is broken down slowly in the bloodstream as glucose.

Baked beans
Baked beans contain fibre, protein, calcium and iron. The tomato sauce contains lypocene, a powerful antioxidant that prevents heart disease and prostrate cancer. It is also a low GI carbohydrate. The insoluble fibre within baked beans travels through the body to the large colon where bacteria produce short chain fatty acids that protect the colon from cancer.

Bananas contain vitamin B6 for healthy skin and hair and potassium which lowers blood pressure. They contain  antioxidants which protect cells in the body against damage by free radicals that can cause heart disease and cancer. They are a good source of carbohydrate, providing energy

Brazil nuts
These are high in selenium that may protect against cancer, depression, heart disease and Alzheimer's. Nuts contain essential vitamins, minerals and fibre.  Although fattening, if eaten in small amounts regularly i.e. small handful four times a week.

Broccoli contains sulphoraphane which has cancer fighting properties. It also contains vitamin C and other antioxidants such as lutein which can help against heart disease and can delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration. It is beneficial to pregnant women as it is a good source of the naturally occurring folic acid, folate.

Olive oil
Olive oil contains monsaturated fat which is good for the heart.  This oil contains many antioxidants, and lowers bad cholesterol levels whilst increasing the good levels.

Fish is an excellent source of protein, minerals and vitamins.  Eating oil fish such as salmon can reduce the risk of heart attack.  Salmon contains omega 3 which reduces blood clotting and inflammation. Omega 3 also protects against depression and dementia. 

As little as one cup of tea a day can have beneficial effects. Tea is a source of antioxidants which protect against heart disease and blood clots. The caffeine present with tea stimulates alertness.  Black or green tea is best.

Yogurt is a good source of calcium and has health benefits of the large intestine.  The bacteria Lactobacillus is sometimes added to yogurts reaches the large intestine intact and tops up the friendly bacteria present. These bacteria  fight harmful bacteria.

Wholegrain Seeded Bread
Bread is a good source of fibre which is good for the gut. Breads containing seeds and wholegrain have a low GI value.  These seeds contain essential fatty acids.

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