SAIMA IBRAHIM (Saima_virgo1@hotmail.com)
Nov 09 - 15, 2009
Super food is a term sometimes used to describe food with high phytonutrient content that may confer health benefits. For example, blueberries are often considered a super food (or super fruit) because they contain significant amounts of antioxidants, anthocyanins, vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber.
EVERYONE NEEDS SUPER FOODS
Super food powerful enough to help you lower your cholesterol, reduces your risk of heart disease and cancer. A healthy diet incorporating a variety of super foods will help you maintain your weight, fight disease, and live longer.
One thing all super food have in common: "Every super food is going to be a 'real' (unprocessed) food. You don't find fortified potato chips in the super food category."
TOP SUPER FOODS OFFERING SUPER HEALTH PROTECTION
- Tea (green or black)
BLUEBERRIES-ANTIOXIDANT SUPER FOOD
Packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, these berries are also high in potassium and vitamin C, making them the top choice of doctors and nutritionists. Not only can they lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, they are also anti-inflammatory.
"Inflammation is a key driver of all chronic diseases, so blueberries have a host of benefits.
When selecting berries, note that the darker they are, the more antioxidants they have. This bluest of berries contains the highest number of antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable. One serving contains as much antioxidants as five servings of carrots, apples, broccoli's or squashes. The blueberry will help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, and degenerative eye disease.
Blueberries are also known to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Best way to buy them is fresh or frozen in bulk. Frozen are just as good as fresh. Be sure to include lots of other fruits and vegetables in your diet as well. Remember too that, in general, the more color they have, the more antioxidants.
Many studies have shown that people who eat plenty of broccoli prevent the development of tumors by 60% and for tumors that did develop it reduced their size by 75 %.
Broccoli also contains more polyphenols than any other common dinner table vegetable. Polyphenols have antioxidant properties and may help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Broccoli also contains indoles, which are very potent estrogen blockers.
Broccoli has general super food abilities such as boosting the immune system, building stronger bones, fighting birth defects and helps to fight off degenerative eye diseases. Many people eat broccoli sprouts as they have about 100 times more of the cancer fighting properties as adult broccoli has.
The farmed salmon we eat are fed on corn and grain and therefore grow up with an inferior health benefits. Salmon oil can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, controls hypertension, controls inflammation, and prevents cancer and degenerative eye disease. Salmon living off a natural diet will produce much better quality oil.
The American Heart Association recommended eating at least two servings of fish a week, particularly fatty fish such as salmon A super food Salmon is a perfect food to substitute meats. It is a good source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.
Walnut is one of the richest plant sources of omega 3 fatty acids. The walnut is also high in plant sterols which will reduce your cholesterol, and they have the ability to keep your blood vessels nice and smooth to ensure good blood flow and thus reducing heart attacks. This nut also has the highest antioxidant properties and is also very high in magnesium and copper.
Super foods walnuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. They are rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and antioxidants such as Vitamin E. Nuts in general are also high in plant sterols and omega 3 fatty acids.
The best type of yogurt to buy is nice plain organic yoghurt with no added sweeteners or preservatives as this type of yoghurt will contain the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) and this is what makes yoghurt a powerful super food.
The beneficial bacteria found in yoghurt work at the gastrointestinal level and deal with problems associated with digestion and help to reduce the number of bad bacteria in your stomach.
Yoghurt is said to help in fighting cancer, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowl syndrome, ulcers and diarrhea.
Tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world after water. Whether it is black tea, green tea or red (oolong) tea, they all contain polyphenols which give tea its antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants may help protect our body from free radical damage. Indeed, tea ranks as high as or higher than many fruits and vegetables in the ORAC score, a score which measures antioxidant potential of plant-based foods.
Tea's polyphenols may reduce risk of gastric, esophageal and skin cancers if one consumes 4 to 6 cups daily it also help prevent blood clotting and lower cholesterol levels.
Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Studies have found that lycopene may help reduce some risk of cancer and heart disease. The most compelling evidence so far is the role of tomatoes in prostate cancer prevention.
Researchers found that the risk of developing prostate cancer, especially aggressive cancer, decreased with increasing blood lycopene levels. Men taking 50 milligrams of lycopene daily had significantly higher level of lycopene. In this study, researchers found that high level of lycopene in the blood was associated with low PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels. High PSA levels in blood are often a sign of prostate cancer.
The humble baked bean is a nutritional powerhouse of protein, fibre, iron and calcium. It contains carbohydrate that, like that in apples, is of the low GI variety. The tomato sauce covering baked beans is also a good source of lycopene, another powerful antioxidant shown to help prevent heart disease and prostate cancer.
The insoluble fibre in baked beans is not digested but moves into the large intestine, or colon, where bacteria act on it and produce short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are thought to nourish the colon lining and protect it from carcinogenic (cancer-causing) invaders.
Omega 3 rich fish-super foods for the heart, joints, and memory Omega-3s are most prevalent in fatty, cold-water fish. It lowers heart disease risk, helps arthritis, and may possibly help in memory loss and Alzheimer's. It reduces depression as well.
Omega 3s are also available in fortified eggs, flax seed, and walnuts. These super foods have the added benefit of being high in monounsaturated fats, which can lower cholesterol.