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The term 'superfoods' is perhaps a little over-
In nutritional terms a 'superfood' is a nutrient-
An apple a day really can keep the doctor at bay. It is now known that apples contain quercitin, which is one of nature's wonder nutrients. Quercitin is beneficial in many bronchial related conditions, such as allergies and asthma, and it works to reduce inflammation and is also considered to be a natural antihistamine and decongestant. For individuals who live in high pollen count areas, quercitin is extremely advantageous as it limits allergic reactions due to pollen. It also works as an antioxidant, rooting out free radicals within the body that can lead to the development of cancer. Quercitin has also proven to be very beneficial in preventing cataracts, due to its ability to inhibit surges of sugar that cause cataracts. Other benefits of Quercitin include reducing the risk of certain types of cancer and heart attacks. When combined with other vitamins, quercitin provides even further benefits, such as preventing further episodes of gout. Some studies also indicate that quercitin may be beneficial in preventing prostate cancer.
Apples also contain pectin, a soluble fibre that seems to be very effective in lowering levels of blood cholesterol. Pectin also binds to heavy metals in our body, such as lead, and removes them from the gut.
Weight for weight, avocados provide more heart healthy monounsaturated fat, fibre, vitamin E, folic acid and potassium than any other fruit. They are also the number one fruit source of beta-
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-
Last year, the US Department of Agriculture announced that a compound called pterostilbene,
found in blueberries, may help to reduce cholesterol. The substance acts to protect
the heart in the same way as cholesterol-
Researchers found that older rats which were fed the fruit for two months not only navigated mazes faster, but had better balance and coordination skills. Blueberries also contain a phytochemical called ellegic acid, which is widely thought to prevent abnormal cellular changes and so have a role in the prevention of cancers.
Researchers are finding a wealth of healthy compounds in this vegetable, which include
two power anti-
Eggs fell out of favour somewhat in the 80's due to the cholesterol scare, but they've been making a steady comeback and have now been put back firmly in the ranks of the superfoods since the restriction on how many eggs one should eat each week has now been lifted by all the major UK heart and health organisations. A report in March 2010 pointed out that they are a superb source of protein, and provide good levels of iron, zinc, B complex vitamins and selenium. They also contain choline, which is vital for brain function and memory.
Vampires aside, garlic is a great source of vitamin C, potassium, arginine, selenium
and polyphenols. It may look small, but it plays a huge role in our health. It helps
fight cardiovascular disease and cancer, and also has valuable antiviral and anti-
Kiwis are a great source of vitamin C, folate, vitamin E, potassium, fiber, carotenoids,
polyphenols, chlorophyll, glutathione and pectin. Unusually for a fruit, kiwis are
also a source of vitamin E -
At the hear of the heart-
Recent research has also shown that freshly pressed olive oil also contains a compound
with the same pain-
The substance works by inhibiting the activity of cyclooxygenase enzymes, the same
medicinal effect as ibuprofen, which is known as a nonsteroidal anti-
Look for the words “first cold pressed,” which indicate that little heat was used. Heat destroys some of the beneficial compounds, including oleocanthal.
The Journal of National Cancer Institute published a paper stating that onions were the food most strongly associated with lower rates of lung cancer. The sulphur compounds are thought to be responsible for the anti cancer properties of onions. Like apples, they also contain quercetin. The consumption of onions and other alliums like leeks and garlic are also associated with lower rates breast, oesophageal and stomach cancers.
Dubbed ‘The Red Bodyguard’ by pharmacist Ron Levin in the title of his recent book,
this incredible fruit is another wonderfood -
If that wasn't enough, researchers have found that eye disease was less frequent
and less severe in people with antioxidant-
The more tomatoes you eat, the better. Cooking tomatoes is best of all because simmering them along with olive oil makes it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients. One Italian study showed that absorption of lycopene was more than three times greater when consumed as tomato sauce or paste than from raw tomatoes.
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