Super Foods for a Better Health
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Published by TOP4 Team
Most ‘super foods ‘ deserve their ranking but there are plenty of unsung heroes too.
When it comes to so called ‘super foods’, salmon and blueberries always get top billing. Their nutritional celebrity is well – deserved, but there are other foods that are just as good for you – and better for your budget, too.
‘ Super food ’ is an unofficial category of foods that are particularly high in health benefits – more so than other foods in the same group. For instance, all vegetables are good but broccoli is a standout because of its extra nutrients, such as folate, iron and indoles, which are thought to have a strong anti – cancer effect, and lutein and xeaxanthin, two anti-oxidants that may help prevent macular degeneration as we age .
Here’s the best and most affordable, super foods around:
Oily Fish – Salmon is famous for its heart – friendly omega – 3 fatty acids, which help reduce clotting and keep arteries healthier. Inexpensive canned fish such as sardines and mackerel are good sources too, and have more omega – 3s than tinned tuna.
Berries – Blueberries are rich in anti – oxidants, the food substances that help protect cells against chronic disease. But red delicious apples, raisins and prunes have an even higher anti – oxidant score, some studies indicate.
Broccoli – It has a cancer fighting reputation, and so do its cousins Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and many Asian greens.
Walnuts – One of the few plant foods to provide omega – 3 fatty acids. However, mixing your nuts maximises your range of nutrients – think almonds for extra calcium and brazil nuts for selenium. Eating nuts helps keep cholesterol levels healthy.
Linseed – This substance is high in omega – 3 fats, as well as cholesterol – lowering fibre and lignans (plant hormones that may reduce the risk of some cancers).
Traditional (not instant) Oats – An everyday food that helps lower cholesterol. They have a low GI (glycaemic index) rating, which means they help quell hunger pangs and keep blood sugar levels healthy, too.
Black beans and Red kidney beans – Don’t overlook these excellent and inexpensive sources of anti – oxidants. They’re high in protein, have a low GI rating and help lower cholesterol.
Citrus Fruit – Reach for these for their vitamin C content and the way they offer a range of compounds (some in the zest) that are now being studied for their anti – cancer potential.
Mushrooms – Enjoy their meaty texture and flavour instead of bacon with breakfast. They’ve got B- group vitamins and minerals, plus fibre. Emerging evidence suggests that oyster, shiitake and enoki mushrooms might boost immunity.
Avocado – Like a giant vitamin pill, an avocado provides B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and eye – healthy lutein. Particularly good if you want a healthy spread on your toast.