Benefits of eating ‘superfoods’.

f16

There’s no official definition of a ‘superfood’, but in general terms these superfoods are so-

called because they are foodstuffs which contain large amounts of health-promoting substances

such as antioxidants, polyphenols, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. There are a range of

benefits associated with eating these superfoods which include reducing the risk of chronic disease,

prolonging life, plus there is evidence to suggest that those people who consume more superfoods

than others are both healthier and thinner than those who don’t. So which foods are super?

There are many foods which fall into this category, but the top four are the ones which are

most easily accessible and most often consumed. Let’s start with tomatoes. This fruit (yes, it really is

a fruit, not a vegetable) is full of lycopene; an antioxidant which isn’t often found in other foods.

Lycopene is present in tomatoes whether they are raw or cooked. The benefits of lycopene include

protecting the skin against harmful rays, preventing some cancers and promoting lower cholesterol

levels. Tomatoes also contain lots of potassium, fibre and vitamin C.

Next on the list are blueberries, which are sometimes known as the ‘King’ of the superfood

category. This is because blueberries contain important phytonutrients which work to neutralise free

radicals. These are agents which cause cell damage and aging. Blueberries also contain antioxidants

which protect against cancer and are believed to reduce the effect of some age-related illnesses

such as Alzheimers and dementia. There are lots of ways of incorporating blueberries into your diet,

from eating them on their own, mixing them with yoghurt and baking them in muffins.

The well-known Chinese food staple, black beans, are a surprising entry on the superfood

list. They make the cut by providing 15g of protein per average cup size serving, but without the

artery-clogging, saturated fat which is found in protein-rich meat.

Perhaps the happiest inclusion on the superfood list is the great British favourite – a cup of

tea. This can be green or black tea, both have health benefits, but green tea is particularly special.

Studies have shown that Japanese men who drink green tea regularly have lower cholesterol than

those who don’t. Green tea is also believed to inhibit the development of cancer cells.

And finally, kale. Once loitering in the shadow of its better-known cousin, spinach, kale has

now overtaken due to its production of a type of phytonutrient which stimulates the liver to produce

protective enzymes. These enzymes are shown to be especially effective against breast and ovarian

cancers.

So if you’re planning to give your diet an overhaul, or even if you just want to eat slightly

more healthily, then it is definitely worth looking to incorporate one or more of these foods into

your lifestyle.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s