Five of the best superfoods
Most of us have heard about ‘superfoods’ – foods which are known to be rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, E, and omega-3 fatty acids.
These fruits, nuts and vegetables are said to have several health benefits which include the ability to fight illness, improve the look of skin and even boost your brain power.
So which five ‘superfoods’ should you aim to incorporate into your healthy diet and what are the possible benefits?
Blueberries: These little fruits punch way above their weight when it comes to nutritional benefits being high in flavonoids which are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
They are a good source of vitamin K and C, fibre and manganese, and are said to be able to lower blood pressure and improve memory.
Blueberries are low in calories and high in nutrients and make a great addition to cereal, smoothies and yoghurt.
Pomegranate juice and seeds: Pomegranate and its distinctive ruby-red jewel-like seeds are a good source of fibre and contain vitamins A, C and E, and iron.
The fruit has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and is said to be effective against heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and some cancers, including prostate cancer.
Dieticians say a 150ml glass of pomegranate counts as one of your five-a-day of fruit and vegetables but make sure you choose one without added sugar. You can also scatter the seeds on salads.
Oily fish: Fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are a good source of vitamin D, some B vitamins, protein and selenium as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
Oily fish can help to combat cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, age-related vision loss and dementia and can also keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
At least one portion of oily fish a week is recommended in order to get the full benefits.
Broccoli: A good source of vitamins C, A and K, naturally occurring folic acid, calcium, soluble and insoluble fibre, and beta-carotene.
A member of the family of cruciferous vegetables along with cauliflower, bok choy and cabbage, broccoli contain compounds linked to improving the body’s ability to impede the growth of cancer cells.
It’s a flexible vegetable that works well in salads, stir-fries, curries and soups.
Almonds: Filled with protein, potassium and fibre, almonds help boost energy and are a healthy snack to have in between meals.
Almonds are said to be beneficial in lowering blood sugar levels, reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol.
They can also reduce hunger and promote weight loss. The only thing to remember is that each nut contains six calories so you’ll only need a small handful.
Source: NHS UK