A to Z of Superfoods

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Healthy Eating

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Did you know that making sure you eat your ‘5 a day’ not only helps you stay healthy, but also can help you shed pounds. Most superfoods are not only low in calories, but also help you stay fuller for longer.

Take inspiration from the A-M below, not just fruit and vegetables, but a few surprises along the way. Keep an eye out for the second half of our blog post, N-Z, coming soon ...

 

Avocado, a great source of monounsaturated fat, can help reduce cholesterol levels as well as decrease the risk of heart disease and aid brain function. Packed with vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, and vitamin B6 to promote healthy skin. Though, Avocados are fairly high in calories so try not to overdo them.

B

Blueberries are filled with potent antioxidants such as anthocyanins, which give them their bold color, and ellagic acid, which appears to help the body fight carcinogens and interfere with the reproduction of cancer cells. Blueberries may help lower the risk of breast, bladder, oesophagus, skin and lung cancers.

C

Chai – a relatively newcomer to the UK but Hollywood A-Listers have been raving about these tiny seeds for many years. Filled with Omega 3 (as found in oily fish) plus Vitamins A, B, E and D along with calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, niacin, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulphur, thiamine and zinc! How’d have thought such a tiny seed could contain so much.

D

Dark chocolate – now don’t get too excited, we are not suggesting for a minute that you can eat a large bar of chocolate, 3 times a day, but 2 squares (25g) per day, good quality, unprocessed 70% cocoa solids chocolate is filled with protective flavonoids and stimulants like caffeine it helps maintain focus and concentration, stimulates feel good endorphins and improves blood flow to the brain. Go on treat yourself!

E

Eggs – the yolk is a source of choline, important for brain development, memory and reasoning. Eggs also contain vitamin D which helps to alleviate depression. Some hens are also fed a diet enrich with Omega 3 meaning their eggs contain brain-friendly DHA.

F

Flax seeds - is the best plant source for a type of omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). It also contains soluble fibre and plant oestrogens called lignan which mimic the action of oestrogen in the body. Flaxseed may improve heart health by lowering blood pressure, inflammation, and blood triglyceride levels and helping to prevent clot formation in arteries. Some studies suggest it may also reduce the risk of some cancers.

G

Grapefruit - an excellent source of vitamin C, which is essential for healthy teeth, gums and blood vessels and improves iron absorption and immune function. The pink varieties contain lycopene, a phytonutrient believed to have anti-tumour properties. Grapefruit juice has one of the highest antioxidant activity levels found in fruit juices. Components in the juice may enhance the absorption of some prescription drugs, please check with your GP before consumption.

H

Herrings – filled with iron, zinc, and calcium. Herrings also contains more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than most other fish, including salmon. The omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish such as herring lowers triglycerides and reduces the risk of heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms and strokes in people with known cardiovascular disease. It also helps slow the build up of plaques in arteries and lowers blood pressure slightly.

I

Iceberg Lettuce – I know we’re cheating a bit here!  But half a head of iceberg lettuce has significantly more alpha-carotene, a powerful disease-fighting antioxidant, than either romaine lettuce or spinach.


J

Jalapeno peppers – packed with capsaicin, a compound found in spicy peppers that’s credited with speeding up metabolism and suppressing appetite. This magical compound also increases fat oxidation (so the body can more easily use fat as fuel).

K

Kiwi fruit – 2 fruits contain 243% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C. Kiwi fruits are also a fantastic source of folate, which is essential for overall cell health. Some studies suggest it may even reduce the risk of heart disease and colon cancer.

L

Lemon - it’s no secret that citrus fruits — like the mighty lemon and lime — are packed with vitamin C, which is essential for the body to produce collagen, which helps keep blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bones healthy and strong. Plus, they’re filled with the antioxidants known as flavonoids, which may help reduce risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, and fight some cancers.

M

Melon - not the average treat. Instead of sugar, it's filled with nutrients like vitamins A and C. It also packs a big dose of the amino acid citrulline, which helps the body produce yet another amino acid called arginine. Eating melon has been shown to raise the body's arginine levels and could potentially lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Arginine is also important in cell division, allowing the body to properly heal itself and create new tissue.