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If you are having trouble getting your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, don’t despair. There are many nutritionally dense foods that can come to your rescue. These foods are often called ‘super foods’ because they are packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Our bodies need vitamins and minerals to function and to stay healthy. By adding these super foods to a meal you can fill up on your fruit and veg portions in half the time.
Super foods have more vitamins and minerals than an average fruit or vegetable of the same size. In reality, super foods aren’t as exotic as you may think. Instead, they are regular fruit and vegetables, all readily available at any supermarket. You just need to know which are the true ‘super’ ones. Add them to any meal and you can significantly boost the nutritional content.
The super foods that we are listing in this article have an abundance of antioxidants. Antioxidants are a necessary part of the bodies own defence system. Antioxidants cancel out free radicals (unpaired electrons) that are causing damage to surrounding cells.
As an example, Vitamin C sacrifices itself to counteract the destruction caused by free radicals. The only problem is we cannot produce Vitamin C ourselves, so we have to get it from sources outside the body. It is vital that we replenish it on a regular basis. As we get older, our free radical defence system doesn’t work as effectively and extra Vitamin C is needed. So, if you can stock up on those super foods your body will thank you for it.
Here is the important SUPER FOODS list…
Goji berries – These wonderful berries have a high antioxidant level. Goji berries are said to improve, among other things, vision, complexion and circulation.
Ginger – Ginger is a powerful antioxidant. Scientists are investigating the idea that ginger aids in blood vessel balance.
Manuka honey – Manuka honey has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. These are said to be much higher in Manuka honey. Hydrogen peroxide is added to all honey by bees but in Manuka honey the bees add another substance. This substance has been called the Manuka Factor. A UMF of 10+ is recommended.
Red grapes – It has been proved that red grapes lower LDL blood cholesterol and prevent blood clots. For Grapeseed extract click here.
Cocoa – A great source of cocoa is dark chocolate. Choose a dark chocolate with a 70% or higher cocoa content. Don’t think that milk chocolate will do, it has to be dark.
Green Leafy vegetables – spinach or kale. A true super food. Jam packed full of vitamins.
Green tea – Through its processing it has held onto more of the nutrients from the plant.
Broccoli – Broccoli contains antioxidants including vitamin C but it is also a great source of naturally occurring folic acid. Folic acid isn’t just for pregnant women. It is thought that increasing your levels of folic acid may prevent heart disease.
Flaxseed – Flaxseed is high in the b vitamins, it’s a super grain that leaves all the others in the shade. This grain is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids and has a high fibre content.
Avocado – Avocados are full of B vitamins and folic acid. They are known as nutrient enhancers. When avocados are eaten with other nutrient rich foods they help the body absorb those nutrients. They also help lower cholesterol levels and are a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids.
Sweet potatoes – Sweet potatoes are high in fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, manganese and potassium.
Tomatoes – Tomatoes are a great immune system booster. Many studies have claimed there are many health benefits to be gained from eating this super food. One of which is a reduced risk of heart disease.
Natural yogurt – This super food has probiotic cultures. These are said to keep the intestines healthy and in addition they boost the immune system.
Garlic – Garlic can help protect against heart disease by thinning the blood and helping to lower cholesterol.
Blueberries – Blueberries have one of the highest levels of antioxidants. If there is one super food that you should add to your diet, blueberries should be it.
Nuts – Nuts are full of nutrients. Nuts have fibre, calcium, protein, vitamin E, iron, magnesium and selenium.
Peppers – All peppers contain compounds called capsaicinoids. These capsaicinoids are said to have anti-inflammatory effects and are said to be great for your heart.
Acai berries– Acai berries are packed full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids.
Kiwis – This fruit is rich in vitamin C and Vitamin E.
Quinoa – Quinoa is high in protein and includes all nine essential amino acids.