The term Super-Food is banded about quite liberally these days. It’s a great marketing buzz word, as is ‘Low GI’ and ‘High in Omega Fats’. The food manufacturers are always latching on to new health-related key words to capitalize on the latest health craze. Breakfast cereals are a great example, emblazoned with low-fat banners. Yes, most cereals are low fat but they are packed with sugar and other refined carbs as well as a lot of salt. This is not healthy and will not improve your health or help you lose weight – but they are low fat.
So, Super-Foods – is this just another marketing term to convince you to buy? Well, a food is only really a Super-Food if it offers you what you need. There are certain foods that are really helpful for diabetes and different foods that make a massive different to people with high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
However, there are some foods that have an undisputed health benefit for all who consume them. So, I’ve complied my top 10. There are plenty of obscure, often South American roots, powders, barks and berries that lay claim to phenomenal health benefits, but they are not easily available and they often require quite a bit of imagination to incorporate in to your diet.
So I’ve gone for a couple of less well-known foods but others you’ll be very aware of and I hope this list will inspire you to eat more on a regular basis which is the only way these foods are really going to make a difference to the health of you and your family.
By the way, as I complied this list, giving some info on each, I realised this blog was seriously too long so I’ve broken it up – a few at a time, so come back for the rest 🙂
1. Garlic, onions (esp. red onions) and leeks. These foods contain sulphourous compounds that support liver function and have been shown to offer cancer protection. They also help reduce high blood pressure, reduce unhealthy fats in the blood and are potently anti-viral, fungal and bacterial, garlic being the most potent of the lot (no surprises there, I’m sure – most potent of all when eaten raw).
2. Cruciferous Vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale: all packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants, these veggies contain a phytochemical that offers protection from disease, including cancer, due to their ability to stop our cells mutating.
3. Watercress: although part of the cruciferous family, watercress warrants its own category as a super-food. It has loads of B vitamins, anti-aging vitamin E, tons of fibre and yet more extra-powerful antioxidants particularly one chemical that can block the growth of cancer cells. Recent studies have also shown that watercress can help protect against macular degeneration and cataracts. It is also very low in calories.
Sounds like a big bowl of homemade vegetable soup for lunch – Yes? Add watercress right at the end of cooking to benefit from all its goodness.