Superfoods are everyday foods that have been found to contain large doses of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Whilst the scientific evidence is still inconclusive, eating them certainly contributes to an overall healthier lifestyle and it is generally believed they may well reduce the risk of chronic disease and cancers.
A study in 2012 of 93,000 women, found that participants who ate three or more portions of blueberries and strawberries a week had a 32% lower risk of a heart attack compared with those who ate berries once a month or less.
Blueberries are full of phytonutrients that neutralize free radicals, the agents thought to cause ageing and cell damage. The antioxidants in these berries may also protect against cancers and reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia.
Known as a cruciferous vegetable, broccoli contains phytonutrients that may suppress the growth of tumours and reduce cancer risk generally. Just one portion will supplies us with our daily dose of vitamin C and a large percentage of folic acid.
Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which the body cannot produce by itself. These fatty acids reduce inflammation, improve circulation and increase the ratio of good to bad cholesterol. Salmon is a rich source of selenium, which helps prevent cell damage and contains several B vitamins.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant rarely found in other foods. Studies suggest that it could protect the skin against harmful UV rays, help prevent certain cancers and lower cholesterol. Plus, tomatoes contain high amounts of potassium, fibre and vitamin C.
Oats are a rich source of magnesium, potassium and phytonutrients. They contain a special type of fibre that helps lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Magnesium works to regulate blood-sugar levels and research suggests that eating whole-grain oats may also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Kale contains a type of phytonutrient that appears to lessen the occurrence of a wide variety of cancers. Though scientists are still studying why this happens. They believe the phytonutrients in kale may trigger the liver to produce enzymes that may help neutralise potentially cancer-causing substances.
Other super-foods include goji berries, acai, spinach and blackberries. It’s important to include as many superfoods in our diet, as part of a healthy lifestyle.