Eat a rainbow of coloured fruit and vegetables to open your pathways to optimum health and vitality.
Whilst at present there are no definitive lists of superfoods the following list combines the up-and-coming with some old favourites so you can eat your way to good health.
Goji berries: Pound for pound these berries contain more vitamin C than oranges, which is believed to help the immune system. They also contain more beta-carotene than carrots, which can help fight heart disease, defend against cancer and protect skin from sun damage. They are a good source of B vitamins and antioxidants and contain 18 kinds of amino acids. Some people say they can even raise your libido.
Acai berries: Grown from an Amazon palm tree in the rainforests of Brazil the Acai pulp contains a high concentration of antioxidants, 10 times more than grapes. The monounsaturated fats, dietary fibre and photosterols have been found to promote cardiovascular and digestive health. They also contain an essential amino acid complex and trace minerals, which can help muscle contraction and regeneration.
Blueberries: Ranked by researchers at The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the number one antioxidant fruit, some studies suggest that blueberries not only strengthen our immune system but may also guard against neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s. They may also aid in protecting eyesight and guarding against urinary tract infections.
Quinoa: This has the same nutritional content as the healthiest grains, but is actually a plant seed, containing high levels of protein, fibre, iron, B vitamins and minerals.
The Allium family: Consisting of garlic, onions, leeks and chives, the flavonoids in these foods stimulate the production of the liver’s most powerful antioxidant, glutathione. This antioxidant helps toxins and carcinogens to be eliminated from the body, which may help protect against cancer.
Barley grass, wheat grass and other green foods: These contain carbohydrates, proteins, chlorophyll, lipids, vitamins and minerals, which are easily assimilated by the body. Barley grass contains potassium, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, magnese, zinc, beta-carotene and vitamins B1, 2 and 6. It provides 11 times more calcium than cow’s milk, five times more iron than spinach, and seven times more vitamin C than oranges.
Pomegranate: Found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, pomegranate juice contains the highest antioxidant capacity compared to other juices, red wine and tea.
Nuts and seeds: These are one of the best sources of good fats, fibre, protein, omega 3 and 6 oils and vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, copper, magnesium, folic acid and potassium. The plant sterols they contain help lower the absorption of cholesterol from food.
Flaxseeds have a high concentration of oils that help to keep skin looking youthful and are also rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and lignins, which have cancer-fighting properties.
Beans: All beans contain lots of nutrients, but red beans have the greatest amount of antioxidants. Rich in vitamins C, D and A, believed to repair damaged cells in the body, which may avert the development of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and cancer. Red beans are also packed with folic acid, which may help to prevent dementia.
Artichokes: Rich in vitamin C, fibre and potassium, particularly when cooked. The artichoke is a natural diuretic, a digestive aid, and provides nutrition to health-promoting bacteria in the intestinal tract. Some studies suggest that fresh artichokes help control blood-sugars in diabetics and lower cholesterol levels thus warding off arteriosclerosis.