Wednesday, July 16, 2008

10 Powerful foods

Obviously there are some people who, for whatever reason, are supposed to avoid certain components that may be in the foods listed. These foods are also intended to be part of a varied diet in moderate amounts.
1. Salmon. Fatty fish may not sound healthy, but study after study confirms that consumption of salmon lowers the risk of death from heart disease. It is indeed the fat - in particular, the omega-3 fatty acids - that help the heart by preventing sudden and fatal disturbances in heart rhythm. Research has shown that you are less likely to die from a heart attack if you eat at least one serving of salmon or other oily fish each week. Fresh fish might taste better, but tinned salmon also is high in omega-3 fatty acids.
2. Nuts. Almonds, peanuts, walnuts and hazelnuts are bite-sized powerhouses of health-promoting substances that help prevent heart disease and cancer. High in monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, magnesium and fibre, a 30 or 40 gram serving is all that is needed to provide health benefits. And because they have a high fat content, a small amount is surprisingly filling.
3. Beans. Yes, they are starchy, but they are also a great source of protein, fibre, folic acid, zinc, magnesium and potassium. Drained and rinsed, canned beans are a great, inexpensive and convenient protein source. Mix them with salads or soups.
4. Oranges. These and other citrus fruits are loaded with cancer-battling bioflavonoids and immune system-boosting vitamin C. Go for the fruit, not just juice.

5. Spinach. This dark, leafy green vegetable is packed with vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin A, fibre, and some calcium and iron. These nutrients and potent antioxidants fight cancer and boost immunity, not to mention that it is a low-calorie food. There are not too many foods with this kind of value for money.
6. Sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are among the most nutritious of vegetables since they are packed with more disease-fighting beta carotene, fibre and other antioxidants. They are starchy, however, so use them in place of white potatoes, rice or other starches.
7. Berries. These colourful fruits contain chemicals that act as antioxidants, believed by scientists to protect the body from the stresses of age, and may reduce risk of cancer. Seek out whatever is in season, or in the frozen section, pick up blueberries, strawberries, cranberries and blackberries. Top cereal, ice cream, yoghurt with a handful of berries or snack on frozen berries for a sweet treat..
8. Porridge. You've certainly heard this before. It's the soluble fibre in oats, barley or other wholegrains that has been shown to reduce cholesterol and risk of heart disease. However, there are other high-fibre cereals that will do just fine.

9. Tomatoes. You say "tomato;" I say "lycopene." This is the one vegetable where fresh is not as advantageous because the powerful antioxidants are more concentrated in cooked varieties. Keep tinned tomatoes on hand to throw in with other vegetables or pair up with fish, chicken, pork or beef.
10. Low-fat milk or yoghurt. I rarely meet someone who gets the recommended amount of calcium in their diet. These dairy products are not that high in calories for the amount of calcium, protein and vitamins A and D that it contains. If you aren't a milk drinker, eat yogurt or low-fat cheese, or get your calcium from green leafy vegetables, beans, pulses and nuts.
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