Sweet potatoes are high in the antioxidant beta carotene. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in your body, and may help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of some cancers. Like all vegetables, they're fat-free and also relatively low in calories and a good source of fiber. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A, B-6, C and potassium.
3. Legumes - beans, peas and lentils Eating a serving of legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) four times a week can lower your risk of heart disease by around 20 percent, and may also reduce your chances of getting breast cancer. One study found that the darker the bean, the better; black bean hulls apparently contain 40 times the antioxidants found in white bean hulls.
I tend to eat less chocolate if its dark. Image by writer.
4. Dark chocolate Who said all indulgences were necessarily bad? Cocoa powder found in dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids; antioxidants known to reduce 'bad' LDL cholesterol, and increase 'good' HDL cholesterol levels. Dark chocolate contains almost 4 times the amount of flavonoids as white chocolate, so don't feel too bad if you over-indulge a little.
5. Broccoli One medium stalk of bone-building broccoli can help stave off numerous cancers, contains almost 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement, and almost 200 percent of your daily vitamin C dose. Apparently by microwaving it you can save up to 90 percent of its vitamin C.
Salmon. Image courtesy Wild Strawberry Lodge.
6. Salmon The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, depression and cancer. Salmon is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and is a good source of protein. Apparently wild salmon is better than farmed which contains 16 times more toxic PCB's.
7. Walnuts Of all the nuts, this super nut contains the most omega-3 fatty acids and can help to improve mood, fight cancer and protect against sun damage. Walnuts contain the antioxidant melatonin, which can help to regulate sleep, so have a few for dessert before going to bed.
An excellent source of healthy fats, avocados are rich in folic acid, potassium, fiber and vitamins B and E. This superfood has the ability to enhance your body's absorption of nutrients and is one of the safest foods you can buy conventionally grown; the thick skin protects the inner fruit from pesticides. Try them with vegemite on toast.
9. Garlic Garlic is vital in the improvement of cardiovascular health and the reduction of high cholesterol. This powerful disease fighter has antibacterial and antiviral properties which can help to control infection and kill bacteria like E.coli. Crushing garlic before it's cooked helps it retain more of its anti-clotting compounds. But be careful not to overcook; garlic exposed to high heat for more than ten minutes loses important nutrients.
English spinach is proving to be very popular as it's soft and not too strong in taste. Image by writer.
Eating fresh spinach can help neutralize free radicals in the body which aids in fighting cancer. Spinach can improve cardiovascular health and protects against aging while improving brain function. Recent studies have found that spinach is one of the most effective at cancer fighting amongst all of the fruit or vegetables. I enjoy English spinach leaves in salads or on sandwiches instead of lettuce. It's a great food to add to smoothies as you can't taste it.
Are you eating enough of these superfoods on a regular basis? Feel free to leave a comment.