100 best health foods
It is a truism that we are are what we eat. Why therefore do we stuff ourselves with rubbish? We now face an eating disorder epidemic. Obesity is getting worse. The UK now tops the US for obese children. Type 2 diabetes, once the disease of middle age and older, now effects the young.
We know to avoid saturated fats, the ready-mix of saturated fats, sugar, modified corn starch, salt, palm oil laced with additives, preservatives and colourings that constitute cheap ready meals, to not eat junk foods. We know what to avoid, what not to eat. The question therefore is can we not only avoid what is bad for us, but actually eat foods that are good for us, that have a positive health benefit beyond that of keeping to a healthy diet.
The simple answer to this is yes, we add to our diet so-called super-foods.
We know vitamins, essential minerals, are an essential part of our diet, without which we fall all. Sailors used to suffer from scurvy into limes were introduced into their diet. They were suffering from vitamin C deficiency.
There is now a whole class of micro-nutrients that are known to have beneficial health effects. Antioxidants for example which help soak up free radicals. Foods that are high in these micro-nutrients are commonly known as super foods.
We do not eat foods because they are good for us, we eat for pleasure. Fortunately many if not most of these super foods are also enjoyable to to eat, either on their own or as part of a dish.
Fresh wild salmon (high in omega-3 fatty acids), walnuts (antioxidants and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid), broccoli, raspberries, blueberries (flavonoids and polyphenols), pumpkins, water melons (antioxidant Lycopene and vitamin A, vitamin C and Vitamin B6), tomatoes (antioxidant lycopene), tea (antioxidant called catechins), oranges (high in vitamin C), grapefruit (high in vitamin C), almonds, Brazil nuts (selenium ).
There is nothing like a fresh watermelon picked straight from the field. The red flesh is not only thirst quenching, it is delicious with a glass of red wine.
Try juicing an entire watermelon, seeds, red flesh and rind. We throw away a lot of the nutritional benefits when we only eat the red flesh, and the resultant juice is lower in sugar content than if we only juiced the red flesh. For that extra zing, try adding celery and ginger. [see Watermelon juice]
Whilst we may enjoy eating a handful of walnuts, and far healthier than eating a bag of crisps, in the main we eat our foods as part of a dish for which we need a few recipes.
This is where 100 Best Health Foods comes in. One hundred recipes using super foods, though I would question whether some are super foods. Though all organic fresh fruit and vegetables are healthy choices.
An ideal companion to SuperFoods by Steven Pratt and Kathy Matthews
The top 10 super foods
Walnuts ‘combat unhealthy fats’
Watermelon as good as a statin for lowering blood pressure
Watercress latest super food to fight cancer
You may not like it, but broccoli can beat cancer
Super foods: oranges
Why an orange is better than popping vitamin pills
Blueberries ‘reverse memory loss’
Super foods: blueberries