Our health is influenced by simple factors, among the most important of which are diet and physical activity. Food can be used both in preventing and treating diseases, say nutritionists. You just have to know how to choose them.
Provided in bold below are some lesser known super foods for health benefits — they’re listed by nutrition author Glen Matten, and we provide some additional background information on each of his super food picks.
1. Leeks – help digestion because of their rich probiotic fiber, which promotes the growth of beneficial intestinal flora. Among other sources of probiotics are bananas, asparagus and onions.
2. Watermelon – protects you from the sun. Watermelon is a good source of lycopene, known for the protection it offers against heart disease, prostate cancer as well as skin diseases caused by exposure to UV rays. The same effect be experienced by other foods such as tomatoes, red pepper, green tea or mackerel.
3. Coriander – has an anti-aging effect. Make it a habit to add green coriander salad to get its nutrients such as beta carotene and vitamin C, and antioxidants that protect against diseases that occur with age. Other rich sources of antioxidants and peppers, carrots and broccoli.
4. Onions – fight against cancer because of quercetin, a substance found in onions fully known for anti-cancer effects. You can also opt for apples, oranges, parsley and red wine.
5. Pumpkins – can help you lose weight. Due to its high fiber and water, a pumpkin provides satiety with a low number of calories, but a significant amount of vitamin C. Other food that may have similar effects include apples, celery and brown rice.
6. Red grapes – are good for the heart. Polyphenols from grapes are famous for their cardioprotective properties. As the grape color gets darker, the higher content of polyphenols in the grape. They have a heart protective effect just like red wine, grape juice or fish oil.
7. Mussels – great for metabolism. Rich in selenium, eating mussels ensures the smooth functioning of the thyroid and metabolism. It also improves immunity and fertility. You can also find significant amounts of selenium in tuna, beef or eggs.
8. Walnuts – improve your memory because it contains omega-3. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids have protective effects on the heart.
9. Beets – are recommended for pregnancy. A red beet is a rich source of folate (folic acid) needed to prepare women to be mothers. Studies have shown that heart disease can protect and even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. You may find them in dark green vegetables, figs and avocados.
10. Rye bread – provides a natural detoxification due to dietary fiber content. It improves digestion, reduces risk of colon cancer and heart disease. Besides fiber, rye bread contains other nutrients such as minerals or vitamins B. You can also opt for beans, brown rice or lentils.
A sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating are major causes affecting the health of a large number of people. For this reason it is important that each of us to learn to choose healthy foods and follow an exercise program.