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- Weight-loss expert Dr Sally Norton gives her verdict on six superfoods
- From sour cherries to avocado, cranberries to pumpkin seeds
- Some are high in antioxidants while others reduce risk of heart attack
We’re always hearing about the latest ‘superfoods’ – and how they could have a powerful effect on our health and wellbeing.
And while the term ‘superfood’ might be thrown around a little too freely sometimes, there are some fruits and seeds that really are a power-house of nutritional value.
Here, I reveal which ones are worth adding to your shopping basket today…
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What are the benefits?: Tart or sour cherries have been found to contain high levels of antioxidants. As a result the benefits include anti-inflammation, boosted sleep, and improved sports recovery.
Reports have suggested that an increased intake of tart cherries could help to reduce certain post-workout side-effects, such as muscle aches, inflammation and weakness.
What are the benefits?: With their high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, blueberries have been linked to all kinds of health benefits, including heart health, cancer prevention, enhanced brain function and improved eyesight.
And if that’s not enough, some studies have suggested that the antioxidants in blueberries could help to delay the ageing process – a much cheaper alternative to all those anti-ageing creams.
What are the benefits?: More than just the main ingredient in guacamole, avocados seem to be having a real moment in the spotlight, and it’s not surprising.
They’re a great source of healthy, mono-saturated fats – which have been known to help lower bad cholesterol, and as a result, reduce our risk of heart attack and stroke.
In fact, a recent study has suggested that combining a moderate-fat diet with one avocado a day could actually lower your levels of bad cholesterol by more than a low-fat, or moderate-fat diet without avocados.
What are the benefits?: As many of you will know, cranberries have been used for years as an aid against urinary tract infections. But studies have suggested these berries could also have a wide range of other benefits – from improving our heart health, helping to prevent certain cancers, to boosting our oral health and helping to reduce infections.
What helps to make them just so good for us are the polyphenols that are present in those little red berries. Polyphenols have been reported to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, to name just a few. Just be careful where you get your cranberry intake from, as cranberry juice and juice drinks are often full of sugar.
What are the benefits?: We all know how nutritious pumpkins are, but there’s even more to be said for the pumpkin seed.
It provides great levels of protein, fiber, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous, and is a rich source of zinc – important for immunity, cell growth and division, as well as sleep, mood, and eye and skin health.
It’s not surprising it’s been dubbed a ‘super-seed’. A handful of these little seeds make a great, nutrient-packed snack, or add them to your porridge for a tasty nutrient boost.
What are the benefits?: Seed du jour, the chia seed has seen a steep rise in popularity over the past couple of years – unsurprising, given its high levels of nutrients and low-calorie intake.
Loaded with antioxidants, soluble fibre and minerals, chia seeds are also a source of omega-3 – though not as easily used by our bodies as that obtained from fish – and contain more calcium, ounce for ounce, than milk. If you’re after a easy way to add chia seeds into your diet, try out our simple, creamy chia porridge recipe.
Sprinkle the seeds on to porridge that has been mixed with low-calorie, but vitamin-rich rice milk, and you’ve got yourself a healthy, creamy, nutrient-packed breakfast.
If you’re not a fan of rice milk, then almond milk or soya milk could work just as well.
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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3048580/The-six-foods-add-diet-help-prevent-heart-attack-cancer-stroke.html#ixzz3dxbu4evv
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