Not many months go by without one vegetable or nut being declared a superfood that will help us live longer and healthier lives. Perhaps there is some hype in many of the claims we read about, but there can be a lot of truth as well. Here is the low down on some foods that can provide our bodies with the boost needed to ward off disease and ageing.
Like all tree nuts, walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, beneficially recognized for heart health. But it is distinguished for two main reasons: its significant antioxidant content and its richness in omega-3 fatty acids. Several studies link regular consumption of nuts and oilseeds with various health benefits such as its cholesterol-lowering effect. Walnuts play a significant role in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Virgin coconut oil
Virgin coconut oil is a high quality non-hydrogenated, non-deodorized, and unbleached oil which has not undergone any refinement. It is obtained from the fresh pulp of coconut. Virgin coconut oil is a source of nutrients essential for health and general well-being. Virgin coconut is made up of medium-chain fatty acids that are not metabolized like other fatty acids: they stimulate the metabolism, promote weight gain and nourish nerve cells directly. Lauric acid (representing 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil) has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties and is effective against infections. Coconut oil is also great for hair care and skin.
Thanks to its high vitamin C content, papaya contributes very effectively to the defence of the body and the fight against infections. It contains Provitamin A which is converted in the body into vitamin A, a vitamin essential for cell growth, maintaining a good condition of the skin and mucous membranes, as well as night vision. It also has powerful detoxifying and antioxidant properties, allowing it to play a useful role in protecting against cancer and the fight against cellular ageing. Papaya also provides significant mineral supplements in the diet. Its high-density potassium and calcium are an asset for cardiovascular prevention (a potassium-rich diet can have a beneficial effect against hypertension). Its fibres stimulate the smooth functioning of the intestines.
Ginger is a medicinal plant that has been used for over a millennium. It is used to combat nausea, reduce inflammation, and asthma. Ginger contains numerous antioxidants that protect your body’s cells against free radicals. Ginger can also help with digestion. Indeed, some studies have indicated that it stimulates the secretion of bile and activity of different digestive enzymes. If you are craving for a cleansed and healthy body, ginger is your perfect detox alley.
Studies have indicated that regular consumption of broccoli has many health benefits. The vitamins, antioxidant compounds and fibre in broccoli play a significant protective role in our bodies. Many studies have shown that regular consumption of this superfood can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. Broccoli contains lutein and zeaxanthin; two antioxidant compounds in the family of carotenoids and is associated with reducing the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
The Carrot (Daucus carota)
This magical food has more than one trick in its vines. Carrot plays a key role in preserving the health of our eyes and our arteries. Its strong beta carotene levels (provitamin A), a powerful antioxidant, protects our cells against free radicals. In turn, it’s insoluble fibre captures toxins and facilitates their elimination. Suffice to say that, to prevent cardiovascular diseases, cancers and keep skin healthy, it’s a queen!