I read an interesting article in The Times last week and thought I’d share it with you guys. It’s the 12 foods you should be eating every week...here are the first 6 and 6 more will follow in next week’s email!
1. Raspberries For maintaining bone density High levels of antioxidants, they contain ellagic acid, (chemical thought to be anticarcinogenic). Contain manganese, which maintains bone density, which decreases with age (particularly during the menopause for women). Have a handful a few times a week.
2. Rocket To help to reduce blood pressure. Because of its high level of nitrates, which make cells use oxygen more efficiently. Good source of folate which prevents anaemia and is needed by cells that replicate quickly such as those in the gums. Have rocket at least twice a week.
3. Salmon For healthy eyes. Rich in omega-3 fats boosting memory and eye health & can stop dry eyes and promote blood-vessel growth and circulation in the eyes. The omega-3 oils help skin cells to retain water, which also helps to prevents wrinkles.
Two portions a week will help to regulate blood pressure and triglyceride levels in blood, both of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
4. Tumeric To protect your joints. Curcumin, which gives turmeric its yellowy-orange colour, has an anti-inflammatory effect. Effective in reducing joint inflammation, which means it can help to manage symptoms of arthritis. Add a generous pinch to your cooking a few times a week.
5. Brazil Nuts For a healthy prostate. A rich source of selenium. Men need more than women as much of the selenium in the male body is held in the testes, so it is lost through semen and needs to be topped up. Eating Brazil nuts regularly can also protect against prostate cancer. Aim for a small handful of nuts a day.
6. Shiitake Mushrooms To boost vitamin D levels. Nearly a fifth of adults and one in six children are vitamin-D deficient. Made in the skin in response to sunlight, Vitamin D enhances bone density and immune function, but isn’t found in many foods. Mushrooms, especially shiitake, are a rare source. Vitamin D can be increased by placing them in direct sunlight, stalks in the air, for 30 minutes before eating. Try having a 50g serving twice a week.
7. Tomatoes To protect from sun damage. Source of lycopene, a powerful anti-ageing antioxidant. Lycopene can also help to support a healthy prostate, and prevents skin damage from ultraviolet exposure. Lycopene is found in red/pink fruits and vegetables such as watermelon. It is nearly four times more concentrated in cooked food, so eating tomato paste or passata is more effective than eating a raw tomato. Eat three times per week.
8. Walnuts For women’s health. They can help to make women more vigorous in old age and increase their ability to fight off physical impairments. Walnuts typically contain twice the amount of polyphenols (antioxidants that can help to prevent age-related diseases) than other nuts and are a rare source of plant-based omega-3 fats. Benefits for men; a handful of walnuts eaten daily can improve sperm quality. They are also linked to a lower risk of heart attacks and diabetes.Have a handful once a week.
9. Miso For a healthy digestive system Miso, a paste made from fermented soya beans, can help to keep the gut healthy. There are trillions of bacteria in the gut, and healthy levels of the beneficial variety play important roles in the cardiovascular, nervous and digestive systems. Fermented foods produce lactic acid, which can encourage the bacteria.Have Miso twice a week.
10. Garlic To protect against heart attacksHelps in lowering cholesterol to reducing inflammation. The key component is allicin, which can help to control levels of homocysteine. As we age, homocysteine levels increase, which can cause inflammation, furring up and thickening of the arteries (called atherosclerosis). Controlling this helps to prevent the risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.Try and have some garlic every day — and cook it for as short a time as possible to maximise benefits.
To repair musclesPineapple is the only food to contain bromelain, an enzyme that helps the body to absorb protein. Bromelain can help reduce mucus (therefore promoting a speedy recovery from colds, flu and chest infections); it also reduces muscle inflammation, which is good for joint aches and muscle repair after exercise. It is a natural anticoagulant so can reduce the chance of blood clots. Try to have a serving once a week.
To reduce blood pressure. Avocado is rich in potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E and mono-unsaturated fats. Collectively these can help to reduce blood pressure and blood-clotting. They are high in antioxidants, and can help to protect the skin from free radical damage. Eat twice a week.
So if you aren’t eating some these every week you could be missing out on the excellent health benefits of these fabulous foods!