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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Top 5 Superfoods For Health and Wellbeing

What is a superfood? According to the Macmillan dictionary, a superfood is a food that is considered to be very good for your health and could even help some medical conditions. Some believe the term ‘superfood’ is simply a clever a marketing tool, with little scientific basis to it. I think it's true to say that any single food will not make a major difference on its own but when we eat a healthy and varied diet that includes some of these superfoods, we are definitely doing a good thing for our bodies.

These foods are my Top 5 Superfoods For Health and Wellbeing because they are natural, contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients, and their nutritional value has been long recognized.

Top 5 Superfoods For Health and Wellbeing, Natasha in Oz


1. Dark, leafy and cruciferous green vegetables such as cabbage, kale, bok choy, collard greens, spinach, Brussels sprouts and broccoli are considered superfoods. These vegetables are loaded with fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Top 5 Superfoods For Health and Wellbeing, Natasha in Oz, green leafy vegetables






According to Stanford Medicine, phytochemicals are chemicals found in plants that protect plants against bacteria and viruses and they are evident in brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Food containing phytochemicals may decrease the risk of developing certain cancers as well as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.




2. Berries are considered one of the best types of fruit because they're rich in fibre and vitamin C and they also contain phytochemicals. They deliver high levels of disease-fighting antioxidants in just a few calories so a a brilliant superfood.

Top 5 Superfoods For Health and Wellbeing, Natasha in Oz, berries, blueberries, goji berries


Dr. Oz specifically recommends eating blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, acai berries and gogi berries because they are believed to destroy cancer cells in the liver.


Blueberry Infographic: A Handful of Health


3. For many years we were told that eggs were bad for us and if we must eat them we should only eat the whites. Thank goodness this crazy notion has been dismissed and eggs are now listed as a superfood by nutritionists, government bodies and scientists. The British Nutrition Foundation’s Nutrition Bulletin found that eggs ‘have no clinically significant impact’ on heart disease or cholesterol levels and could actually protect against heart disease, breast cancer and even help us lose weight! Fox News reported that the American Heart Association stated that while one egg contains about 240 mg of cholesterol and 8 percent of your daily allowance for saturated fat we can eat up to four egg yolks per week because dietary cholesterol doesn't have as much influence on elevating blood cholesterol as previously thought.

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Top 5 Superfoods For Health and Wellbeing, Natasha in Oz, eggs


 A meta-analysis published in 2013 looked at 17 prospective studies on egg consumption and health. They discovered that eggs had no association with either heart disease or stroke in otherwise healthy people. Eggs are rich in  antioxidants, Lutein to help us see better and are loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats and various trace nutrients. They really are one of the healthiest foods on the planet!


Infographic: What’s in an Egg?



4. Nuts and seeds contain healthy fats, antioxidants, and minerals which may reduce bad cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and fight inflammation. Although they are very high in calories they can help reduce the risk of obesity and other chronic illnesses so are a naturally amazing superfood. 

Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Harvard School of Public Health tracked 119,000 men and women over 30 years, monitoring their lifestyle habits and health histories. They found that participants who ate nuts on a daily basis were 29 percent less likely to die from heart disease, 11 percent less likely to die from cancer, and 20 percent less likely to die from diabetes or lung diseases. (Women's Health)

Professor Joan Sabaté is Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Loma Linda University published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluding that eating walnuts provides protection against heart disease. He is is now presiding over a study called the Walnuts and Healthy Aging (WAHA) Study to determine links between walnut consumption and brain, eye, and cognitive functions. 


Health Benefits of Nuts via dailysuperfoodlove: Consuming 1.5 ounces of unseasoned nuts daily as part of a healthy diet may reduce the risk of heart disease. Reap the health benefits of nuts by eating them in replacement of foods that are high in saturated fats and limit your intake of these tasty treats to 1 to 2 oz per day. #Infographic #Nuts:

I've already blogged about chia seeds here so I won't go on about the incredible heath benefits of chia again, however, it is worth mentioning that  their effects include boosting energy, stabilizing blood sugar, aiding digestion, and lowering cholesterol. If you are looking to lose a few pounds they are amazing because they have an appetite-suppressing quality, helping you feel fuller for longer. 

Top 5 Superfoods For Health and Wellbeing, Natasha in Oz, nuts, seeds


5. Apple cider vinegar has been called one of Mother Nature’s most perfect foods. It is made from fresh, crushed apples which are then fermented in wooden barrels as wood seems to “boost” the natural fermentation. The most famous brand that is available world-wide is Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. There are many ways to reap the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar but my favourite is to consume the undistilled, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in a daily serving as a tonic made by adding 1-2 tablespoons to 8 ounces of water. I add a lemon or lime wedge, maple syrup or cinnamon sticks for a bit of variety!

Top 5 Superfoods For Health and Wellbeing, Natasha in Oz, apple cider vinegar


The superfood helps to stimulate the natural production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, greatly improving any digestive ailments. By improving digestion, it offers relief from acid reflux, and leads to healthy skin and metabolic function. It has been known to treat Strep Throat, Tonsillitis, and Laryngitis and it also promotes healthy skin, inflammatory levels and metabolic function. It can even be used for personal care uses like conditioning hair, whitening teeth and a household cleaner!

Apple Cider Vinegar Infographic


Treat yourself to some or all these delicious and healthy Superfoods today and you will reap the benefits for many years to come!

Best wishes,

Natasha In Oz 


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