Top 10 Surprising Superfoods And Drinks

‘Superfood’ is a term coined to a food considered especially nutritious or otherwise beneficial to health and well-being. Here we list our top 10 superfoods, some of which may surprise you.

1) Curry

Curcumin, a spice that gives turmeric its hallmark yellow coloring and is commonly found in curry, has been hailed for its numerous health benefits. Last year, UNM researchers found that a synthetic version of curcumin inhibits the growth of prostate cancer cells. Another study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, suggested that curcumin can work to suppress the biological mechanisms that cause inflammation in tendon conditions like arthritis.

2) Broccoli

Just two florets of broccoli count as one portion of veg, and is packed with antioxidants and naturally occurring folic acid. Increasing your intake of folic acid is thought to be a major benefit in preventing heart disease. Scientists have also recently recommended eating broccoli with spicy foods like horseradish and wasabi to help prevent cancer, because the spicy food enhances the vegetables cancer-preventative component.

3) Green tea

Green tea is widely known to contain antioxidant chemicals that help ward off harmful cell damage. Its high level of antioxidants, called propanols, is thought to help aid weight loss, prevent glaucoma and reduce the risk of cancer. A recent study showed that green tea could even help prevent disability in the elderly. Another group of scientists claimed that green tea will reduce the symptoms of bad breath. But don’t abandon regular tea entirely- researchers at the University of Western Australia discovered that black leaf tea like Earl Grey lowers high blood pressure and cut the risk of heart disease.

4) Oily fish

Oily fish like salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3, an essential fatty acid. Essential fatty acids are necessary for human health but the body can’t make them. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids can lower the risk of chronic diseases- recent research showed that they can slow the growth of prostate cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids are also highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive function.

5) Marmite

Research has shown that benfotiamine, a derivative of vitamin B1 found in significant quantities in Marmite, could speed up the healing of damage caused by heart disease or after a heart attack. Benfotiamine is also found in other foodstuffs such as yeast and Quorn. If further studies on this prove successful, it could lead to a drug being developed to help those who suffer from heart problems.

6) Chocolate

Good news for the chocoholics- chocolate is packed with natural compounds called antioxidants that prevent cell damage. Ounce for ounce, dark chocolate and cocoa have more antioxidants than foods like blueberries, green teas and red wine do. In addition, a recent small clinical trial showed that patients with advanced heart failure and type 2 diabetes showed improved mitochondrial structure after three months of treatment with epicatechin-enriched cocoa, a flavonoid found in dark chocolate.

7) Brown rice

A new study in the British Medical Journal showed that eating fibre and whole grains, found in brown rice, significantly reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer. Researchers found that for every 10g a day increase in fibre intake there is a 10% drop in the risk of bowel cancer. Adding an additional 90g a day of whole grains led to a 20% reduction in risk. Private medical insurance holders should swap white rice for brown rice and start seeing the benefits.

8) Blueberries

When you say superfoods, most people immediately think of blueberries. The USDA Human Nutrition Centre recently determined that blueberries are number one in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables. They help neutralise harmful free-radicals which can lead to cancer and other age related diseases. Scientists say it is Anthocyanin the pigment that creates the blue colour in blueberries, which is primarily responsible for the major health benefits.

9) Pomegranate juice

Pomegranates are hailed as a superfood around the world since pre-historic times, thanks to being paced full with vitamins A, C, E and iron. In addition, scientists in Israel have shown that drinking a daily glass of the fruit’s juice can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

10) Olive oil

Consuming olive oil may help to lower your risk of heart disease say scientists. A study at the University of Cordoba, reported by ActiveQuote, a website where people can compare health insurance quotes online, found that phenols in olive oil inhibit the various genes that can contribute to cardiovascular disease by causing inflammation in the body.

Whilst there is no definitive evidence that these ‘superfoods’ will prevent cancer, they are certainly a tasty way to enjoy healthy eating!

 

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