Five superfoods for a healthier body


Tomatoes

If tomatoes were a superhero they would definitely be Superman because, like the spandex-wearing wonder, tomatoes have more than one superpower.

A recent study by Tianjin Medical University found people who ate tomatoes two to six times a week were 46 per cent less likely to suffer from depression than those who ate tomatoes only once a week.

The researchers believe the antioxidant lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, might be the ingredient that helps protect against depression.

The researchers also found tomatoes could reduce the risk of heart attacks and prostate cancer.

They could not conclude whether participants were less depressed as a result of the lycopene, or whether they were less depressed because they were not developing these potentially fatal diseases.

How to eat: Add fresh tomatoes to a stew, to your sandwiches or to a salad.

Spinach


If you want to find a food with superpowers then look no further than spinach.

This green stuff is low in calories but rich in nutrients and has a wealth of benefits for you and your body.

Not only does spinach contain heaps of vitamin A and K, it also keeps you young. The dark green leaves of spinach contain iron and vitamin C - both of these nutrients encourage collagen production, which helps keep your skin looking youthful.

Apparently spinach can also protect your brain from ageing because it stops the oxidation process, which can lead to age-related problems such as dementia.

How to eat: Swap the lettuce you normally add to your salads for spinach, or whip up a tasty spinach curry.

Blueberries


When you hear a food is full of antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, you know it is going to be a food with real-life superpowers.

Although small, blueberries are packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, meaning they have many health benefits.

One such benefit is that they can lower your risk of heart disease.

Blueberries can protect your heart because they help to reduce inflammation, which can cause serious chronic illnesses such as heart disease.

Researchers found women who ate more than one and a half cups (or three servings) of blueberries or strawberries were at a lower risk of a heart attack.

It is thought the berries improve "good" cholesterol and reduce inflammation, which both help reduce your risk of heart disease.

How to eat: Make a blueberry smoothie or eat blueberries for breakfast with some nuts, natural yoghurt and honey.

Salmon


If you want to lose weight, you should think about tucking into salmon. Salmon contains high levels of protein (in every 115g serving, you can get 58 per cent of your recommended daily intake) and this helps the body to maintain the metabolism levels it needs to encourage weight loss.

Salmon also helps you shed the kilograms because the high levels of protein keep you fuller for longer, which means you won't feel the need to eat as much.

How to eat: Serve salmon with a squeeze of lemon, green beans and new potatoes.

Or you can add salmon to a salad with sweetcorn and new potatoes.

Pumpkin seeds


Pumpkin seeds taste amazing and are full of useful nutrients such as phosphorous, iron, copper, zinc, protein, vitamin K and magnesium.

Each of these nutrients is useful for something.

Zinc, for example, improves your thinking skills and it is also great for your memory.

The magnesium and phosphorous in pumpkin seeds can help keep your bones strong, and the protein has antimicrobial benefits.

This means it can destroy or limit the effects of those micro-organisms that can cause disease.

How to eat: Add a handful of pumpkin seeds to your muesli or eat them as a snack.

For more lifestyle news see www.realbuzz.com

- Hamilton News

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