Foods Better Than Medicine

phytochemicals.....(phyto) means plant,are natural compounds
in plant foods that give them their distinct taste and colour
and they also appear to be good for our health.
Some block the development of cancer cells,others
influence body functions and many are antioxidants.

Antioxidants fight damage to healthy body cells
from rogue molecules known as free radicals
as part of our daily metabolism, but stress, pollution,
smoking,sun exposure,poor diet and excess alcohol
send production into overdrive. Without proper protection
this assault may fuel health problemssuch as heart desease,
cancer,reduced immunity,Alzheimers disease,lung disorders
and cataracts- not to mention early ageing.
There are many different types of antioxidants: for example
vitimins C, and E, the mineral selenium and phenolic compounds.
Most foods contain these antioxidants, but some stand out
for their free radical-fighting ability,which may
benefit our health in specific ways.

1 Kidney Beans
Not only do these beans brim with antioxidants
( the red skin is the richest source) they have a low
glycaemic index (GI) which is good for your appetite as
it helps you stay fuller for longer. They are also packed with
protein,iron,B vitimins,magnesium and cholesterol-lowering
soluble fibre. Eating pulses like kidney beans a few times
a week could help cut your heart disease risk by 22 per cent.

2 Artichokes
The globe artichoke is rich in phenolic antioxidants and
has been traditionally used to alleviate liver and gall bladder
problems. The antioxidant cynarin is thought to be the most active.
Studies also suggest that artichoke extracts help lower cholesterol
and block the damaging effects of the free radicals on cholesterol.
Over time, this damaged or oxidised cholesterol is more likely to fur
arteries and cause heart disease.

3 Prunes
Thes provide beta-carotene and phenolic antioxidants,
which protect the fats in delicate cell membranes from
free radical damage. They are a great source of blood pressure
regulating potassium and iron; they keep us regular in other ways too.
Fresh plums are also good for you- the darker in colour the better.

4 Blackberries
One of the best fruits for the powerful antioxidant vitimin E
blackberries pack in phenolic antioxidants too.
A key one is salicylic acid and good intakes may lessen the risk
of bowel cancer and heart attacks. Blackberries aslo supply plenty
of folate.a B vitimin that cares for the heart and nervous system
and boosts the antioxidants cell-protecting abilities.

5 Strawberries
These pack a powerfulantioxidant punch thanks to
their vitimin C flavonoid content.Their secret weapon is ellagic
acid, a phenolic antioxidant,which can block cancer causing agents
inhibit the growth of and destroy cancer cells. Feed them to
your man to help reduce his risk of prostate cancer.

6 Blueberries
Their intense blue colour,from anthocyanin antioxidants,
is linked to the dampening down inflammation and protecting
small blood vessels and cells. Good news for the eyes and skin
and people with diabetes. The benefits may even extend to protecting
brain cells and keeping us more alert as we age.
according to studies from Tufts University,USA.

7 Walnuts
Not only do they contain protective antioxidants, including
vitimin E and ellagic acid, they may help lower blood cholesterol
and keep arteries flexible. of all the nuts, they are best for
heart healthy omega-3 fats.

8 Cranberries
These are famed for the reducing the risk of urinary tract
infections,thanks to the antioxidants called proanthocyanidins,
which work by stopping bacteria sticking to the lining of the
urinary tract and causing infection. Research suggests that having
a glass of cranberry juice both in the morning and evening
may provide the best protection.

9 Granny Smith Apples
Research indicates that eating apples regularly is linked
to healthier lungs,and their high content of the anti-inflammatory
antioxidant quercetin may be at least partly responsible.
in addition to better lung function, an apple a day(five or more a week)
has also been linked to reducing the risk of lung cancer, heart disease
and type 2 diabetes. With just 50 calories, granny smiths are also good
soluble fibre and have a low GI, which helps keep your cholesterol
and appetite(and weight) in check.

10 Cherries
Who can resisit the sweet burst of cherries? Studies reveal
that their phenolic antioxidant anthocyanin has anti-inflammatory
effects in the body that can benefit heart health. research
also suggests that the anthocyanin in cherries, where the deep
red colour comes from,can boost insulin production and
help to regulate blodd sugar levels, which could be good for
people with with type 2 diabetes, they may also help reduce the
risk of gout.

11 Avocados
Firstly, to dispel a myth, avocados dont contain cholesterol
instead their healthy monounsaturated fats,carotenoid
and vitimin E antioxidants,folate and potassium content
are all very beneficial for heart health. They also provide vitimin B6
and C and the mineral magnesium, all needed to build the mood
regulating chemicalmessengers serotonin and dopamine.

12 Pistachios
Like nuts, pistachios are nutritional powerhouses. They
are a good source of the antioxidant lutein thats linked
with lowering the risk of eye problems like age related macular
degeneration and cataracts.When eaten regularly, they may also
help to lower cholesterol levels.


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