foods with ben­e­fits

Ev­ery­day foods that can pro­tect against dis­ease.

taste.com.au - - THIS MONTH -

When it comes to dis­ease, pre­ven­tion is our best de­fence. Poor nu­tri­tion plays a big role in the de­vel­op­ment of many mod­ern-day dis­eases, so tweak­ing your diet is a smart move. Lots of foods have pro­tec­tive qual­i­ties, and they’re not hard to find or ex­pen­sive. Here, we look at eight ev­ery­day su­per­stars you can find in the fresh pro­duce sec­tion of the su­per­mar­ket.

lemons Blood ves­sels: Le­mon peel is packed with rutin, which helps im­prove blood cir­cu­la­tion by strength­en­ing the walls of your ar­ter­ies and cap­il­lar­ies. Add grated rind or zest to bak­ing, sauces, salad dress­ings and cur­ries. En­ergy fix: Iron is es­sen­tial for en­ergy, and you can sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease your ab­sorp­tion of this es­sen­tial min­eral by squeez­ing le­mon juice (rich in vi­ta­min C) over your sal­ads and vegie dishes. pars­ley Blood health: Pars­ley is an im­pres­sive source of vi­ta­min K, which helps pro­mote healthy blood clot­ting. Ve­gan diet: Pars­ley does dou­ble-duty for ve­g­ans – not only is it a good source of iron, but its gen­er­ous vi­ta­min C con­tent helps you ab­sorb more of the iron it con­tains. Try adding a small hand­ful to a smoothie. pump­kin

Oc­to­ber is the pump­kin’s chance to shine as a Hal­loween dec­o­ra­tion, but it also has plenty of health ben­e­fits. Eye health: Pump­kin is one of the rich­est sources of beta-carotene, which helps pro­tect against age-re­lated mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion, re­spon­si­ble for 50 per cent of blind­ness cases in Aus­tralia. Asthma: Re­search shows beta-carotene also has the po­ten­tial to pre­vent asthma.

peas

Heart dis­ease: Eat­ing peas of­ten (fresh or frozen gar­den peas, as well as su­gar snap and snow peas) can sig­nif­i­cantly help re­duce ‘bad’ LDL choles­terol and lower your risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, thanks to their high fi­bre con­tent. Add to stir-fries, cur­ries, sal­ads and pasta dishes. Blood su­gar: The anti-in­flam­ma­tory phy­tonu­tri­ents (pisum­saponins I and II and pi­so­mo­sides A and B) found al­most ex­clu­sively in peas help reg­u­late blood su­gar, help­ful in the fight against type-2 di­a­betes.

pota­toes

Blood su­gar: Cooled, cooked potato is high in re­sis­tant starch, which has been shown to re­duce blood su­gar spikes af­ter meals, help­ing those who are at risk for di­a­betes or who have pre-di­a­betes. Use in potato salad. Blood pres­sure: Potas­sium helps to lower blood pres­sure by bal­anc­ing the neg­a­tive ef­fects of salt. As lit­tle as one medium potato pro­vides about 20 per cent of your rec­om­mended daily in­take of potas­sium.

red onions

Can­cer fighter: This pun­gent vegie con­tains one of the high­est con­cen­tra­tions of the an­tiox­i­dant quercetin, which re­search shows has the po­ten­tial to pre­vent and re­verse the de­vel­op­ment of can­cer cells. Plus, you’ll get dou­ble the ben­e­fits thanks to the high lev­els of an­tho­cyanin in onions. This pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dant fur­ther boosts the prop­er­ties of quercetin.

radish

Di­ges­tion: Half a cup of radish con­tains about 1g of di­etary fi­bre to pro­mote healthy di­ges­tion and keep you full for longer. In­flam­ma­tion: Thanks to the red colour of their skin, radishes are also a good source of an­tho­cyanins, which pos­sess anti-in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties.

grape­fruit

Skin-saver: Grape­fruit is packed with vi­ta­min C, which plays a vi­tal role in the for­ma­tion of col­la­gen, the main sup­port sys­tem of the skin. Hy­dra­tion: This juicy fruit is a good source of elec­trolytes, so it’s a great snack to have on hand in hot weather or when you’re phys­i­cally ac­tive, to help keep you hy­drated.

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