It is pretty common knowledge that foods such as berries, broccoli, kale, avocados and nuts are marketed as “superfoods”. But what you may not know, are some of the everyday “unsung heroes” in your kitchen or fruit bowl right now, which also go a long way to keeping you in good shape.
The beta carotene in carrots is a powerful antioxidant which converts into vitamin A in your body, to help maintain healthy skin. They are also useful at killing harmful germs in the mouth and help prevent tooth decay. Plus they are a good source of potassium, which can help maintain healthy sodium levels in the body.
Researchers at Cornell University, New York have identified several compounds in apple peel that have potent anti-growth activities against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast. Impressive right? Well apples are also loaded with soluble fibre (the key to blunting blood sugar swings) and for women it can lower the likelihood of developing Type 2 Diabetes by approximately 28%. See you really do learn something new every day!
Along with kiwifruit, citrus fruit increase the collagen production which naturally depletes as we age. Collagen gives your skin that ‘spring’ and plumps it up. Now is an especially good time to take in these foods after months of artificial heat, cold winds and bright sunshine on the ski slopes that can dry out your skin.
Now, before you get too excited we are talking about the dark kind. Dark chocolate contains a higher cocoa content (than milk chocolate) and cocoa contains a decent amount of soluble fibre and minerals. Furthermore, consuming dark chocolate can improve important risk factors for heart disease as well as help reduce cholesterol in men. And finally, it is another strong ambassador for antioxidants like polyphenols, flavanols and other medical names which are hard to pronounce.
So there you have it. No need to stock up on expensive multi vitamins next time you’re at the chemist, or fall victim to internet ‘miracle cures”. Go juice up a carrot, apple and orange and reward yourself with a piece of chocolate.