Superfoods are nutrient rich & considered to be beneficial for health, reducing your risk of disease & improving your physical or emotional health.
Increases our own endogenous antioxidants, contains betacyanin a powerful antioxidant that increases the activity of glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S-transferase, two antioxidant enzymes made in our liver that protect liver cells against free radical damage.
Beetroot protects against cancer
Consumption of beetroot also causes an increase in the number of colonic CD8 cells, special immune cells responsible for eliminating abnormal cells including cancer cells.
Regular consumption of beetroot also protects against cancer-causing nitrosamines which result from sodium nitrate, a preservative found in processed meats like salami, hot dogs, pepperoni, ham, bacon and spam.
Beetroot offers protection against heart disease
Beetroot studies show;
- 30% drop in cholesterol.
- 40% drop in triglycerides (the form in which fats are transported in the blood. Hypertriglyceridaemia is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease).
- Increase in HDL (beneficial cholesterol).
The betaine in beetroot is anti-inflammatory
Beetroot contains betaine, a compound that lowers inflammatory markers. Betaine is also derived from choline found in egg yolk and soybeans. Phosphatidylcholines make up cell membranes.
- C-reactive protein
- tumour necrosis factor alpha
Inflammatory cytokines are linked to heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, cognitive decline and Alzheimer's and type-2 diabetes.
Lower blood pressure with a beetroot blast
Drinking 2 glasses of beetroot juice a day can significantly reduce blood pressure. The nitrate in beetroot is converted into nitrite and then into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide lowers blood pressure because it signals the endothelium (the lining of our blood vessels) to relax.
Beetroot offers protection against birth defects
Rich in the B vitamin folate, which is essential for normal tissue growth. The daily requirement for folate is 400 micrograms. Just one cup of boiled, sliced beetroot contains 136 micrograms of folate.
Russian Borsht, a healthy way to consume beetroot
Carotenoids in tomatoes are cancer-preventing antioxidants. Antioxidants such as carotenoids protect cells and other structures in the body from oxidative damage characterised by the inability of the system to detoxify or repair the damage. Protects of DNA (our genetic material).
Tomatoes prevent heart disease
Tomatoes contain lycopene. Lycopene is a bright red carotene and carotenoid pigment and phytochemical found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, such as red carrots, watermelons and papayas. Lycopene may be the most powerful carotenoid antioxidant. Given its antioxidant properties, substantial scientific and clinical research has been devoted to a possible correlation between lycopene consumption and general health. Early research suggested some amelioration of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even male infertility.
Lycopene protects against colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. The health effects of lycopene are better when consumed with fatty foods, such as avocado, olive oil or nuts. Organic tomato sauces far surpass non-organic in lycopene content.
Tomatoes prevent prostate disease
Eating a tomato-rich diet reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Cooked tomato is better as lycopene is a fat-soluble carotenoid that is absorbed more effectively when consumed cooked and in oil. It has been found that eating tomatoes and broccoli together reduces prostate cancer risk even more. Amount needed is 1.4 cups of raw broccoli and 2.5 cups of fresh tomato. Lycopene-rich fruits and vegetables include tomatoes, apricots, pink grapefruit, watermelon, papaya and guava.
Drink green tea also to prevent prostate cancer.
In a study involving 130 prostate cancer patients and 274 hospital controls, men drinking the most green tea were found to have an 86% reduced risk of prostate cancer compared, to those drinking the least.
Tomato is a natural anti-inflammatory
A daily glass of tomato juice lowers the inflammation marker TNF alpha 35% in less than one month.
Daily consumption of gazpacho, a Mediterranean vegetable soup that combines tomato, cucumber, and sweet pepper, olive oil, onion, garlic, wine vinegar and sea salt, increases blood levels of vitamin C.
Black beans contain soluble fibre which;
- Lowers cholesterol
- Balances blood sugar levels
Black beans reduce sulphite sensitivity
Black beans contain molybdenum, a cofactor to sulphite oxidase, which breaks down sulphites. (Sulphites are preservatives). Symptoms of sulphite sensitivity include rapid heartbeat, headache.
Black beans are the highest source of legume antioxidants
Black beans are as rich in antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins as cherries and berries. Antioxidants prevent the oxidation of LDL by free radicals to prevent atherosclerosis. Black beans have the most antioxidant activity, followed in descending order by red, brown, yellow and white beans.
Black beans help prevent heart disease
25 year study that examined food intake patterns and risk of death from coronary heart disease.
ood patterns were:
- Higher consumption of dairy products in Northern Europe.
- Higher consumption of meat in the U.S.
- Higher consumption of vegetables, legumes, fish, and wine in Southern Europe.
- Higher consumption of cereals, soy products, and fish in Japan.
Researchers found that higher consumption of legumes was associated with an 82% reduction in risk of heart disease.
Black beans are rich in magnesium and folate
Contain significant amounts of folate and magnesium. Folate is involved in methylation (break down) of homocysteine, DNA, toxins, hormones. Homocysteine is associated with high risks of cardiovascular disease and weakness in connective tissue particularly of arteries and veins. High levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Magnesium lowers blood pressure.
Replenishes Iron Stores
Black beans are rich in iron. Iron is a component of haemoglobin, which transports oxygen to all body cells, and is also part of enzyme systems involved in energy production.
Increases the endogenous antioxidant superoxide dismutase
Black beans are a good source of manganese, which is a cofactor in the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.
Parsley contains two types of components that benefit health. The first is volatile oils including myristicin, limonene, eugenol and alpha-thujene. The second type is flavonoids including apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol and luteolin.
Parsley contains myristin which has shown to be anti-cancer
Myristicin, parsley’s volatile oil, inhibits tumour formation. Myristicin activates the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, our bodies own antioxidant. Help neutralise carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes in cigarette smoke and charcoal grilled food).
Parsley is high in antioxidants
The flavonoids in parsley, especially luteolin function as antioxidants. Excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, beta-carotene. Vitamin C is the body's primary water-soluble antioxidant, rendering free radicals harmless. Vitamin C is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Beta-carotene is a fat-soluble antioxidant that works in the fat-soluble areas of the body.
Parsley is good for the heart
Parsley contains folic acid, which lowers homocysteine a dangerous molecule that can directly damage blood vessels.
Parsley has shown to be anticancer
Parsley is rich in folic acid a critical nutrient for proper cell division and is therefore important for cancer-prevention in two areas of the body that contain rapidly dividing cells, the colon, and in women, the cervix.
Parsley offers protection against rheumatoid arthritis
Indicated for people with a rheumatic diathesis i.e. have joint pain and kidney troubles.
Eating pumpkin supports men's health
In research studies, extracts from pumpkin including lycopene and cyptoxanthines reduce symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy BPH.
Pumpkin promotes lung health
Consuming foods rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange-red carotenoid found in highest amounts in pumpkin, corn, papaya, red bell peppers, tangerines, oranges and peaches, a significantly lower risk of lung cancer. Smokers consuming the most cryptoxanthin-rich foods were found to have a 37% lower risk of lung cancer compared to smokers who ate the least of these health-protective foods.
Beta carotene in pumpkin is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
The beta carotene in pumpkin prevents cell mutations that can lead to cancer. Prevents the oxidation of cholesterol in the body. Oxidised cholesterol builds up in blood vessel walls. Beta carotene prevents atherosclerosis.
Other health benefits of carotenoids
- Additionally, carotenoids balance blood sugar.
- Beta-carotene helps reduce the risk of colon cancer by protecting colon cells.
- Beta-carotene's anti-inflammatory effects reduce the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- The potassium helps to lower blood pressure.
- The vitamin C reduces the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and prevents the progression of atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Pumpkin contains fibre to reduce the risk of heart disease and colon cancer
In addition to its ability to lower high cholesterol levels, which reduces the risk of heart disease, the fibre found in pumpkin prevent s cancer-causing chemicals from attacking colon cells. High fibre foods are associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.
Chickpeas are one of the highest sources of isoflavones.
Chickpeas lower risk of the breast, prostate gland and colon cancer.
Isoflavones act as weak oestrogens allows them to bind to oestrogen receptors and block the detrimental effects of oestrogen much like a natural tamoxifen without side-effects.
Chickpeas improve bone health
Isoflavones consumption reduce s bone loss and slow calcium loss. Ipriflavone, a synthetic isoflavone drug prescribed in Europe, is metabolised in the body into daidzein and has potent effects on reducing bone resorption in post-menopausal women.
Chickpeas relieve menopausal symptoms
Studies have found that isoflavones relieve menopausal symptoms including hot flushes and increase bone density in postmenopausal women.
Chickpeas lower risk of heart disease
Chickpeas contains soluble cholesterol-lowering fibre.
Soluble fibre in chickpeas;
- Lowers total cholesterol
- Decreases LDL cholesterol
- Increase the beneficial HDL cholesterol
Prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal.
Chickpeas contain molybdenum which detoxifies sulphites
Contains the trace mineral, molybdenum, a component of the enzyme sulphite oxidase, which is responsible for detoxifying sulphites. If you have ever reacted to sulphites, it may be because your molybdenum stores are insufficient to detoxify them.
Chickpeas prevent heart disease and osteoporosis
Lowers both total and LDL "bad" cholesterol Chickpeas balance blood sugar to prevent insulin resistance and diseases associated with insulin resistance. Chickpeas provide calcium content as about the same as yoghurt and close to milk.
Phytoestrogen consumption may reduce lung cancer
There have been many studies examining the health benefits of phytoestrogens; including isoflavones (soybeans and non GM non processed whole soybean products including soy milk, tofu and tempeh, chickpeas and red clover), lignans (rye grains, linseeds, carrots, spinach, broccoli, and other vegetables) and coumestrol (beans, peas, clover, spinach and sprouts).
Food Containing the Highest Sources of Isoflavones and Lignans
- Red clover is the richest source of isoflavones, mainly biochanin A and formononetin, with lesser amounts of genistein, daidzein.
- The second richest source of isoflavones is Kudzu root with 200 mg/100 g.
- Soy comes in third with 37.3 - 140.3 mg/100 g. It is the richest source of the single isoflavone genistein.
- Chickpea has 1.15 - 3.60 mg/100 g total isoflavones.
- Pumpkin, teas (especially green), and berries are the next richest known dietary sources of phytoestrogens.
Carina Harkin BHSc.Nat.BHSc.Hom.BHSc.Acu.Cert IV TAE.