Super foods are denoted as such for the additional
properties they contain supporting disease prevention
and/or longevity. Include some of the following "super
foods" into your diet each day.
Considerable evidence exists of an enzyme found in
plants that protect animals against chemically induced
Further, diets rich in fruits and vegetables have shown
a 20% - 50% reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease
and cancers. Such plants include:
Cruciferous (mustard family) vegetables:
broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
Brassica vegetables contain little fat, are low in energy,
and are sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber—all
aspects linked to cancer protection. Brocolli contains
vitamins C, A, Beta Carotene and Fiber.
Suggested Daily Serve: 2 spears
Beans: Contain phytochemicals and
protease inhibitors that may help prevent cancer
Cabbage: The humble white cabbage
contains macrophage-stimulating components which have
an anti-tumour effect. Red cabbage also acts against
Carrots: Grated carrots, carrot juice
and spinach supply carotenes maintain plasma retinol.
Recommended quantity: 3350 and 4750 micrograms from
78 ml carrot juice [prepared from 185 g carrots) or
91 g grated carrots, respectively] .
Suggested Daily Serve: 2 medium carrots
every other day provide enough beta carotene to reduce
stroke risk by half for men who already have symptoms
of heart disease
NOTE: Allergic reactions to carrot
affect up to 25% of food-allergic subjects. A total
of 35 volatiles were identified with white carrot containing
the highest content, followed by orange, purple, and
Cauliflower: Cauliflower by-products
are a source of antioxidant phenolics with significant
free radical scavenging activity. They also have capacity
to inhibit lipid peroxidation.
Chard: In diabetes mellitus, increased
free radical formation raises the incidence of atherosclerosis
and cardiovascular diseases. Chard extract reversed
the effects of diabetes on blood glucose and tissue
lipid peroxidation and glutathione levels. Chard also
has a protective effect on the kidney
Chilli Peppers: The heat source in
chilis, capsaicin, is an antioxidant. Contains blood
thinning properties to prevent strokes, lowers cholesterol,
protects DNA against carcinogens, may stimulate release
of endorphins ("natural high" chemicals)
Vegetable Oils: Vegetable oils are
the richest dietary source of phytosterols; corn oil
contains 0.77% phytosterols by weight. Phytosterols
comprising < 1% of commercial corn oil substantially
reduced cholesterol absorption and may account for part
of the cholesterol-lowering activity of corn oil previously
attributed solely to unsaturated fatty acids.
Cucumber: Tablet cucumber vine compound
is effective against hypertension.
Garlic: Garlic has strong antioxidant
properties and can also prevent cardiovascular disease,
inhibit platelet aggregation, thrombus formation, prevent
cancer, diseases associated with cerebral aging, arthritis,
cataract formation, and rejuvenate skin, improve blood
circulation and energy levels. Garlic extract also protects
tissues against oxidative damage and can be an effective
antibacterial agent for pathogenic microorganisms in
pneumonia. Current research is also showing promise
for garlics anti-thrombotic effect.
NOTE: Raw garlic homogenate has antioxidant potential
but higher doses have been shown to be toxic to the
heart, liver and kidney.
Mushrooms: Contain beta-glucan, which
stimulates immune system. Shitake, enoki, zhuling and
reishi all have anti-cancer and antiviral effects
Tomato and Garlic: Tomato and garlic
suspensions have a protective effect on colon carcinogenesis.
Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, beta-carotene,
folate, potassium, vitamin C, flavonoids, and vitamin
E. Lycopene, a carotenoid is associated with lowering
the risk of prostate cancer. NOTE: Growing conditions
are important in determining fruit characteristics:
cherry tomato produced under the influence of moderate
salt stress showed increases in the lipophilic antioxidative
ability and the amount of carotenoid, whereas the level
of glycoalkaloid decreased.
Tomato Sauce: The processing of tomatoes
may significantly affect the bioavailability of these
nutrients. Homogenization, heat treatment, and the incorporation
of oil in processed tomato products leads to increased
lycopene bioavailability. Thermal processing enhances
the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing total
Soyabeans and Tofu: Lowers "bad"
LDL cholesterol levels in bloodstream which reduces
heart disease risk. Studies have shown that people who
regularly eat soy products have reduced risk or lower
rates of prostate, colon, lung, rectal and stomach cancers.
Spinach: Contains vitamins A and C,
folic acid and magnesium which help control cancer,
reduces heart disease and stroke risk, blocks free radicals
and may help prevent osteoporosis.
WARNING: Some fruits may initiate allergic reactions.
Anaphylaxis due to mangoes, oranges, nuts and pineapples.
Apples: high intake of apples has
shown reduced cholesteryl esters in the liver, and hepatic
ACAT activity. Apple peels have high concentrations
of phenolic compounds and may assist in the prevention
of chronic diseases.
NOTE: consumption of a high amount of apples
and to a lesser degree grapes contributed significantly
to dental caries. However, the above fruits had a
beneficial effect on the periodontal status
Apricots: Fresh apricots are high
in beta-carotene. Also contains vitamin C and fiber.
Avocado Oil: Avocado, known for its
high cholesterol, is proving a star in the cosmetic
industry and a delivery mechanism for antiaging serums,
due to its high absorption rate by the skin. Vitamin
B(12) cream containing avocado oil has also been heralded
as therapy of psoriasis.
Banana: Rich in magnesium (helps protect
circulatory system), potassium and slowly-absorbed sugars.
Plantain banana (Musa sapientum var. paradisiaca) have
ulcer protective and healing properties through its
effect on various mucosal defensive factors. A strong
water-soluble antioxidant was identified in the popular
commercial banana Musa cavendishii.
Blueberries: Lowbush blueberries (Vaccinium
angustifolium Aiton) have a high antioxidant and are
being studied further for their protective effect on
stroke-induced damaged neurons. This suggests that blueberries
may improve ischemic stroke outcomes.
Blackberries, Raspberries and Strawberries:
May be the richest source for antioxidants.
Strawberries contains ellagic acid, which has anti-cancer
properties. They also have the highest antioxidant capacity,
followed by black raspberries (cv. Jewel), blackberries,
and red raspberries. Black raspberries will inhibit
tumour formation in the oral cavity.
Cherries: Cherries may inhibit inflammatory
Citrus: Contains vitamin C which helps
your body fight cancers (lung, cervical, oesophagus
& stomach). Rich in bioflavonoids. Citrus peels
have a cholesterol lowering effect. Lemon flavonoids
of eriocitrin and hesperidin also play a role as antioxidant.
Lime juice may inhibit the survival of V. cholerae in
Citrus fruit juices: A natural alternative
to potassium citrate in the management of renal stones.
Grapefruit juice increases the metabolism in liver.
grapefruit pectin-supplemented diet, without change
in lifestyle, can significantly reduce plasma cholesterol.
Cranberries: Particularly in the form
of cranberry juice have been used widely for several
decades for the prevention and treatment of urinary
tract infections (UTIs). Since cranberry juice acidifies
urine it is currently being investigated for the treatment
of brushite and struvite stones. Blackcurrant juice
could also support treatment of uric acid stone disease
due to its alkalizing effect.
Dates: Fruits of the date palm (Phoenix
dactylifera L. Arecaceae) indicate potent antioxidant
and antimutagenic activity with potent free-radical-scavenging
ability. WARNING: infections involving skin or in immunocompromised
patients have been reported of edible dates being a
source of these organisms and we emphasize the importance
of the common practice of washing hands following the
consumption of these fruits by hand.
Figs: Figs have shown insulin requirement
lowering properties. In recent studies, the average
insulin dose required was 12%. WARNING: Sun-drying of
these fruits on the tree resulted in fungal infection
and colonization. Aflatoxin accumulation equaled levels
frequently reported for such seeds as peanuts and cereal
grains. Compounds from fig plants are being used to
develop products against forms of anthrax
Gooseberries: Gooseberries have demonstrated
a decrease in cholesterol levels
Grapes / Wine: Mild-to-moderate wine
consumption is associated with a reduced incidence of
mortality and morbidity from coronary heart disease.
Resveratrol, a compound of wine and
grapes is a potent antiarrhythmic agent with cardioprotective
properties and reduces ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury
thereby proving effective in the prevention of kidney
disease and the risk of organ rejection after renal
Mangos: Contains bioflavonoids that
aid the immune system
Melon: Bitter melon is often used
in Asia to treat various diseases (e.g., malaria), Melon
also has anti-viral, anti-tumor, and immune system boosting
properties. Cervical cancer patients have a defective
immune system. There is a decrease of total white blood
cell count including lymphocytes and natural killer
(NK) cells. It is also known for its hypoglycemic effect,
which can counteract the adverse effects of a high fat
diet. Rural Filipino midwives place a strong bitter
melon extract in a newborn's mouth to activate the immune
system and is also being trialed in HIV therapy. It
is capable of acting against multiple stages of the
viral life cycle, on acute infection as well as replication
in chronically infected cells.
Bitter melon therapy can be prepared by extracting
juices from fresh leaves and fruits and adding purified
water to the extract to control the potency. Another
preparation involves bringing two pounds of leaves and
fruits in a gallon of purified water to a boil, allowing
it to simmer for five minutes, filtering the decoction,
and storing it in the refrigerator. The therapy can
be administered either orally or via the rectum.
Watermelon is a rich natural source of lycopene, with
antioxidant capacity. Lycopene is bio-available from
both fresh-frozen watermelon juice and canned tomato
Olive Oil: Olive oil phenolics are
Papaya: Papaya has the ability to
counteract the oxidative stress. WARNING: unripe or
semi-ripe papaya (contain high concentration of the
latex that can produce marked uterine contractions)
could be unsafe in pregnancy.
Pineapple: Both papaya and pineapple
contain high amounts of enzymes that help combat everything
from autoimmune diseases, allergies, and cancer
Pear: Prickly pear pectin decreases
plasma LDL concentrations.
Persimmon: persimmon possesses hypolipidemic
and antioxidant properties
Pomegranate: Pomegranate juice can
protect against cardiovascular
disease due to its inhibitory effect on oxidative
stress and on serum ACE activity. Punicalagin is an
of pomegranate juice. This compound is responsible for
the high antioxidant
activity of this juice.
drastically increases the risk of osteoporosis.
Many lifestyle and nutritional factors play an important
role in the maintenance of skeletal health. Recent research
findings suggest that dried plums, a rich source of
phenolic and flavonoid compounds, are highly effective
in modulating bone mass in an ovarian hormone-deficient
Others: Green tea contains polyphenols,
which may reduce heart disease, cancer and stroke risk.
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