Saturday, July 15, 2006

Seven food Superstars

Learn to love these fruits and vegetables. They're all rich sources of the antioxidant vitamins C, E and betacarotene (which the body converts to vitamin A)

AVOCADOS High in vitamin E but also high in fat and calories, so enjoy them, but not too often.

CARROTS Simply bursting with betacarotene, carrots also supply some vitamin C and E. They may also help lower cholesterol.

SWEET POTATO One of the foods that's low-fat, yet has a high vitamin E level. It's also a good source of betacarotene.

BROCCOLI Good for antioxidants and a great source of iron and folic acid. Eating a 6oz serving of broccoli three times a week may also help to lower your risk of developing cancer.

RED PEPPERS Very high in vitamin C. Red peppers, rather than green or orange, are best for betacarotene.

MANGOES A ripe mango is a deliciously sweet source of betacarotene, vitamins C and E, and also contains iron.

BLACKCURRANTS One of the richest sources of vit min C and high in flavonoids - pigments which give the fruit its dark colour and are believed to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.


The oxygen in the air we breathe is transferred from the lungs into the blood and carried to every cell in the body. Once inside a cell, it helps fire many reactions including the burning of energy, a process known as 'oxidation'.

During oxidation, substances known as free radicals are formed. Chemically, these are unstable because they lack an electron; they literally go charging off round the body in search of one to regain stability. The trouble is they're not choosy and will grab one from the nearest source. This could be from a cell wall or some material inside a cell. The unsuspecting donor which gives up an electron is left damaged. It's thought that such damage to genetic material could cause cancer.
As well as being formed as a natural by-product of living, car exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke and UV light can also increase free radicals.

But our bodies have developed a defence system against them in the form of 'antioxidants'. Antioxidants are able to give up one of their own electrons with no detrimental consequences to themselves. Some of the most important are in food and drink. Vitamins C, E and betacarotene are the best known and are found in fruits and vegetables. Recent research shows that substances such as the green pigment, luteolin, in spinach; lycopene, the red pigment in tomatoes; and polyphenols in tea, red wine and apples also have strong antioxidant effects and may help protect against disease.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

5 ways to eat better

1. start small Eat nutritious foods without sacrificing the joy of eating. If you hate broccoli, try other nutrient rich foods.

2. eat until you're satisfied but not stuffed. Remember to stop when you're full and leave the rest for the fat you.

3. learn to love good food Reaching for raw vegetable sticks instead of crisps may not come naturally, but keep trying. you can develop a taste for lowfat foods.

4. be an adventurous eater Experiment with food you've not tried before to vary your diet as much as possible.

5. know your nutrition Keep a check on your fat intake, pack in your five daily fruits and vegetables, look at labels and eat a balanced diet to enjoy the best of health.