A lot of newspapers often carry reports about superfoods that we should all eat to ensure a long and active life. The the experts recommend that we should all eat them as part of our diets.
So do I and in this site my nutrition diet recommends the foods – mostly fruit and vegetables. They include apples, berries, broccoli, tomatoes, oranges, plums, spinach and grapes. These foods are among foods that contain polyphenols. In fact it is often stated that ‘a low intake of fruit and vegetables increases the risk of chronic disease’. My main diet recommendations are based on eating more fruit and vegetables.
Polyphenols are powerful anti-oxidents and also have anti inflammatory properties. Another powerful one is an extract from olives called hydroxtyrsosol.
Anti-oxidents help prevent damage to cells caused by oxidation. Oxidation can lead to cell damage that triggers cancer, inflammation, ageing and heart problems. This process is caused by free oxidising radical (commonly known as free radicals). Free radicals are also found in exhaust fumes, smoke, fried foods and BBQ foods.
Anti-oxidents that fight free radicals include Vitamins A, C and E and Selenium and others include the polyphenols they are all talking about. It is not a new discovery but more confirmation that anti-oxidents help slow down the ageing process. Anti-oxidents also help boost the immune system, increasing the resistance to infection.
More and more anti-oxidents are being discovered including the polyphenols, bioflavanoids, lycopene (from tomatoes) etc and they are found in berries, grapes, tomatoes, broccoli etc which includes the foods often mentioned in the studies.
The other factor about the foods is that they should all be eaten or as many as possible included in your diet. Once again it brings me back to The Nutrition Diet. There I to stress the benefits of eating more fruit and vegetables and at the same time a wide variety of foods to get the widest range of nutrients, including anti-oxidents.
As I keep saying, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables is the key to a healthy life and variety is the spice of life. Adding extras to your everyday meals is a start. Try adding seeds or fresh fruit to your cereals or grating a carrot in your salad as just two examples.
The other way to add variety and extra nutrition is to grow your own greens. We can all do it, even if you don’t have any garden. I only have a small garden and space is at a premium. There are also only the two of us and trying to grow lots of vegetables and salad plants is just not practical or economical. When they do grow they will all come ready at the same time and a lot is then wasted. Well not completely wasted as they finish up in the compost. But growing vegetables and salad can be done easily and give you a wide variety extra nutrition to your diet.
First buy some seeds. Either mixed salad leaves or chinese leaves mix. Alternatively buy your own selection – lettuce, spinach, pak choi, swiss chard, chinese cabbage, beet, etc. Mix them all together to make your own salad/vegetable mix. One thing to watch though is to make sure you only mix seeds that have a similar growing cycle so that they are all growing at the same time.
Now you have your seeds, make a space for your ‘mini’ garden. I use about a square metre for one batch but any smaller size will do. I have even used 2 or 3 seed trays. Troughs, large tubs, etc are also a possibility. Sow your seeds as per the instructions and once they are growing and with the second leaves showing you can start using them on salads by pulling a few plants to thin them out while the rest continue to grow. As they get bigger just keeping pulling a hand full of leaves to use with your meals.
Obviously these mine vegetables won’t make up a meal but that is not the intention. The intention is to add variety and other nutrients to your meal. Still buy a lettuce from the shop, make your salad then add your leaf mixture to the chopped lettuce.
If that is too much bother or too much work when you have a busy schedule, just buy a bag of salad leaves from the supermarket and add to your bought lettuce!! It is more rewarding doing it yourself but it is still adding variety to your diet. Another tip grate a carrot on your salad or even on your vegetables with a cooked dinner. Use your imagination and you will be amazed how easy it is to make your normal meals more nutritious and at the same time tastier with the added flavours.
My apologies for being quiet for so long. No excuses. Now back to blogging after the too long a break. During this time I seem to have avoided any return of my gout attack. I am not sure how, as I have hardly changed my diet which was anyway reasonably healthy. I try to practice what I preach, though like everyone else I am not perfect. The only change I have made really is to the water I drink. As mentioned when I had my gout attack and started looking for causes, the only thing I found was that most bottled waters were acidic. Some as low as 5.6 ph. I now use alkalising (PH) drops in my drinking water. Maybe it was the water who knows. The body is a complicated machine which should be kept in balance. There is still a lot about how the body works with nutrition that we don’t know or understand. We have to listen to our body and try and do the best we can with our diet and lifestyle to make sure the body stays in balance.