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Thirteen Superfoods


Ever wondered what the very best foods are for healthy living? Opinions may differ, but Michael van Straten is the UK’s most respected naturopath, and these are the foods that he recommends we enjoy…

1 Apples

Pectin and vitamin C reduce cholesterol; pectin protects against pollution by eliminating heavy metals; malic and tartaric acids relieve indigestion and breakdown fats; traditional with cheese, duck and goose; two a day helps arthritis, rheumatism or gout; grated apple stops diarrhoea.

2 Avocado Pears

Potassium rich, for fatigue, depression and poor digestion; vitamins A, B, C and E, so an anti-cancer food; healthy monounsaturated oil; stimulates production of collagen; eat for circulation, skin and fertility. Ignore all rumours that this nutritional powerhouse is fattening.

3 Bananas

Perfect fast food with potassium, zinc, iron, folic acid, calcium, B6 and fibre. Good for digestion, menstrual difficulties; essential for athletes; perfect food for old and young. With apples, rice and dry toast they make up the BRAT diet – the ideal treatment for sickness and diarrhoea.

4 Cabbage

Iron, chlorophyll, vitamin C, sulphur compounds and healing mucilaginous substances. Powerfully anti-cancer; vital for anaemia; stomach inflammation and ulcers; protective against stress, infection and heart disease. Best eaten slightly steamed.

5 Carrots

Super-rich in betacarotene – one supplies enough for a day; anti-cancer, especially of the bowel; pureed for infant diarrhoea; juiced for liver problems; also contains vitamins C and E for circulatory disease, for chest infections, skin and eye problems. Eat at least two or three times a week lightly cooked.

6 Chicken Soup

Researchers have found a special sulphur compound in chicken soup that really does protect against throat and chest infections. Protein in the soup is easily absorbed, so it’s perfect invalid food. Low immunity, chronic fatigue and sexual dysfunction may all be aggravated by poor protein absorption, so chicken soup could be the answer.

7 Flax Seeds

These seeds and their oil are the richest source of Omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. They’re heart protective, control cholesterol levels, help prevent some forms of cancer and improve brain function. The seeds are a powerhouse of other nutrients including vitamin E, manganese and plant fibre. They can help in the prevention of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, asthma and other allergies.

8 Garlic

The king of healing plants. Modern science proves it reduces cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, stops blood from clotting and improves the circulation. It’s antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-cancer, and good for chest infections and stomach bugs too. Eat at least a clove each day.

9 Oats

Supply protein, polyunsaturated fats, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, magnesium, silicon and vitamin E. They’re easily digested and soothing to the digestive tract. Oats help depression and reduce cholesterol – a daily bowl can lower levels by 20%. They also help regulate sugar metabolism so they’re good for diabetics and oat fibre keeps the bowels regular. They are the best and cheapest of all breakfast cereals.

10 Oily Fish

Oily fish are the only source of all the essential fatty acids. These are vital during pregnancy and breast feeding for the proper development of the brain in babies and infants. In children and adults they maintain brain function and the oils can help in the treatment of dyslexia and ADHD. They’re also the most important source of vitamin D, essential for strong bones and many hormone functions. Great for the relief of arthritis.

11 Onions

Onions protect the circulatory system and are a powerful antibiotic. They’re good for chest, stomach and urinary infections, and their diuretic activity helps with arthritis, rheumatism and gout. A recent study in Newcastle gave a traditional fry-up breakfast to volunteers, but half of them got fried onions too; the onion eaters’ blood was much less likely to clot than the others – research in America shows that half a raw onion a day raises the amount of good fats in the blood by 30%.

12 Potatoes

Even when boiled or baked this wonderful vegetable is a source of fibre, B vitamins, minerals and enough vitamin C to keep scurvy at bay. Baked in their skins are best as lots of nutrients, especially potassium and fibre, are in the skin. At less than a calorie per gram, cheap and very filling they’re good news for slimmers, and all the bad things you’ve read about potatoes are unfair and wrong, unless you only want to eat chips.

13 Soya

Soya beans, tofu and other soy products are a vital source of plant hormones called phytoestrogens. These protect against breast and prostate cancer, hormonal imbalances, PMS and menopausal problems including osteoporosis. Though a normal part of the daily diet in Asia, they’re not consumed nearly enough in the rest of the world.

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