Top five super foods by Angela Steel

 

In the words of Gandhi, “It is health that is wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” The foods you choose to eat are the greatest contributors to this bank balance. Here are four of Angela Steel’s favourite convenient and nutrient-rich super foods that will tip the balance in your favour.

 

Pumpkin seeds

Taste and convenience alone make pumpkin seeds a super food in my view – they are so easy to sprinkle onto salad and soup, and delicious lightly toasted in a dry frying pan – no more than 5 minutes at medium heat so as not to damage their omega 3 and 6 contents. These healthy fats, as well as their generous concentration in vitamin E and Zinc, make them a perfect food for your skin. Of all the nuts and seeds, pumpkin seeds are one of the highest in phytosterols – a naturally occurring compound with cholesterol-lowering properties.

 

Red cabbage

I’m a recent convert to red cabbage, having unjustly spurned it in the past. I just keep one in the fridge and slice off chunks that I eat raw as a snack or chop into my salads. The purply red colour and incredibly fresh, crisp texture make this a particularly attractive member of the Brassica genus of vegetables (which includes broccoli and cauliflower too). Brassica contain compounds called indoles, which are known for deactivating carcinogens. No wonder they have a reputation for dramatically reducing the risk of cancer! The red variety will also give you a healthy dose of anthocyanins, the same plant pigment molecules that make blueberries blue.

 

Avocado

So many people are afraid of avocados because they believe them to be fattening. And yet the fats contained in this super food are the healthy monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Among them are so called phytosterols, which have powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. This unique and creamy-textured wonder food contains a myriad of other nutrients including lutein – an antioxidant linked to eye and skin health – folate, vitamin E, and high levels of fibre, making them an ideal ingredient to boost your smoothie’s nutritious credentials.

 

Beetroot

Clients often ask about foods to help reduce high blood pressure, and beetroots are highest on my list. They are rich in nitrates, which get converted into nitric oxide in the body, a chemical known to dilate the arteries and bring down blood pressure. For the same reason, beetroot has been linked to increased blood flow to the brain, and possible dementia-preventing properties. Their deep red pigment, found also in small amounts in the stems of rainbow chard, signals a rich concentration of betalains, a phytonutrient with strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification properties.

 

Dark chocolate

Cocoa-rich chocolate (as long as it’s low in sugar – check the label) has many health benefits. Studies have found it helps prevent cardiovascular disease and strokes by reducing the clumping of platelets, which cause blood to clot. Recent research linking it to the cutting-edge field of ‘gut microbiome’ is particularly fascinating. Our gut bacteria are the interface between the food we eat and what our body takes from it, and it appears they love to feast on the components in dark chocolate (who would blame them?), turning them into powerful anti-inflammatory compounds.

 

About Angela Steel

Over the last few years, Angela has worked with 100′s of busy professionals to design a unique cutting edge nutrition system to help top executives, business owners and employees reach their full potential. She combines her deep knowledge of nutrition with her own personal experience of working in the corporate world, before running her own business. She is all too familiar with all the challenges these entail, including stress, lack of time (and energy!), business travel and hotel food. Angela’s passion for nutrition developed as a result of a quest, in her earlier career as a Marketing Director in the software industry, for more energy, wellbeing and general meaning in her life. She discovered the amazing benefits that well informed food choices can have, after her first fasting retreat in Thailand. Since then, having completed her formal 3 year training in nutrition, she has developed an approach which combines her love of tasty and satisfying food with its health giving properties. It’s a strong belief of hers that enjoyment of food and good health are not mutually exclusive, and many of her clients are surprised at the astounding results they get without having to feel deprived or eat foods they don’t enjoy. Since qualifying as a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist in 2009, Angela regularly updates her knowledge and understanding through continuous professional development, including studying Functional Medicine under the guidance of Dr Dicken Weatherby and Ron Grisanti (Functional Medicine University and FMTown, United States). She holds the following professional memberships and complies with their strict code of conduct and ethical standards: British Association of Applied Nutritional Therapy (BANT) Registered practitioner with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council Senior Associate of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) Member of the Guild of Health Writers
http://www.superwellness.co.uk

 

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