Spirulina and broccoli: 7 superfoods for better health

PHOTO: Spirulina and broccoli: 7 superfoods for better health

SINGAPORE - Sometimes, it can be very complicated to eat well in a world abundantly stocked with additives, artificial flavouring and trans fats.

Investigative food journalist Michael Pollan has a simple rule: Eat food. Meaning you should back away from those potato chips (and other processed foods) right now, and eat natural stuff that actually goes bad.

But, more than that, one should go for what are known as superfoods - foods with high concentrations of essential nutrients which are good for our health.

Some have been linked to lowered risks of getting chronic diseases, from cancer to heart disease and diabetes.

They can even help you lose weight, says author Lucy Danziger of weight-loss book The Drop 10 Diet, who told CNN that eating superfoods helped her lose 10kg in less than six months.

For many of these foods, the benefits come not just from the vitamins and minerals they contain, but also phytonutrients, which are found in the skin of fruit and vegetables.

They are natural chemicals responsible for giving many fruit and vegetables their colour, but are also indicative of the type of nutrients you can derive from them.

For example, the blue-green algae Spirulina contains antioxidants, vitamins B12 and B complex, as well as phytonutrients, including beta-carotene. Spirulina has 10 times the level of beta-carotene in carrot.

Spirulina also contains essential fatty acids, such as gamma-linolenic acid that is found in breast milk.

Its arsenal of nutrients can balance mood swings, improve liver function and intestinal health, and help in detoxification.

While different books and sources recommend different superfoods, check out the gallery below for more superfoods you can consider and why they are good for you:

This article was first published in  MyPaper  in November 2012.

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