10 Best Foods and 10 Worst Foods
Sunday, 3 May 2015 | Editor
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Good Health Foods
Bilberries | Broccoli | Seeds and Nuts | Green Foods | Organic Eggs | Wild Alaskan Salmon | Coconut Butter | Yoghurt | Brown Rice | Water
Bad Health Foods
Soft Drinks | Anything with transfats | Processed Meats | Doughnuts | Pizza | French Fries | Fried Seafood | Microwaved Food | Additives | Pork Scratchings
No.1 Bilberries, Acai and Pomegranate, and drinks made from 100% fruit (e.g. Innocent range).
Studies show that the Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is one of the most nutritious and powerful foods on this planet.
Native to the Amazon rainforests of Brazil, the Acai berry contains more calcium than comparable amounts of milk and more antioxidants than blueberries. It has a sweet flavour with a delicious chocolate overtone.
Acai berries taste scrumptious, and are packed full of antioxidants, essential fatty acids and amino acids. You may not find Acai berries easily, but it's one of the ingredients in one of the Innocent range of fruit drinks. Also comes in supplement form. (People who need to watch their blood sugar should drink this in small quantities only, and preferably dilute it with 50% water.) .
Pomegranate: After Acai, Pomegranate juice contains possibly the highest antioxidant capacity compared to other juices, red wine and green tea. They have been revered throughout history, in many varied cultures.
Research suggests that blueberries and bilberries have the potential to prevent many diseases associated with ageing. Indications are that a daily intake of 100 grams of blueberries or bilberries can stimulate new brain cell growth and may help with the prevention of memory loss. Blueberries are also rich in the plant group called anthocyanins, which helps oxygenate the skin, keeping it looking young. Scientists are also turning up results that suggest bilberries and blueberries reduce cholesterol as effectively as manmade drugs.
No.2 Broccoli and broccoli sprouts
Also Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, spring greens, curly kale, watercress, and all other vegetables .
No.3 Seeds and Nuts Especially almonds, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds (also called linseeds).
Buy fresh, keep in dark place and refrigerate when possible.
Almonds contain lots of vitamin E, magnesium and protein, as well as potassium, fibre and healthy fats. Buy organic if possible and eat the skins, which are full of flavonoids. The vitamin E, magnesium and flavonoids help reduce heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as lowering LDL cholesterol. They're also very low in sodium. Can be added to foods, whole or chopped, or eaten as a snack. Soaking overnight in water makes them more digestible.
Pumpkin seeds are good for everyone, but particularly older men. They've been shown to be good for the health of the prostate gland, and reduce incidence of hip fractures in men. Pumpkin seeds have anti-inflammatory action and are helpful with arthritis. The phytosterol content lowers cholesterol. They contain minerals, fibre and healthy fats. Can be added to foods, whole or ground, or eaten as a snack.
Flaxseed (linseeds) are very high in omega-3 essential fatty acids which have potent anti-inflammatory action. The omega-3 in flaxseed is one step away from the EPA found in fish oil, which has so many known benefits. Not everyone is able to make EPA from flaxseed's omega-3 (e.g. people with diabetes, or those who drink more than a little alcohol or eat more than a little saturated fat. However, even if this conversion does not take place, the omega-3 in flaxseed has benefits of its own. To be sure of getting EPA it's usually best to rely on fish oil. Whole linseeds, taken with a big glass of water, are very helpful in constipation.
No.4 Green Foods
Green foods like wheat and barley grasses, spirulina and Klamath Lake Blue Green Algae can be bought in powder, tablet or juice form, and offer greater levels of nutrients than green leafy vegetables. They also help cholesterol, blood pressure and immune response.
No.5 Organic eggs
Eggs contain all the right nutrients for health of the brain, nerves, glands and hormones. We like Colombo, which are free-range and high in omega-3 fatty acids.
No.6 Wild Alaskan Salmon
Unfortunately, due to toxicity, we can no longer recommend most fish (other than wild Alaskan salmon). Instead we recommend omega-3 be obtained from fish oil supplements, such as Eskimo-3 or Krill Oil. (Be aware that many fish oil products are not free from toxins - only buy the best)
No.7 Coconut Butter
Coconut is one of the safest and healthiest cooking oils. It’s also a great alternative to butter and margarine for spreading on bread when kept in the fridge. Coconut oil is rich in medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that digest easily and are an excellent source of energy and fuel for the body. In America dieters and athletes prefer coconut for this reason. Unlike saturated fats (e.g. butter), coconut doesn’t raise cholesterol. In fact Polynesians who use coconut oil daily have low cholesterol. And unlike margarines, coconut oil contains no toxic trans fatty acids.
No.8 Plain, live yoghurt and kefir
These cultured foods contain healthful bacteria that aid immune function, and the calcium helps burn fat. Try using them as a base for a smoothie. Or simply by Acidophilus designed to do this job
No.9 Brown rice, sweet potatoes, barley, millet, steamed new potatoes
Brown rice is a good source of B vitamins, manganese, selenium, iron and fibre, and can help lower cholesterol, reduce risk of diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, stroke and colon cancer, reduce severity of asthma, and lower frequency of migraine headaches. Brown rice may also help with weight management.
Sweet Potatoes High in antioxidant activity and also help to stabilise blood sugar. Sweet potatoes have good amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6 and other nutrients.
They're delicious baked in the oven, either whole or in thick slices, or steamed with some broccoli. Cook immediately after peeling or cutting, as they will oxidise (turn a dark colour) when exposed to the air.
Barley can be used as a breakfast cereal, in soups and stews, and as a rice substitute. Barley's also high in fibre, helping metabolise fats, cholesterol and carbohydrates.
Millet is high in manganese, magnesium and phosporous. It's also high in tryptophan which is needed to make serotonin to help with sleep and good mood. Can be cooked like rice, and used as base for porridge, or mixed with stir fry vegetables.
Quite often we think we're hungry, when actually we're dehydrated and our bodies are desperate for water.
Bad Health Foods
No.1 Soft drinks, soda drinks, including the "diet" kind
The average 12oz can supplies 10 teaspoons of sugar, which contribute to obesity, tooth decay and diabetes. Most supply preservatives, sodium, sulphites, tons of calories, and some provide caffeine.
Studies have linked soda drinks to osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay and heart disease. Plus, drinking all that sugar will likely suppress your appetite for healthy foods, which pave the way for nutrient deficiencies.
If you think 'diet' drinks are a better option, they're not. Most artificial sweeteners used in these drinks have been linked with cancer. And they still contain the other toxins of course. Drink water instead, or green tea, Innocent fruit juice diluted with 50% water, up to one coffee or a few cups of sugarless tea per day.
No.2 Anything with transfats (hydrogenated vegetable oil)
Not all fats are bad - we all know by now that the oils in fish, seeds, nuts and so on are very good for us. The problem arises when man takes the seed into the factory and changes it into something unnatural and extremely unhealthy. By the time man has finished, most refined oils are highly toxic and full of transfats. Includes margarines, most cooking oils, many burgers, many packaged foods, especially baked goods such as biscuits, cakes, crisps, crackers, etc.
The label should state whether the product contains hydrogenated vegetable oils. Transfats clog your arteries, raise LDL cholesterol, lower good HDL cholesterol, and increase risk of heart disease.
So long as the vast bulk of the diet comprises healthy foods, the body can cope with the odd 'indiscretion'. Just make sure you ENJOY it!
No.3 Bacon and other 'processed mystery meats'
Called 'mystery meats' because it's anybody's guess what some of these processed meats actually contain. Full of nitrites and nitrates, fat and salt. Nitrates are harmless, but can convert to nitrite, which can form nitrosamines, which are a powerful cancer causing chemical.
The epitome of 21st century junk food - refined flour, refined oil and refined sugar. Doughnuts will upset blood sugar balance, and give a quick 'high' followed by a 'low' - before you know it you're hungry again and reaching for another one, and a soft drink to wash it down!
No.5 Pizza loaded with cheese and processed "meat"
Refined flour, fat, salt, preservatives - token slithers of vegetable. The tomato is good, of course, but that's often the extent of the benefit.
No.6 French fries
Contain saturated fat, or worse, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and salt. The heat of deep frying destroys the vitamin C naturally found in potatoes.
Anything that is fried or cooked with high heat has the issue of acrylamide, which has been shown to cause cancer and neurotoxic effects in animal studies, and damage to nervous system in humans.
Acrylamide is formed when high carbohydrate foods are cooked at high temperatures.
No.7 Fried Seafood
Some of the problems with seafood (e.g. shrimps, prawns, lobster, clams, etc.) are: they can be loaded with toxic mercury; can be contaminated with parasites; can be contaminated with salmonella and campylobacter.
Furthermore, frying them in refined
oils adds transfats, and produces acrylamide (see no. 6 above).
If you want to eat fish, wild Alaskan salmon is still a good option.
No.8 Microwaved food
Sweeteners such as Aspartame, Acesulfame-K and Saccharin have been linked with cancer.
Preservatives such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), which is considered to be possibly carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer Institute. The State of California has listed BHA as a carcinogen.
Flavour enhancers, such as Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) - can lead to headaches, burning sensations on the skin and tightness in the chest ('Chinese Takeaway Syndrome')
No.10 Pork Scratchings
Pork Scratchings are typically heavy, hard and have a crispy layer of fat under the skin. Some still retain the hair of the pig, and are flavoured only with salt. The pig hair is usually removed by quickly burning the skin of the pig before it is cut into pieces and cooked in hot fat. Hair removal is not 100% effective which is why some retain a few hairs!
They're very high in salt and, of course, fat.