The Best of British Superfoods
Sarah Flower has compiled a very comprehensive and easy to understand list of British Superfoods you should be including in your day to day eating and what is so great about them!
One of the highest ORAC values (measure antioxidant activity). They score higher than blueberries, pomegranates and blackberries. In particular dark plums are rich in antioxidants, packed with anthrocyanidins and polyphenols, boosting the immune system and maintaining a healthy circulation
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in red pigmented fruit such as Tomatoes, watermelon and papaya. Not only can Lycopene protect you from heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes, but can also protect against some cancers.
Contains sulforaphane, which has been shown to slow down the progress of osteoarthritis and can also inhibit breast cancer stem cells. (Other organic sulphur compounds, such as MSM, has been shown to have a powerful anti-inflammatory affect and can help protect joints from damage). Packed with oxygenated carotenes such as zeaxanthin and lutein, which helps protect your eyes against macular degeneration. Broccoli also contains quercetin and plays an important role in detoxification and repair. Contains cancer fighting compounds called isothiocyanates which have been found to reduce the risk of bladder, lung and breast cancer. Try to eat some raw, or quick stir-fry as 60-90% of the anti-cancer properties are destroyed during cooking.
These contain the highest concentrations of antioxidants in all the onion family. Quercetin helps protect and repair damaged cells and aids detoxification. They are also high in vitamins and minerals including folate, vitamin C, B6, potassium, magnesium and manganese. Chromium helps to balance insulin production, fat and protein metabolism. They also contain Allicin (as found in garlic) so contain similar properties.
This tasty green leaf is packed with magnesium, vitamin A and C. Kale also contains lutein, which not only protects from macular degeneration, but has been shown to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improves hydration in the skin. Packed with healthy fibre, it also contains manganese, calcium and potassium. Try some kale crisps – a surprisingly tasty snack.
It is packed with at least 13 different antioxidant nutrients, including beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, plus folate. Evidence suggests its combination of plant nutrients and fibre may help defend against colon cancer. Slice the leaves and stems into 2-3 cm strips and steam or boil until just soft or throw into a stir-fry.
We know the allicin plays a vital role in heart health but garlic can also boost the immune system, helping you fight infection. It is also anti-bacteria, anti-fungal and an anti-inflammatory. When garlic is crushed or cut it allows allinase, an enzyme, to start a reaction that produces anti-cancer chemicals called allyl sulphides. If garlic is cooked too soon, it reduces the effect, but if you wait 10-15 minutes after chopping, they will be retained during cooking. Garlic also has antibiotic properties, which are thought to help protect against stomach cancer. The world cancer research fund states that garlic probably protects against colorectal and stomach cancer
Just like grandma used to do, it’s time to boil the bones and save the stock. Bone broth is packed with a mass of nutrients. packed with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. It helps support the digestive tract, boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation, as well as strengthen joints, hair, nails and promote healthy skin. Speak to your butcher as they are often happy to give away bones for you to use.
sparking controversy when Nigella made avocado on toast, Avocado is on most savvy shoppers’ grocery list. But Avocados are not just for show, they are a nutrient-rich powerhouse. Packed with healthy fats, fibre, vitamin E, K and B vitamins, avocados contain more potassium than a banana. Avocados can help lower cholesterol and triglycerides. It has even made its way into our puddings, being the hidden ingredient in our chocolate mousse.
Once demonised by Edwina Curry, are making a well-deserved comeback. They are a complete food, full of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, including lutein, protecting against macular degeneration. The vitamin A found in egg yolks normalises the production and life-cycle of skin cells and has a potent antioxidant effect, fighting skin damage that can lead to wrinkles.
Full Fat Milk
We are beginning to realise that fats are not as bad as we once thought. Milk is a good example. Fat soluble vitamins have been lost in our bid for skimmed milk, so grab a bottle of the full fat, packed with protein, healthy fats and vitamins.
Forget the man-made fats such as margarines and low fat spread, butter is having a revival as we are opting for more natural foods. Butter is rich in fat soluble vitamins and rich in conjugated linoleic acid. It contains lecithin, essential for cholesterol metabolism and a whole host of antioxidants. It is also a good source of selenium.