Curb your cholesterol with these superfoods!
The primary ingredient in soya accounting for its nutrient density is isoflavones, which fight diseases on several fronts.
The isoflavones help to reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats, due to the similarity in chemical structure of soya isoflavones and estrogen, the loss of which leads to menopause.
They reduce cardiovascular disease risk by inhibiting the growth artery-clogging plaque and improving one’s cholesterol profile. They also fight osteoporosis by preserving bone substance.
Soya isoflavones have potent antioxidant properties, comparable apparently to that of the better known vitamin E, which can potentially protect against cancer by fighting against free radical damage. In fact, studies have shown a strong association between the consumption of soya isoflavones and reduced risk of endometrial and breast cancers.
Wild salmon and other fatty fish like Alaskan halibut, herring, sardines and clams are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids – docosahexanoic acid or DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA.
They are essential to the development of our brains, as well as general mental and cognitive wellbeing. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and improvements have been noted in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who were supplemented with daily doses of fish oils. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They can also be converted in the body to anti-inflammatory compounds that help decrease pain.
Tomatoes boast many phytonutrients such as lycopene, phytoene, phytofluene, lutein and beta-carotene – a cocktail of potent antioxidants that act on free radicals that can otherwise damage the body’s cells.
In addition, lycopene is said to boost the skin’s natural sun defences. Do note that processed and cooked tomatoes are also said to be even more nutritious than raw ones, as cooking breaks down their cell walls and frees up more lycopene for absorption by the body.
The anthocyanin flavonoids in blueberries are responsible for their lovely, deep colour and powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Blueberries also boast an antioxidant known as ellagic acid, which has been found in some animal studies to inhibit the growth of tumours arising from certain carcinogens. Ellagic acid can be found in other berry varieties, such as raspberries and blackberries. Being rich in soluble fibre, blueberries can relieve diarrhoea and constipation.