1. Go Green
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, spinach and other cruciferous vegetables, contain powerful antioxidants called sulforaphane and indoles, which fight free radicals.
Green vegetables are rich in soluble fiber, which helps slow the absorption of carbohydrates and promote stable blood sugar levels.
Just one daily serving provides significant protection from different types of cancers (lungs, breast, stomach, colon, rectum).
Broccoli provides vitamin C and beta-carotene, two powerful antioxidant
nutrients that stop the damage caused by free radicals.
One serving of broccoli (two broccoli florets) provides approximately 100 per cent of the recommended daily requirement of vitamin C. When cooking broccoli, don’t discard the stalk and leaves – they are rich in nutrients. But make sure you don’t overcook it because heat is killing vitamin C.
Brussels sprouts contain a compound called sinigrin which fights cancer by triggering pre-cancerous cells to die. Even one serving (nine sprouts) can have this effect!
Aim for one portion of green vegetables each day.
2. Go Nuts
Nuts satisfy hunger more readily than most other foods. Although nuts are high in fat (90 per cent of their calories come from fat), this is mainly the kind which guards against heart disease and lowers cholesterol levels.
All nuts are a rich source of fiber, vitamin E (which helps keep the heart
healthy), B-vitamins, folate (which lowers the risk of heart disease and helps prevent cancer) and magnesium (important for healthy bones and nerve and muscle function).
Walnuts contain omega-3 oils, which lower blood cholesterol.
Almonds provide high amounts of calcium.
Peanuts are an excellent source of the antioxidant, which boosts your defense against cancer and heart disease.
Brazilian nuts are a good source of selenium, a potent antioxidant that helps
reduce signs of ageing, boosts the immune system and reduces the risk of
cancer. And one single Brazil nut provides most of a person’s daily requirement of this mineral!
Eat nuts for a snack or add them to cereals, yoghurt and salads.
3. Go Dark, I Mean, Chocolate
There is nothing wrong with enjoying chocolate from time to time and if it’s a dark one, you can have it on a daily basis.
Dark chocolate (with 70 per cent cocoa solids) contains useful amounts of magnesium, copper and iron as well as antioxidant flavanoids, which may lower blood pressure and heart disease risk.
Dark chocolate actually has the same antioxidant activity as fruit and vegetables.
The same can’t be said for milk chocolate or filled chocolates. Avoid chocolates that contain hydrogenated oil.
4. Go Wholegrain
Wholegrains provide both insoluble and soluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber promotes a healthy digestive system and lowers the risk of bowel cancer. Soluble fiber helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Wholegrains contain many phytonutrients, important in illness prevention.
Wholegrains help lower the risk of colon cancer. They contain phytic acid, which decreases the rate at which cancer cells spread, and enhances the immune system.
Wholegrains are good sources of iron (which transports oxygen to muscle
cells), zinc (for making new cells, healing and fighting infection), vitamin E
(which strengthens the immune system) and selenium (which helps fighting
Aim for at least three portions of wholegrains daily be it wholewheat bread, wholegrain cereals, wholemeal pasta, brown rice, whatever you like the best.