If it's good enough for Popeye, it's good enough for you. Spinach is a nutrient-dense superfood and thanks to its increase in popularity it is readily available in nearly all supermarkets. Whether fresh, frozen or even canned as our pipe smoking sailor friend prefers it. Spinach is one of the healthiest foods on the planet, it is packed with energy whilst low in calories. It is also a great source of Vitamins A, K, and essential folate.
Agreed, it may make your breath smell, but trust us, the benefits it provides are well worth it. Garlic has been used to fight disease for hundreds of years now as it inhibits the growth of bacteria. It also lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and is a powerful anti-inflammatory. So look past the smell, buy some mouthwash and get yourself some garlic.
Lemons have been widely regarded in the health industry as the world's healthiest food. The sour fruit is an alkalising powerfood; they have strong anti-inflammatory qualities and can even help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. They aid both the liver and bowels, and also have the same amount of Vitamin C as an orange. So, when the world gives you lemons, say thank you, and add a slice to some water and enjoy.
The purple vegetable is sometimes overlooked when it comes to being one of the healthiest foods available. But there are arguments that it could still be a superfood, and we agree. Beetroot is good for the brain and can lower blood pressure. Recent health claims even state that it boosts exercise performance and can even help prevent dementia. This root vegetable is filled with folate, magnesium and vitamin C, so start adding it to your salads from now on.
Yes you've read it right, we're putting chocolate into our list of healthy foods - this should have chocoholics everywhere jumping for joy. Research shows that chocolate contains more antioxidants, gram for gram than most fruit juices. Dark chocolates high antioxidant content (which is on par or greater than many superfoods) gives protection from disease-causing free radicals. It may help prevent cancer, improve heart health and is good for your overall cholesterol profile. Plus it is a natural mood-booster, so you'll be happy as you eat it! Please remember, this doesn't mean you can eat the full family bar to yourself and feel better for it. You need to eat in healthy moderation, just one or two squares per day is enough to reap the benefits without piling on the pounds and make sure to find a minimally processed bar with at least 70% cocoa content.
These have been a staple part of Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine for thousands of years. Now thanks to their health benefits, they have made their way to the UK. Lentils are high in fibre and protein, their nutritional benefits include the ability to improve and maintain heart health, assist weight loss in a healthy way, fight blood sugar fluctuations that can lead to diabetes or low energy levels, and improve digestive health. If you're a vegetarian or a vegan you're probably already loving lentils, and using them as a meat substitute in your recipes. If you have never had them, trust us, add them to a salad, soup or a stew and enjoy the benefits.
The most consumed berry in the world, raspberries are filled with antioxidants, Vitamin C and iron. Research has shown increasing your consumption of these decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and promotes a healthy complexion, increased energy and overall lower weight. So next time you're on the fruit aisle, make sure to put some raspberries in your basket.
As far as nuts go, it's a mixed bag (pause for laughter), some are very good for you and some not. Walnuts have more antioxidants than any other nut, they are also high in Vitamin E, plan serums, omega 3 oils and healthy fats. Studies suggest that walnuts are as effective as olive oil at reducing inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after a fatty meal. With most of our healthy foods, they need to be eaten in moderation, as too many is not good. It is recommended to eat around 8 walnuts a day to achieve the benefits.
This fish is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids which is linked to reducing the risk of depression, heart disease and cancer. A 3oz serving will contain almost 50% of your daily dose of niacin which can protect the body against Alzheimer's disease and memory loss, hence why it is known as brain food. It is high in protein, vitamins and minerals - potassium, selenium and Vitamin B12.
The avocado can divide people, it is the marmite of the fruit world. So what if we told you that eating 1 or 2 a week will give you all the benefit of healthy monounsaturated fats, potassium, folate and Vitamins K, C, B5, B6 and E! Avocados are incredibly nutritious, loaded with heart healthy fatty acids and are high in fibre. The benefits to eating this 'alligator pear' are the lowering of cholesterol and triglyceride levels, they protect your eyes, relieve symptoms of arthritis and may help to prevent cancer. So if you haven't tried it, please do, and if you didn't like it, maybe give it another chance.