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Mcebo Dlamini appears in court. Picture Credit: Julia Madibogo
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By unknown | Apr 30, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

We are all entitled to have our likes and dislikes when it comes to the food we eat. But we should all make a point of eating certain foods because they are simply magic.

We are all entitled to have our likes and dislikes when it comes to the food we eat. But we should all make a point of eating certain foods because they are simply magic.

Below is a list of super foods that you can't afford not to eat.

1. Tuna

Tuna and other fatty, dark-skinned fish. Fatty fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Research suggests that omega-3 can also play a role in preventing hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, depression, dry-eye syndrome and possibly, cancer. Try to eat fatty fish at least two or three times a week.

2. Eggs

Eggs are packed with goodness and while they do contain cholesterol, the effect is not as detrimental as scientists once believed .

For as little as 75 calories, the humble egg provides 12percent of the daily recommended value for protein as well as a wide variety of other nutrients such as vitamin A, B6, B12, D, folate, iron, phosphorous and zinc.

If your cholesterol levels are normal, two or three eggs a week could boost your health. Opt for poached, boiled or scrambled eggs instead of fried.

3. Beans

Baked beans, black beans, lima beans, kidney beans. Eating plenty of beans can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke and help to prevent cancer say researchers. Beans are a rich source of antioxidants. They provide a good source of B vitamins, potassium and fibre - and are inexpensive.

4. Cocoa

This delicious treat could lower your risk for heart disease and hypertension.

But the key ingredients in cocoa, called flavanols, are only present in dark chocolate.

5. Brazil nuts

Due to their high selenium content, they can be seen as a "complete" protein source. This means that unlike the proteins in most plant products, the proteins in Brazil nuts contain all the necessary amino acids to foster optimal growth in human beings in the same way as proteins from animal products do.

6. Garlic

Garlic offers tremendous health benefits because of its high antioxidant content. It could help prevent heart disease, hypertension and cancer and can improve lung function. Garlic is also a great way to boost immunity in winter.

7. Yoghurt

Yoghurt contains bone-building calcium and is a great source of probiotics, which are microbial foods or supplements that can be used to change or improve the intestinal bacterial balance to boost the health of the host.

8. Citrus

Citrus fruits are a fantastic source of vitamin C. Oranges, naartjies, lemons and grapefruit are rich in antioxidants. They are rich in flavanones that play a role in preventing cancer.

9. Bananas

Research has shown that high-potassium foods, of which the banana is a prime example, may lower the risk of stroke. Potassium also plays a vital role in the functioning of the muscles, heart and nerves.

10. Cranberries

Cranberries are packed with proanthocyanidins that have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke and improve urinary tract health.

11. Water

Water acts as a nourishing agent. It circulates through the blood and helps transport nutrients and oxygen towards organs and cells. It acts as a solvent for many nutrients and essential salts and makes them available for absorption by the body.

This cleansing agent also serves as a medium to carry metabolic wastes away from the body in the form of urine and sweat. Think of it as a detoxifying agent.

Water helps reduce the risk of kidney stones. The kidneys filter out waste products from the blood and channel them out of the body through the process of urine formation. Increasing concentration of certain salts in the urine increases the risk of kidney stone formation - and in most cases this risk can be reduced by drinking a lot of water and diluting the urine.

Water helps lower blood pressure. When you lose more than optimal levels of fluid by not drinking sufficient water, heavy exercise, illness, etc, the body tries to adjust for the loss of water by constricting blood vessels so that the rate of loss of water is reduced. This in turn leads to higher blood pressure.

Drink ample water to prevent this from happening. Of course, this is applicable when the higher blood pressure has been attributed to the lack of enough fluids in the body.

Water minimises the risk of heart disease. This follows from the above point. Increased dehydration causes your cells and tissues to absorb water from the blood stream and thus decreases the volume of the blood flow.

Increased blood pressure is a sign of a heart that's working harder than it should. It tries to pump more blood to excretory organs to compensate for the reduced volume. This could probably worsen a heart related ailment. Sufficient water intake will ensure that this does not happen.

Water keeps your skin in good condition. In the process of sweating, it also removes impurities in the skin and cleanses it, leaving you with a healthy and younger looking skin. Dehydrated skin cells can cause your skin to appear wrinkled or sagging.

Water does not contain any calories. Feel free to replace those sugary, fizzy soft drinks with water. Because this natural drink does not contain any calories, it will not increase your weight, which soft drinks definitely will.

Some studies have pointed towards how increased water consumption can in fact cause weight loss.

Water suppresses appetite. Since water does not contain any calories, it acts as an ideal filler material in your stomach and gives you a sense of "I am full", which in turn decreases your appetite.

This works best for those people who are already overweight and who are trying to control their appetite in order to lose weight. -


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