In this article Gary Null, PhD, and Martin Feldman, MD present 18 super foods that should be featured in the diet of health-care providers and their patients. In this article I will present 9 of them in Part I and another 9 in the Part II.
The benefits described have been culled from the medical literature, and a sampling of the research conducted on these foods and their nutritional components is included in the references. What follows is a look at the specific preventive and curative properties of these super foods.
For thousands of years, apples have been used to address numerous medical conditions, including diabetes, fevers, inflammatory disorders, and heart ailments.
One phytochemical found in apples is phloretin, a natural antibiotic. Apples also contain pectin and pectic acids that add essential bulk to a diet.
Apples also have high levels of phenols and poly phenols and poosess other antioxidant, chemoprotective properties. Consequently they help guard against a variety of cancers, including leukemia and cancer of the colon, lung, breast, liver and skin. These chemicals also provide essential nutrients that improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of coronary hear disease and stroke and prevent atherosclerosis.
This fruit has a long and rich history in the medical practices of China and India. In Traditional Chinese Medicine ( TMC), apricots and their kernels and prescribed for the treatment of asthma, cough and constipation. The fruit has a lot of vitamin C, vitamin K, beta-carotene, thiamine, niacin, and iron. Japanese scientists have studied the ability of apricots to inhibit the pathogenic bacteria associated with ulcers and acute gastritis.
Blueberries have flavonoids, phenolic and polypohenol compounds anti-oxidants), all of which have shown some ability to reverse cellular aging of cognitive and motor functions. In one recent study of the anti-oxidant level of 100 foods, blueberries scored highest.
Other studies have shown that blueberries protect brain health, improve memory, and sustain coordination by enhancing communication between nerve cells.
This activity provided protection against serious neurodegenerative deseases, such as dementia and Alzheinmer’s. Blueberries have anti-inflammatory properties that protect skin, joints, and cardiovascular and neurological systems. This fruit also prevent bone loss and inhibits cancer cell proliferation, particularly inprostate and colon cancer.
Broccoli isa super food because of it’s high concentration of two phytochemicals- diindolylmethane and isothiocyanate- that are powerful immunomodulators. Broccoli strengthens the immune system, which means it helps in the fight against cancer (particular breast and prostate cancer) and boost the body’s protection against bacterial and viral infections.
This vegetable is rich in vitamins A, B5, B6, B9 (folate), C, and K and in dietary fiber. It provides moderate amounts of Calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium, .Broccoli also contains lutien and zeaxanthin, which foster eye helth. Because it has more calcium than even most dairy products, broccoli can protect bones and increase bone mass.
Carrots are a chief provider of carotenoid, a family of antioxidants proven to block DNA and cellular membrane damage caused by free radicals. Carrots are rich in aloha-carotene and lycopene, phytochemicals that have anticarcingenic properties, especially in relation to cplon, lung, prostate and stomach cancers.
Their high content of retinoids that benefit ocular health that improves vision. It also has shown it can boost brain function and provide cardiovascular benefits such as decreasing cholesterol. Diabetics should keep carrots in their diet because they a good source of vitamin A, which lowers blood sugare and aids in the development of insulin- producing cells in the pancreas. One cup of raw carrots can provide nearly 700% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A and 220% of vitamin K, which is critical for bone health.
Garlic contains phyto-nutrients and also possesses selenium, as substance that, according to some studies, offers protection against various cancers and the deterioration of the body caused by free radicals. Researchers have studied the ability of garlic to guard against heart disease and arterial calcification ( hardening of the arteries) and to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Because it is a source of the flavonoid quercetin, garlic contains antibiotic properties that empower it to fight colds, stomach viruses, and yeast infections.
Ginger is used throughout the world to cure dyspepsia ( stomoch upsets), reduced gastrointestinal gases, and relieve nausea caused by pregnancy, seasickness, and even drugs used in chemotherapy. Ginger is composed of fragrant essential oils that give it a distinctive aromatic flavor. One of these oil is gingerol, makes it a natural sedative for calming the gastrointestinal tract. Ginger is rich in antibiotic properties that combat the GI infections which cause diarrhea and dehydration.
Supported by modern science, now ginger is considered as a mild immune booster that wards off colds, flus, sinus congestion, and coughs. New evidence suggests that ginger may help to lower cholesterol. Preliminary findings in animal studies also suggest that ginger may help to treat diabetes.