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Superfoods for a Super You

Superfoods


What is a superfood? It has been defined by some as a nutrient-rich food and considered to be beneficial for health and well-being. In actual fact, there is no official definition. No food, including those labelled 'superfoods', can compensate for unhealthy eating. If you mistakenly believe you can 'undo' the damage caused by unhealthy foods by eating a superfood, you will continue making unhealthy choices and increase your risk of chronic diseases. We consult Dr Nitish Mitra, Specialist in Endocrinology & Consultant, Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre, on the kind of superfoods to consider in our diet.

 

AGE will Age You

Advanced Glycation End (AGE) products promote ageing in the body and are one of the biggest factors in diabetes, heart disease and others. AGE products can be found from two primary sources – our diet and produced internally by our body. Minimise the effects of AGE by reducing your intake of grains. Consider including these foods into your diet to combat AGE.

Examples:

- Vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli
- Fruits such as berries, kiwi and red or black grapes
- Drinks such as green tea, black tea and white tea

Out with Oxidation

You are exposed to free radical damage daily and avoiding it is impossible. Free radicals cause damage to our cells, proteins and even our DNA. Here are various types of antioxidants and phytochemicals that can help protect our cells.

Examples:

- Astaxanthin: shellfishes (shrimp, crab and lobster), salmon and red trout
- Beta carotene: spinach, carrots, tomatoes and yam
- Vitamin C: citrus fruits, strawberries, cabbage and green peppers
- Polyphenols: green tea, white tea and oolong tea

The Good Fats

Omega-3 fatty acids are accompanied by a long list of health benefits, which include improving one’s mental health, keeping skin smooth, and fighting overall inflammation. In short, eating more foods containing omega-3 fats will help fight ageing internally and externally.

Examples:

- Sardines, salmon, mackerel
- Chia seeds and flax seeds

Go Sugar Safe

Too much sugar intake will speed up our ageing process, increasing our insulin levels while decreasing our body’s ability in effectively countering the rise in blood sugar. Take in low glycaemic foods to keep your blood sugar stable.

Examples:

- Nuts such as walnuts, peanuts and almonds
- Vegetables such as broccoli, onions and sweet potatoes
- Fruits such as grapefruit, cherries, peaches and apples
- Wholegrains such as brown rice and quinoa
- Herbs and spices such as cloves, cilantro / coriander and lemon juice