We all lead busy lives and trying to find the ingredients for the latest fad diet or track down an obscure supplement can mean you give up on healthy eating and go back to bad habits.
But according to catering company Plyvine Catering, some of the healthiest foods can be found on the shelves of our local supermarkets and corner shops. Here are the top ten easy to find superfoods to give your immune system a boost during the dark days of January.
Lemons: Just one lemon has more than 100 per cent of your daily vitamin C. Citrus flavonoids found in lemons may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and act as an anti-inflammatory.
Broccoli: One medium stalk of broccoli contains more than 100 per cent of your daily vitamin K requirement and almost 200 per cent of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C, two essential bone-building nutrients.
Dark chocolate: Just one fourth of an ounce of dark chocolate daily can lower blood pressure in otherwise healthy individuals. Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids and anti-oxidants which are shown to reduce bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL levels.
Potato: One red potato contains 66 micrograms of cell-building folate which is about the same amount found in one cup of spinach or broccoli. One sweet potato has almost eight times the amount of cancer-fighting and immune-boosting vitamin A that you need to consume each day.
Salmon: A great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which have been linked to helping reduce the risk of depression, heart disease, and cancer. Just one 3oz serving of salmon contains almost 50 per cent of your daily dose of niacin which is believed to protect against Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.
Walnuts: They contain the most omega-3 fatty acids of all nuts. Walnuts have been shown to improve moods and fight cancer.
Avocado: Rich in healthy, satisfying fats proven which can help lower cholesterol by about 22 per cent, one avocado has more than half the fibre and 40 per cent of the folate you need daily which may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Garlic: A powerful disease fighter, garlic can inhibit the growth of bacteria, including E.coli. Allicin, a compound found in garlic, works as a potent anti-inflammatory and has been shown to help lower cholesterol.
Spinach: Containing lutein and zeaxanthin, two immune-boosting antioxidants important for eye health. Spinach has been found to be one of the most effective vegetables for fighting cancer.
Peas: Eating a serving of legumes (beans, peas and lentils) four times a week can lower your risk of heart disease by 22 per cent.
WHY A HEALTHY DIET IS IMPORTANT
A healthy diet is the basis for a well-functioning body.
Food is the source of energy for all of our bodily functions and directly affects how our bodies and minds function in every stage of life.
There are a variety of reasons why a healthy diet is important, including disease prevention, maintenance of a healthy weight and quality of life.
Calories are the measure for stored energy in food.
The energy provided by food calories is needed for every function of the body.