They are the foods we don’t give much thought to.
Relatively inexpensive and easy-to-source, these fruit, nuts, fish and vegetables are often overlooked in favour of more exotic ‘superfoods’.
But these ordinary kitchen stalwarts often contain high levels of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
Just one lemons has more than 100 per cent of your daily intake of vitamin C, which may help increase good HDL cholesterol levels and strengthen bones. Citrus flavonoids found in lemons may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and act as an anti-inflammatory.
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. The same serving also helps stave off numerous cancers.
Just one fourth of an ounce daily can reduce blood pressure in otherwise healthy individuals. Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids and in anti-oxidants shown to reduce bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL levels.
One red potato contains 66 micrograms of cell-building folate – 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 you need daily.
A great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which have been linked to a reduced risk of depression, heart disease, and cancer. A three-ounce serving contains almost 50 per cent of your daily dose of niacin which may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.
Contain the most omega-3 fatty acids which may help reduce cholesterol, of all nuts. Omega-3s have been shown to improve mood and fight cancer; they may protect against sun damage too *but don’t skip the SPF).
Rich in healthy, satisfying fats proven in one study to 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.
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 and blood-pressure levels.
Spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two immune-boosting antioxidants important for eye health. Recent research found that among cancer-fighting fruits and veggies, spinach is one of the most effective.
Eating a serving of legumes (beans, peas and lentils) four times a week can lower your risk of heart disease by 22 per cent. That same habit may also reduce your risk of breast cancer.