Thursday 21 November 2019

Foods to help bodies battle free radicals

The spud probably counts as Ireland's national superfood given how it has seen us through good times and bad. But what about the more fashionable superfoods we have heard about in recent years?

They are supposed to be high in anti-oxidants that fight free radicals in our bodies. These are blamed for leaving us at risk of cancer, diabetes and other diseases.

A trial at Newcastle University in the UK had five women eating two bowls of Canadian wild blueberries (left), a superfood, every day for eight weeks.

They were then checked for oxidative stress, which is believed to contribute to disease. All five women saw the levels of oxidative stress in their bodies lower after the eight weeks.

Consuming wild blueberries for 12 weeks reduced oxidative stress by up to 88pc.

At the end of last year, experts at the Institute for Functional Medicine conference voted for their top 12 superfoods: avocado, spinach, seaweed, pomegranate, blueberries, broccoli (and all cruciferous vegetables).

It also included grass-fed beef, wild Alaskan salmon, almonds, coconut oil, olive oil and green tea.

However, some experts have warned that consuming too many 'superfoods' may actually do more harm than good.

Foods such as quinoa can cause an overload of potentially gut-irritating compounds.

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