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GOING BEYOND BASIC NUTRITION
Reprint from the
No doubt you’ve been hearing the term "superfood," but do
you understand what it means? "Superfood" and the term "functional food,"
which is preferred by scientists and health professionals, are being used
interchangeably to describe foods that contain ingredients with a variety of
health benefits beyond basic nutrition.
Many functional foods are those you’re already eating and
enjoying. Take oatmeal, for example. Besides being a good source of
fiber, iron and several B vitamins, oats contain a type of soluble fiber called
beta glucan. More than 37 scientific studies have shown that the beta
glucan in oatmeal can lower blood cholesterol thereby reducing the risk of heart
disease when oats are eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat and
cholesterol. Other well-liked foods that may offer protection against
heart disease and some types of cancer are blueberries, almonds, tomatoes,
garlic, salmon, tea, yogurt and dark green leafy vegetables.
The chart below includes 11 functional foods and their
possible health benefits. Enjoying them as often as possible makes good sense.
||Possible Health Benefits
||Contain the most antioxidants of any fruit
||Antioxidants act as anti-cancer substances that
may help protect cells.
||Excellent source of several phytonutrients
||May protect against some forms of cancer.
||Contains allyl sulfides and flavonoids
||May protect against some types of cancer and
benefit the heart
||Rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant
||Anti-cancer activity; protection against heart
||Contain beta glucan, a form of soluble fiber,
several phytonutrients and antioxidants
||May reduce the risk of heart disease and protect
against some forms of cancer.
|Orange & Yellow Fruits & Vegetables, Leafy Greens
||Excellent source of carotenoids
||Carotenoids have many anti-cancer functions,
strengthen the immune system, and protect the retina from harmful
||Highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids
||Help protect against heart disease.
||Contains isoflavonoids and lignans
||Both of these phytonutrients are believed to have
some protective effect against cancer and bone density loss. Soy protein
may help lower blood cholesterol.
||Contain lycopene, a phytonutrient
||May reduce the risk of prostate and other
||Good source of folate and vitamin E
||Folate helps protect against neural tube birth
defects; vitamin E protects the heart and may reduce the risk of some
types of cancer.
||Excellent source of calcium
||Helps protect against osteoporosis.
Source: "Super Recipes For A Super You,"
The Quaker Oats
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