I’m writing this from a sunny Picton while himself is out at work and themselves are enjoying the frost. We have decided to come up for the weekend so himself didn’t have to do a long drive each day over the weekend and it is great to get away for a mini break albeit in the same accomodation. It is amazing just how much warmer it is, even with the frosty start to the morning, when you’re away from mountains covered in snow! After almost a week without a heater, it broke last Sunday just as the big frosts arrived, it is very enjoyable sitting warmly indoors and watching the sun glisten on the frost with my feet all toasty.
This week I thought I’d share a post which I wrote 9 years ago now, when we had just come back to NZ. Winter calls for warm lunches and is a great time to be making big pots of healthy veggie soup (thickened up with some rice and or beans), especially when you are unwell. So with that in mind I thought this little list may help boost the healing potential of your brew. I am mindful that some of the ‘Super Foods’ listed here are on that ‘dirty dozen’ list of heavily sprayed foods and it can be expensive to get organic in NZ so if you can’t source homegrown or spray free veg then the next best thing is to try and clean them a little.
So without further ado I will give you the list of 20 foods with great antioxident properties that can help fight disease and keep your body fighting fit. I confess that I don’t know where I sourced the list from originally, though I’m sure I have altered it quite a bit, so if it is yours then please let me know so that I can credit you officially 🙂
Having edible roots and leaves beets are a good brain and anti-fatigue food rich in beta carotene and betaine. Beets have been used for centuries medicinally and as part of many staple diets. Containing calcium, potassium, iron and vitamins A and C they are also valuable to a healthy heart.
While there are many to choose from all berries are a wonderful cool down food. Blueberries are a powerful bacteria fighter against infections of the urinary tract and kidneys as are cranberries. Strawberries are packed with vitamin C as well as 20 different anti-aging trace minerals and cancer fighting flavonoids.
Related to parsnip and celery, carrots provide more protein, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C and B than most other vegetables. They contain cancer fighting flavonoid antioxidants, and are the second highest source of pro-vitamin A beta carotene. Carrots are great for colds, diarrhoea (as soup or juice) and arthritis.
Rich in two antioxidants sulfaphane and the flavonoids complex, cabbage offers more anticancer benefits than any other vegetable family. It is one of the top 5 sources of vegetable fibre to help reduce cholesterol, risks of coronary artery disease and preventing blood clotting. Cabbage juice is also a powerful healer.
Celery has been used medicinally for centuries, having a reputation of a laxative, diuretic, gallstone nostrum and an antibacterial agent. It contains Vitamin C, B complex, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and more fibre than parsnips. Celery’s crunch has stress reductive properties and it is also a great body balancer after overindulgence.
With over 100 healing ingredients, garlic is a natural antibacterial and antifungal plant which contains vitamin A, B and C, calcium, potassium, iron, antioxidants, carotenes, germanium, selenium, and garlic’s all important sulphurous compounds. Garlic helps to restore metabolic equilibrium, blocking free radicals, which weaken immune systems, helping to prevent disease.
Ginger provides more protein than green beans and is rich in Vitamin A, calcium, iron phosphorus, potassium and riboflavin. It has been used for centuries medicinally for nausea, indigestion and as a poison antidote. Ginger also is an effective antibacterial killing salmonella and inhibiting the fungi that produces a carcinogen.
Enjoyed fresh, as a juice or dried as raisins, grapes are a good source of fibre, potassium and Vitamins A, B and C. Both dried and fresh grapes have been used in healing dyspepsia, liver and kidney disorders, tuberculosis, haemorrhoids and venous disorders due to their flavonoid antioxidants. Try at get organic where possible as these are one of that dirty dozen that have the life sprayed out of them.
Originating in China, Kiwifruit is a rich source of Vitamin C (120% of your daily quota) fibre, magnesium, and potassium. Kiwifruit in your diet can help in lowering cholesterol, maintaining stronger arteries and protecting skeletal growth and repair. The high vitamin C content in kiwifruit also aids in oral care.
One of the top seven sources of potassium lemons are good for promoting clear thinking. An excellent source of Vitamin C, one tablespoon is one tenth of the daily requirement; Lemons have been used as a remedy against scurvy. It is a natural cleanser and therapy for treating fever.
Rich in beta carotene, Vitamin A, potassium and magnesium, nectarines are a great heath giving and tasting fruit. They can help with lowered immunity, kidney stones, poor vision and protection against pollution. Nectarines also contain 12% of your RDA of ascorbic acid and can be used cooked or fresh.
Nuts are a rich source of antioxidants selenium and the polyphenols, which assist in preventing cancer. They are rich in protein, topping cheese, milk and eggs depending on the variety. Nuts provide high levels of Essential Fatty Acids which the body needs for energy and a healthy heart.
Coming from the same Allium family as garlic, onions share many of the same healing qualities. They have been used for centuries medicinally helping with tuberculosis, coughs, hypertension and cancer as well as in beauty recipes for the hair. Onions provide beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamins B1, B2 and Vitamin C.
Oranges have long been used to improve people’s health. Rich in Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, phenolic acids and fibre oranges are good for preventing free radical damage and neutralizing carcinogens as well as stabilizing blood cholesterol and treating respiratory disorders. Oranges also make a good alcohol-free germicidal gargle and mouthwash.
Parsley has long enjoyed a reputation as a healing and sacred herb. Containing Vitamin A, folate, chlorophyll (an age slowing nutrient) Vitamin C and antioxidants; courmarins, flavonoids, monoterpene and polyacetylene, it can assist in iron deficiencies, strengthening immune systems, stomach disorders, rheumatism and act as an anti PMS aid.
Having between 150 – 200 varieties, peppers belong to the nightshade family. They are effective painkillers when used in the form as capsaicin cream for the treatment of a variety of illnesses. Peppers are source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, folate, Vitamin A, phosphorous, iron, sodium, magnesium and silicon.
Unrefined Rice is an excellent source of nutrients such as B-complex vitamins, iron and calcium. Rice also contains high levels of protease inhibitors which help prevent or retard the growth of tumours. It has been used medicinally for centuries to treat infant diarrhoea, rehydrating the body and bulking stool volume.
Soybeans are packed full of nutrients which makes them valuable in helping reduce cholesterol levels, cancer-proof the body, act as a natural appetite suppressant and an antidepressant. Prepared in various ways soybeans contain more potassium and iron than milk, Vitamins A and E, Vitamin C, zinc, calcium, protein and B12.
One of the richest known sources of lycopene, an anticancer antioxidant; tomatoes are a good way to cancer proof your body and boost your health. Tomatoes contain Vitamin C, Vitamin A antioxidants P-coumaric, 2-phenol and cholorogenic acid. They are natural healers for kidney disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypoglycaemia and diarrhoea. Another of the so called dirty dozen so source homegrown or organic where possible.