Superfoods part 4
Wednesday, 4-19-2006 Superfoods & Honor Roll Foods, part 4
Recent studies show that if you add some foods with health supporting or “good” fats to what you eat & you eat a health-enhancing diet otherwise, you actually get BETTER blood pressure control & are MORE likely to lose excess fat & keep it off.
Avocados are a great way to do that.
Avocados are high in fat; but almost all of it is monosaturated fat, which helps lower bad, LDL, cholesterol & does so without lowering HDL or good cholesterol.
And, they are the number one honor roll plant food for nutrition.
From vitamin A to C to E & the many minerals they contain, they are so high in so many nutrients, you could almost live on nothing else or substitute them for your daily vitamin & mineral supplement.
And, either straight or as guacamole, they are good to eat & great hunger satisfiers.
Tomatoes. They almost qualify as superfoods twice.
*When eaten in quarters or slices in salads or on sandwiches, they add a nice taste & cold or cool wet, mouthfeel with a very slight amount of crunch.
And, when eaten this way, you get fiber, vitamin C, some vitamin A; & the yellow fluid that surrounds the seeds is protective for your heart.
Not bad !!
**Surprisingly, their strongest claim to superfood status though, is when they are cooked &/or pureed, particularly when they are combined with extra virgin olive oil.
Cooking makes the lycopene in the tomatoes most bioavailable.
And, the carotenoid, lycopene, apparently protects against cancers & helps keep your heart healthy.
This has turned up in studies of the incidence of prostate cancer. Men who eat the most cooked tomato foods get the least while men who eat little or none get prostate cancer much more often. (I’ve not seen studies yet to show it; but I suspect it also protects women against ovarian & breast cancers.)
In addition, eating cooked tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil adds to the bioavailability of the lycopene.
So, not only are many Italian foods health-enhancing by fitting the Mediterranean diet, the tomato & pasta sauces are actually good for you.
This is one of the ways that eating healthy can be enjoyable to do & easy to keep doing.
(Ketchup apparently works; but the high fructose corn syrup in most of the commercial versions today is NOT good for you.
This is unfortunate if you like the stuff; but there are many wonderful tasting cooked tomato sauces to choose from instead.)