It’s freezing cold, it’s Tuesday morning and whatever the health gurus say, no amount of coercive copy can persuade you that now is the time to be living on blueberries and cold salad. It is always in the January detox rush that superfoods make an almighty surge to the forefront of newspapers and magazines, and while they are indeed wonderful and for the most part pretty appetising, sometimes you really do need something a little more comforting – so this is not another list of superfoods, this is a list of some of our favourite things, which prove a little bit of what you fancy can be really rather super!
Chocolate – We have all been told this before, but doesn’t it just remain music to your ears? It appears that chocolate can contribute to lowering blood pressure, increasing blood flow, and basically help you on your way to a healthy heart, and actually the magic ingredient is in all chocolate not just the dark variety, although there is some debate as to whether the milk and sugar in lighter chocolates mitigates the effectiveness of the antioxidant power ingredients – polyphenols.
Honey – Ok, this one’s not a surprise, but as a particularly good addition to yoghurt, tea, toast, and especially on your breakfast porridge, it definitely deserves a mention in a list of scrummy good-for-you foods. Not only is it an antioxidant, it also contains oligosaccharides which increase the number of ‘good’ bacteria in the colon, reduce levels of toxic metabolites in the intestine, help prevent constipation, and help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Yoghurt – No, it’s not ice cream, which means you don’t have to deal with any of those brain freeze problems or sore teeth when it comes to your dessert: because it has not been pasteurised, probiotic yoghurt still contains the ‘friendly bacteria’ usually killed off in the pasteurisation process which can aid digestion and help break down foods. Plus, all yoghurt is rich in protein, B vitamins and calcium, which are essential for strong, healthy bones and teeth – pop a spoonful of honey on the top and you’re away!
Bacon – Eaten in moderation, that bacon sandwich might be almost as good as it smells – it contains vitamin B-12, and is a source of zinc which improves the immune system – suffice to say it’s probably best not to make it a daily routine though.
Cheese – You still don’t want to overdose on this one if you are counting calories, but a little cheese after your meal isn’t just a good source of calcium, it will neutralise the acids in your mouth, helping to prevent tooth decay!
Ice Cream – It isn’t all about the body beautiful you know, it’s also about a healthy mind. You may have thought that that little buzz from ice cream came from the sugar high, but in fact one lick is enough to stimulate the orbitofrontal cortex, the main processing area and the part of the brain associated with the pleasure … just imagine what the odd scoop will do!?
Tea – As any Brit will tell you, sometimes you just can’t beat a good old cup of tea and at this time of year nothing else will really cut it. So it is with great pleasure that the institution’s fans will remind the doubters that actually, while it does not contain as many polyphenols as its green counterpart, black tea is indeed an antioxidant, and can help lower the risk of heart disease, and reduce LDL cholesterol. Plus, it makes us really happy, so that’s good. Just remember not to have it after eating iron rich food because the Tanins present in tea make it much harder for the body to absorb.
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