It’s Avocado, It’s Quinoa, It’s Superfoods!Webmaster
Malaysians have a serious problem: our food is too delicious. Rich, decadent, generous with calories, high on sodium and carbohydrates, Malaysian food is diverse, multicultural, and a point of national pride. Unfortunately, it is also very bad for our waistlines.
So let’s take some time to consider a possible yin to our yang: superfoods. Defined as nutrient-rich food that is especially beneficial for health and well-being, here are five super options that can help counter the effects of those yummy Malaysian morsels.
Healthy fat? Yes, please! Avocado is rich in heart-healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, as well as magnesium (great for regulating blood pressure and blood sugar), and fibre. Anyone interested in reducing the risk of heart disease should consider replacing saturated fats from such sources as butter with avocados.
Salmon and its fishy cousins sardine and mackerel are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Combined with potassium, these can help keep your heart in tiptop shape as they reduce artery inflammation, lower cholesterol, and maintain blood pressure levels.
Don’t worry about consuming too much mercury from fish; Harvard researchers say the benefits of eating fish outweigh the harm of mercury consumption.
Beans, Whole Grains and Quinoa too
Beans are a great source of low-fat protein. These nuggets of nutrition contain insoluble fibre (which lowers cholesterol) and soluble fibre (which makes you feel full for longer periods). They are also loaded with vitamins and trace minerals.
Whole grains have benefits similar to those found in beans, although they are not quite as rich in protein. Quinoa is not a grain, but it cooks up like one, and is also a remarkable source of protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.
Want good vision, a healthy digestive system, a well-functioning brain, and something to satisfy your sweet tooth? If so, sweet potatoes should definitely be on your menu. Rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this superfood is touted to protect your body from free radicals, encourage growth of good bacteria in your guts, protect your brain from inflammation, and with a high beta-carotene content, help you see better too.
Another wonderful source of healthy fat, minerals and protein, nuts are a great snacking option if you’re trying to lose weight. Nuts can also help get rid of ‘bad’ cholesterol, and reduce the risk of blood clots.
So which nut should you choose? It actually doesn’t matter, although some (like walnuts, almonds and pecans) are more nutritious than others. It is more important to avoid nuts that are cooked in oil, or coated with chocolate, sugar or salt.
And be careful: one handful of nuts can contain more than 100 calories; so if you want to keep your intake in check, opt for the shelled versions. Having to crack them open means you are less likely to eat a lot in one go.
A word of caution
By scientific standards, there’s actually no such thing as superfoods, although the examples given here do have amazing nutritional properties. In any case, eating in moderation and a balanced diet are always the best option for all of us.
Information sourced from:
By Tengku Amina Munira