Superfoods: A Quick Guide

Why you should add these to your diet, pronto.

By Steve Thio      26 April 2021

It has long been recognised that the Mediterranean diet – one that is mainly plant-based – is rich with health benefits. If you’re looking to start a plant-based diet or to add more greens, fruits and edible plants to your menus, here’s a quick look at some superfoods that are worth considering for their benefits:

(L-R) Berries, Dark Leafy Greens, Tomatoes

Berries: Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries & Cranberries

  • Rich in fibre
  • Full of disease-fighting nutrients
  • High in antioxidants that helps reduce risk of heart disease, cancer and inflammatory conditions
  • Improves digestion

Dark Leafy Greens: Kale, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens & Spinach

  • Rich in fibre and vitamins A, C and K
  • High in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium
  • Helps to lower risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes
  • High in anti-inflammatory compounds that help protect against some cancers

Tomatoes

  • High in vitamin C
  • High in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant
  • Helps reduce rate of prostate cancer

(L-R) Ginger, Garlic, Mushrooms

Ginger

  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Helps manage nausea & reduces pain from inflammatory conditions
  • Reduces risk of chronic illness like heart disease, dementia and certain cancers

Garlic

  • Rich in magnesium, fibre and vitamins C and B6
  • Contains sulphur-containing compounds which help support our body’s detox processes
  • Helps in preventing some cancers
  • Helps reduce risk of heart disease
    – Effective in reducing cholesterol and blood pressure

Mushrooms: Shiitake, Button, Portobello, Crimini and Oyster

  • Depending on the type of mushroom, they can contain vitamins A, potassium and several unique antioxidants
  • Helps reduce inflammation and preventing certain types of cancers

(L-R) Avocado, Cruciferous Vegetables, Sweet Potatoes

Avocado

  • Rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals
  • High in monounsaturated fats
  • May help reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers

Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Radishes & Turnips

  • Rich in vitamins and minerals such as folate and vitamin K
  • High in phytochemicals, which may help to lower inflammation and prevent heart disease
  • May help prevent against some cancers

Sweet Potato

  • Rich in potassium
  • High in fibre and vitamins A and C
  • Rich in carotenoids, which is important in supporting eye health
  • Helps reduce risk of certain cancers
  • Helps improve blood sugar control for those with type 2 diabetes

(L-R) Nuts & Seeds, Whole Grains, Legumes

Nuts & Seeds: Almonds, Pecans, Pistachios, Walnuts, Cashews, Macadamias & Sunflower, Pumpkin, Chia & Hemp Seeds

  • Protein rich
  • Rich in monounsaturated fats that help reduce risk of heart disease
  • Full of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties

Whole Grains: Oatmeal, Brown rice, Quinoa, Wheat Berries & Whole Wheat Flour

  • High in soluble and insoluble fibre
  • Rich in vitamin B
  • Contains minerals and phytonutrients
  • Help lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease and diabetes

Legumes: Kidney, Red & Soy Beans, Lentils, Peas, Peanuts & Alfalfa

  • Rich in fibre and vitamin B
  • High in plant-based protein
  • Supports weight loss
  • Helps reduce risk of heart disease, improve diabetes management and lower blood pressure and cholesterol

References: health.harvard.edu/blog/10-superfoods-to-boost-a-healthy-diet; healthline.com/nutrition/true-superfoods

Note: Please consult your GP or physician before starting on a new diet plan.


How do you enjoy your favourite superfoods? Share with us at magnsman@sph.com.sg!