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The dieting and weight loss industry is one of the largest and fastest growing in the world. Theories on what makes us fat and how to get thinner are being tried and tested every day. However, despite this constant demand for thinness, obesity rates are climbing. Every day, more and more people are investing precious time, money and emotions into the next diet craze. While many diets and diet products do work, many of them are damaging to the body and most of them fail on the maintenance side and we often end up gaining more weight than we lost. Making a diet work is not rocket science and success in weight loss can be achieved by following some simple rules. Outlined are 10 healthy weight loss tips for healthy, sustainable weight loss.


Change Your Lifestyle


This is probably the most important of the healthy weight loss tips. The problem lies mostly with our lifestyles and real lifestyle change is seldom achieved with faddish diets. Desperation for convenience brought about by stress and a busy life means that more people are seeking out convenient options when it comes to food. Processed foods and take-outs become a regular feature in the diet and sugar and refined carbohydrates provide a quick energy fix. In addition, modern day lifestyles are more sedentary and we tend towards unhealthy behaviors like excessive drinking and smoking. Changing your lifestyle demands a big priority and attitude shift, which leads to healthier choices about how you manage your life.


Identify Your Reasons for Weight Gain


In order to rectify a problem, it is useful to identify the cause. Perhaps a bad relationship was the cause of overeating, or a change in job lead you towards unhealthy food choices and a sedentary lifestyle. Identify your causes and triggers and start to change that which is modifiable. Visiting your doctor or dietician for a series of blood tests to identify any hormonal imbalances that might be contributing to your problem is also a good idea.


Up your energy out and lower your energy in


Losing weight is about a simple equation of energy in versus energy out. If you are able to burn more energy then you consume, weight loss is the probable result. Most people eat too much. The amount of carbohydrate, protein and fat we need to thrive is often less than we are taking in. It’s the micronutrients (the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients) found in fruits, vegetables and wholegrains that we are more likely to miss out on. Start by reducing your usual portion sizes by 20% and up your exercise routine by 20% and then work towards a happy, maintainable medium.


Eat breakfast


Studies have consistently shown that people who eat breakfast are thinner and succeed more with weight loss. Eat as close to waking up as possible, with a maximum of three hours between waking up and eating. A good breakfast includes fruit and or wholegrain carbohydrate and some protein (yogurt, milk or eggs for example).


Eat regular meals

The act of eating itself stimulates your metabolism, which is why starvation is not the way to lose weight. The general rule is to eat a meal or snack every three to four hours and to spread food intake more evenly throughout the day. Keep meals small and wholesome.


Choose your Vices


A major problem with weight loss diets is that they are often too restrictive. Cut out all of your favorite things for a month, and chances are you will start wanting them more than ever! The trick is to choose your vices wisely. So if chocolate, alcohol and fried chips are your thing you need to decide which ones you can live without and which ones you simply cant. Then choose, and practice your chosen vices in moderation

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Eat Your 5 Servings of Fruit and vegetables Daily


Fruit and vegetables contain excellent micronutrient nutrition in a very low kilojoule package. In addition, the fibre contained in fruit and vegetables helps you feel fuller for longer. Vegetables in particular are very low in kilojoules and can be eaten freely in most weight loss diets (with the exception of some of the starchier vegetables). Fruit should be restricted, however, to a maximum of four servings per day, because of their high sugar content. Eating fruit thirty minutes before a meal can help you to not overeat at the meal and also helps with blood sugar control. Eat at least five servings of a combination of fruit and vegetables per day. An average fruit, 1 cup of raw vegetables or half a cup of cooked vegetables is a serving

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Choose Your Carbohydrates Wisely

The amount of carbohydrate you should be eating every day for weight loss is a contentious issue. Many modern diets are very low in carbohydrate, which is a reason for both their success and their failure. The body responds to carbohydrates in the blood by producing a hormone called insulin, which carries the sugar into the cells where it is burned for energy. If carbohydrate is taken in excess and insulin is not able to deal with the load, the excess sugar eventually gets stored as fat. Also, many people suffer with something called “insulin resistance”, a condition in which the body is not able to use insulin as effectively as it could. One of the problems with low carbohydrate diets though, is that when carbohydrate eating resumes, the weight piles back on. Not all carbohydrates are created equal and studies have shown that there is great weight loss success with choosing slower releasing or low glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates over fast releasing or high GI ones. Low GI foods, like deciduous fruits, oats, barley, beans and milk have less of an effect on insulin levels, and are therefore

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potentially less “fattening” than high glycemic foods like sweets, white bread, most breakfast cereals, white rice and potatoes.



Don’t falter on Fats


Not all fat is bad, and certain good fats can actually assist the weight loss process by creating satiety and by reducing inflammation. Any good weight loss plan should be particularly rich in the omega-9 and omega-3 essential fatty acids, found in vegetable and seed oils, avocados, nuts and seeds and oily fish. It’s the saturated animal fats and trans-fats found in processed foods that should be limited. Avoid fried and processed fats and keep animal proteins lean by trimming of visible fat and skin. Use low fat cooking methods and rather use your oils raw over vegetables and salads.

Drink water


Many people faultier on this very important healthy weight loss tip. Water is like the fuel for metabolism. Without water, the sugar and fat burning pathways that assist with weight loss cannot function optimally. Dehydration and low body water can also trigger feelings of hunger and lead to overeating. In addition, water helps detoxify the body, which is particularly important during the weight loss process when stored toxins are released from the fat cells.


Author: Ashleigh Caradas


A copy of this article also appeared in BUSINESS DAY HEALTH NEWS



Every mom has to deal with a fair share of temper tantrums, mania, hyperactivity and sometimes defiant behaviour from their children, but when your child seems out of control it can feel like you are fighting a losing battle. The situation becomes direr when you discover that your child is exhibiting poor social skills or isn’t learning well at school. In a pang of desperation, many moms resort to mood altering medications. There is no doubt that these drugs can be effective, but so few people actually stop and pay attention to one of the major contributing factors to negative behaviours: Mood Food for Kids.

We live in a time where ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are becoming household names. The age old belief that a healthy body equals a healthy mind could not ring truer than it does today. With the rise in the amount junk and processed foods we are feeding our kids, we have to wonder how much this has to do with the subsequent rise in behavioural problems. Of course, with most cases the causes are multi-factorial and each child needs to be looks at holistically- from an emotional, social, medical and nutritional stand point. Still, the role that mood food for kids plays can be very powerful in helping your child overcome their issues.


Several dietary negative behavioural triggers have been identified. Your child may be reacting to none, one or all of these. The best advice is to monitor your child and try and identify their own personal triggers. The top bad mood triggers include:

Blood sugar alterations

An irritable, anxious child is often just suffering from hypoglycaemia (or low blood sugar). After a meal, all food (carbohydrate food in particular) gets broken down into a usable form of energy for the body - glucose. It’s the main energy source for cells, and more importantly for growing brains. Insulin is the hormone responsible for ultimately getting the glucose shuttled into our cells so it can be used for energy. It is like the “key that unlocks” the door to our cells allowing energy to enter. A subsequent rise in insulin levels follows a meal, glucose gets taken into the cells and blood sugar drops to normal. However, when the body receives a very large load of glucose, the rise and fall in blood sugar becomes more pronounced and blood sugar can fall too low. Processed cereals, pastries, white bread and other refined products are the main culprits here. So, feed your child a sweetened, refined bowl of cereal in the morning, and chances are he’ll be cranky by 10 o clock. Excess consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates has been linked scientifically to behavioural disorders, problems with concentration and mood disorders.

Nutrient deficiencies

Nutrient deficiencies can arise as a result of poor diet, bad food choices, picky and finicky eating or bad digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Common nutrient deficiencies in behavioural disturbances include:

Iron deficiency. ] In the first months of life a child gets everything it needs from mother’s milk. However, after 6 months the iron content of milk is no longer sufficient for baby’s growth needs. Iron deficiency (or anaemia) can develop early in life, especially when children are weaned on too much milk and not enough of the more nutritious foods. An anaemic child will be tired and listless, pale skinned and may have difficulty concentrating.

Magnesium deficiency. The mineral magnesium plays an important role in energy production and the transmission of nerve impulses. Studies have shown that a deficiency of magnesium can result in aggressive behaviour and also contributes to depression and anxiety. Although magnesium is widespread in foods, deficiencies are quite common.

Essential fatty acid deficiency. There is a lot of evidence linking a lack of omega 3 fatty acids to ADD, ADHD and other behavioural disorders. Essential fats, like the omega 3’s are what make up the structure of our brains and are particularly important in early life when these tissues are still growing and maturing. One of the best sources of essential fats is breast milk, which explains why breast fed children tend to suffer fewer behavioural problems than those that are bottle fed. Omega 3’s are found mainly in fish oils (cod salmon, mackerel, sardines, pilchards and herring) and in some less common plant oils (flaxseed, canola, walnut and soya oils). If these essential oils are usually not eaten regularly and deficiencies in omega 3 fatty acids are common.

B complex vitamin deficiency. B vitamins also play an important role in brain chemistry. B complex vitamins, particularly B1, B3, B5, B6, folate and B12 are important in preventing depression, poor concentration and anxiety. A deficiency of B complex vitamins can also lead to anaemia.

Food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances

Food allergy is a term often used in a broader sense to describe an adverse reaction to food. However, in a medical sense a food allergy is something that is IgE mediated (IgE or immunoglobulin E is the type of antibody that is produced to an invading food protein). A food sensitivity is also mediated by an antibody but involves what is known as an IgG reaction. IgE’s tends to be more immediate and more severe than IgG (although IgG’s are more common that IgE’s) but both play a role in childhood reactions. An intolerance has no immunological component but still elicits a reaction.

Until recently, the role that food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances play in the development of behavioural problems had largely been ignored. There have been numerous studies indicating that children with behavioural problems are often reacting to several food ingredients and that when put on a low allergen diet they tend to suffer less emotional, learning and hyperactivity problems. Reactions also tend more to be to multiple foods, and not just one food ingredient. Some of the common “allergens” in children include:

  • Milk. This includes all products derived from milk as well, like yogurt and cheese
  • Soya. This includes soya milk, texturised vegetable protein, tofu, soya sauce
  • Wheat and gluten. This includes wheat and rye breads, pasta and barley.
  • Eggs. This includes whole eggs but also egg as a hidden ingredient in cakes, mayonnaises etc
  • Peanuts and other nuts. This includes whole nuts, nut butters and hidden sources of nuts.
  • Salicylates. These are natural food chemicals found in, apples, berries, cherries, coffee, dried fruits, eggplant, nuts, oranges, peppers, potatoes, tea and tomatoes. The salicylate content is highest just under the skin of fruits and vegetables.
  • Tartrazine (E102). This artificial colorant imparts a yellow colour to certain processed foods
  • Benzoic acid (E210). This preservative is found in soft drinks, cordials and some margarines
  • Monosodium glutamate (E621 or MSG). This flavour enhancer is found in food spices, take-out and restaurant food.


A healthy, balanced diet that is tailor made to suite your child’s specific needs and sensitivities is the key to a happier, calmer and well adjusted child. Here are some brain-saving diet solutions for your young one:

  • Breast feed. If you can, it’s advised that you breast feed exclusively for 4-6 months and then feed for a long as you can. Breast milk will provide your child with all the essential fats and other nutrients needed for healthy brain development.

  • Ensure balanced blood sugar. Once your child is eating a full diet, blood sugar balancing becomes important. Great improvements in behaviour can be seen in children following a low glycemic index (GI) diet. The so-called low GI foods release their glucose into the bloodstream in a slow controlled manner, which keeps kids energy levels sustained. The high GI foods (like refined cereals, biscuits, sweets, white bread and other refined and sugar-laden foods) on the other hand tend to dump glucose into the blood stream causing a more dramatic and erratic rise and fall in blood sugar. Giving your child a wholegrain, low GI breakfast that contains fibre, such as low GI toast (you can get low GI breads in any supermarket); rye, Low GI cereals (also available at any supermarket) oats porridge, fibre rich bran or Maltabella is a good start. For sweetness you can try a little fructose (fruit sugar) or xylitol (available in crystalline form at specialised supermarkets and pharmacies). Fresh fruit is also a good option. Try making a smoothie by blending fresh milk or yogurt with fresh fruit. You can also try adding fresh, dried or pureed fruit to porridge or cereal. At school and for lunch a wholegrain sandwich, pasta or rice salad, fruit and yogurt are good options. Wholegrain crackers like provita and ryevita as well as corn and oat cakes are good snack items.

  • Add some protein power. Adding protein to a meal not only helps sow the release of glucose into the bloodstream but also helps provide essential amino acids in the diet. Amino acids (the building blocks of protein) are needed to help produce important brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds are all sources of protein and amino acids.

  • Go for iron rich foods. If you’re concerned, iron deficiency can be identified through a simple blood test. Iron rich foods like fortified cereals, red meat, eggs, chicken, fish and legumes should be a daily feature in your child’s diet. Supplements containing iron and B complex vitamins designed for children would also be helpful.

  • Bump up magnesium. Magnesium is found in good amounts in wholegrain cereals, spinach, legumes (like lentils and kidney beans) ground pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds (or try an almond butter).

  • Include essential fats. The best source of omega 3’s is oily fish (because it contains DHA, a substance essential for brain development). Fatty fish, like mackerel, salmon, pilchards and sardines should be eaten at least 3 times per week. If your child won’t eat fish, a supplement is advised. Plant oils like flaxseed, canola, walnut and soya oils also contain some omega 3’s. You can also purchase omega 3 enriched eggs. Other good fats include olive oil, nut and seed butters. There is also evidence that supplementing with Gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) in the form of Evening Primrose or Borage oil is helpful.

  • Ensure adequate B vitamin intake. Food sources include wholegrains, leafy vegetables, bananas, oranges, eggs, dairy, meat, fish and chicken

  • Check for and monitor allergies, sensitivities and intolerances. If you suspect any specific foods you could try your child on an elimination style diet where toy avoid the food and then reintroduce after some time. Allergies can also be diagnosed at your doctor through skin prick or blood tests. A dietician can also help you identify and eliminate problem foods.

3-day Good Behaviour Meal Plan

Here is what a general 3-day brain boosting plan should look like. This is designed for a pre-school aged child. Obviously, you need to adjust portion sizes and food textures depending on your child’s age, activity levels and appetite and the types of foods depending on any allergies, sensitivities or intolerances.


Breakfast: Maltabella porridge sweetened with xylitol

Snack: Apple puree and yogurt

Lunch: Low GI bread with fresh salmon and greens

Snack: Mixed fruit kebabs

Dinner: Rice pasta with mixed veggies and chopped chicken


Breakfast: Oats porridge with purred apple ground pumpkin and sunflower seeds

Snack: Fruit smoothie made with soya milk, banana and mixed berries

Lunch: Sardines on rye toast with chopped salad

Snack: Oat cakes with almond butter

Dinner: Beef steak, sweet potato oven chips and sautéed spinach with lentils


Breakfast: Scrambled eggs served on corn crackers

Snack: Ryevita with mashed chickpea paste or hummous

Lunch: Fishcakes with cooked mixed vegetables and wheat-free pasta

Snack: Fresh fruit salad

Dinner: Chicken strips, brown rice and broccoli with cheese sauce thickened with corn starch

Author: Ashleigh Caradas

* A copy of this article appeared in Living and Loving Magazine


Concentration problems, depression and memory decline have become modern day malady’s. There are many theories surrounding this phenomenon, and we don’t know for sure what the causes are. In today’s world we are so bombarded with stimuli and stress that concentration becomes a challenge and depression a symptom. In addition, we eat too much processed foods, not enough wholegrains, fruit and vegetables

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and our ratio of good to bad fats is too low. Modern day pressures, combined with lifestyle issues are probably the major contributing factors to modern day brain related disorders. But if we choose the right brain boosting foods, we can boost our brain power significantly.



Depression and anxiety related disorders are on the rise. Deficit Disorder (ADD) is now also being recognised as a disorder that presents in both children and adults. In adults, ADD can cause feelings of restlessness, extreme procrastination, disorganisation and trouble making decisions or meeting deadlines. While diagnosable ADD may not be as common, generalised problems with holding attention are. Whatever the case, certain nutrients can help boost attention and mood and improve overall brain function. The following guide will help you to choose the right brain foods to boost your brain power.


The Glucose Connection


In-between our brains and our blood is a very selective set of membranes called the blood brain barrier. Glucose (the smallest unit of carbohydrate metabolism) is the only source of energy that can cross the barrier and feed our brains (ketones can also cross the blood brain barrier but this only happens during times of starvation or carbohydrate restriction). Therefore, by creating a steady flow of glucose into our blood stream, we feed the brain with a sustainable source of energy for all-day alertness. Choosing foods with a low glycemic index (GI), like wholegrain seeds breads, bran cereals, barley, quinoa, rolled oats and brown rice as well as fresh fruits and vegetables helps supply the steady stream of glucose that the body needs. High GI foods, like regular white, brown and wholewheat breads, sugary breakfast cereals, sweets and pastries will cause glucose levels to spike, which means a short spike in concentration and then a crash down, where concentration can lapse and fatigue sets in. Some people can balance their blood sugar levels better than others, but for the most part; choosing low GI over high GI foods will make a big difference.


Fats: getting the balance right


The brain is more than 60% fat and the myelin sheath that coats all our

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nerves is 74% fat, so it makes sense that we need fat in the diet for optimum brain function. Fats also play a crucial role as messengers. They regulate key aspects of the immune system, blood circulation, inflammation, memory and mood. The problem with our fatty acid intakes is that we tend to get too much omega 6 fatty acids (found in vegetables oils, margarines and baked goods for example) and too little omega 3 fatty acids (found in fish oils, walnuts and flaxseeds for example). Too much omega 6 in relation to omega 3 can cause inflammation and brain ageing, while omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory and have been shown to boost brainpower. To boost brainpower include at least 3 servings of fatty fish per week (e.g. salmon, mackerel, trout, pilchards and sardines) or take a supplement. Use omega 9 oils (like avocado and olive oil) instead of omega 6 oils (like sunflower). Nuts and seeds, and especially walnuts and flaxseeds are also great brain boosting foods.




The Power of Protein


Every thought and emotion we have in controlled through signals transmitted via chemicals called neurotransmitters, which are specialised brain chemicals or messengers. These neurotransmitters are made from amino acids, which we get from protein foods. A lack of protein in the diet could therefore impact on our neurotransmitter production. There are 22 amino acids in total, 8 of which are essential i.e. they cannot be manufactured in the body and must be obtained from the diet. Meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds are all sources of these essential aminos.


B Power


The B complex vitamins in particular are very important for brain function. Most neurotransmitters require B vitamins during the manufacturing process. Stress and a busy lifestyle quickly deplete our B stores making it important to eat a balanced diet rich that includes sources of B vitamins like meat, fish, chicken, dairy, beans, green vegetables and wholegrains.


Think Zinc


The mineral zinc also plays quite a large role in brain function and neurotransmitter production. Good sources include liver, beef, lamb, fish, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, yogurt and peas.


The Alcohol connection


Too much alcohol literally damages the brain. It interferes with normal communication signals and leads to memory loss, which can become chronic in regular, heavy drinkers. Alcohol also interferes with our fatty acid metabolism in the brain and is a general neurotoxin.



The 3 Key Neurotransmitters


Acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter excites the neurons and is the main neurotransmitter responsible for cognition and memory. Foods that boost its production are high including egg yolks, soya, peanuts, wheat germ, liver, meat, fish (especially fatty fish), milk, cheese, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. These foods contain a substance called phosphatidyl choline, which is a precursor for acetylcholine. It is also found in lecithin, a supplement available in health food stores which comes in granules or powder form that is derived from eggs or soya. Another substance, known called dimethylaminoethanol or DMAE (found in sardines and salmon) is a precursor for choline.


Dopamine, This neurotransmitter is involved in attention and learning, movement and emotional arousal. All protein foods help to boost dopamine levels. The amino acid phenylalanine is used in particular to make dopamine and is found in a wide range of animal and vegetable protein sources.


Serotonin. This neurotransmitter is involved in mood, sleep, appetite and sensitivity. It also activates the pleasure centre of the brain. Depression is often the result of a serotonin deficiency. Foods that boost serotonin include protein foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan, the precursor for serotonin production. Food sources of tryptophan include red meat, dairy products, nuts, seeds, bananas, soybeans and soy products, tuna, shellfish, and turkey. Starchy food, like pastas, breads and other grains also help boost serotonin levels.





Brain Boosting Meal Plan Example





Rolled oats, mixed berries, low fat plain yogurt, chopped walnuts OR

Low GI bread with poached eggs and spinach




Apples and pumpkin seeds, OR

Wholegrain oat-bran muffin




Chicken, barley and avocado salad OR

Salmon fishcakes with green salad and coleslaw




Sardines on rye toast OR

Fruit salad and yogurt




Lentil and broccoli bake with a green salad OR

Fillet steak, stir-fry vegetables and brown rice

Author: Ashleigh Caradas

* A copy of this article also appeared in Business Day Health News



The search for the elixir of youth may not be as impossible as we think. And you need not look further than your local supermarket or health food store. Studies have shown that up to 85% of age related illnesses are preventable through proper diet and nutrition. Eating well not only adds years to life but also adds life and vitality to the years we have. Below are 10 super foods to help you get more years out of life and more life out of your years:

Tomatoes. A powerful anti-oxidant, called lycopene is behind much of the tomato’s superfood properties. Lycopene has been shown to help prevent heart disease by protecting the blood vessels against oxidative damage. Lycopene has also been shown to offer protection against many types of cancer, including lung and prostate.

Lycopene concentration is highest when tomatoes are heated (like as a sauce). It is also fat-soluble so adding some raw olive oil to the meal also helps.

Berries. Berries are a rich source of anthocianidins- antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation, prevent cancer and improve circulation. Include fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or any other berries you can get your hands on, in your diet on a regular basis. Eat them plain or topped with yogurt for a sweet, delicious snack. Imported from Brazil, the Acai berry is particularly high in anti-oxidants and has been touted as a powerful skin booster. The China-native Goji berry is another super food with exceptionally high anti-oxidant capabilities.

Greens. Green veggies contain the widest range of nutrients and antioxidants of all vegetables and are a good source of cancer-fighting phytochemicals, vitamin C, magnesium, chromium, folate, calcium and potassium. For maximum benefits, add two servings of green superfoods in the form ofspinach, rocket, bok choy or broccoli a day (A serving is 1 cup of raw greens). Wheatgrass, barley grass and blue-green algae, like spirulina can be taken in juice or supplement form for an extra green powered boost.

Carrots. The bright orange colour of the carrot is due to the high amounts of the pigment and antioxidant, beta-carotene that it contains. Beta-carotene helps prevent and reverse damage to the skin caused by excessive exposure to sunlight, one of the most powerful skin agers. Beta-carotene's powerful antioxidant actions help provide protection against macular degeneration and the development of senile cataracts, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Some studies have also shown a link between beta-carotene intake and the prevention of certain cancers. Orange fruit and vegetables containing beta-carotene include butternut, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mangoes and paw-paw.

Salmon. Salmon and other fatty fish, including mackerel, sardines and herring are a premier source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Recent research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids help regulate blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity. Omega 3 fatty acids help prevent many other inflammatory diseases associated with ageing, such as heart disease and arthritis. Fatty acids found in fish have also been shown to keep the brain young and healthy and improve memory and cognition. Fish is also a great source of complete protein, and our bodies use the amino acids to make neurotransmitters like serotonin (the feel good chemical). If you’re not mad on fish you can get your omega-3s from green vegetables, walnuts and flaxseeds.

Tea. Green, black and red teas all contain antioxidant polyphenols that help reduce free radical damage and therefore aging. Catechin is what is responsible for most of teas health effects. Black and green teas contain similar amounts of flavonoids, but green tea has almost 4 times more catechins than black tea. Red tea (more affectionately known to South Africans’ as Rooibos tea) has different flavonoids to black and green teas, which have applications in skin care as well as cancer prevention. Rooibos may also help lower blood pressure by inhibiting the constriction of blood vessels.

Red wine. Red wine is high in a substance called resveretrol, which has superior antioxidant capabilities. Red wine can help lower cholesterol and decreases blood platelet aggregation making it useful in the prevention of heart disease. Beware though as alcohol is a double-edged sword and too much wine can have the opposite undesired effects. Moderate consumption is considered no more than 2 units per day for women and no more than 3 units per day for men. A unit is equivalent to 150ml.

Water. Although not always considered a superfood as such, water is vital to health and life. Almost every metabolic process in the body requires water, and that includes the processes involved in releasing energy from food. The more dehydrated we become, the less energy and vitality we will have. Dehydration can make the skin look dryer, duller and more lined. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day for best results.

Garlic. A member of the lily or Allium family, which also includes onions, garlic is rich in a variety of powerful sulfur-containing compounds including thiosulfinates and sulfoxides. While these compounds are responsible for garlic's characteristically pungent odor, they are also the source of many of its health-promoting effects, which include lowered cholesterol, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral activity and cancer protection.

Brazil nuts. Brazil nuts are a superior source of the antioxidant mineral selenium. Even just one Brazil nut a day can boost your levels of this mineral sufficiently. Selenium has been shown to be effective in cancer prevention through its ability to activate an enzyme in the body called gluthathione peroxidase that protects against the formation of free radicals

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