The key to eating well is to enjoy a variety of healthy food. Your food choices each day affect your health including how you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future. Let’s discover and add them to your meals as you get on the fast track to a super-healthy body!

Fiber Beta-glucan

The consumption of dietary fiber from whole grains is associa­ted with a reduced risk of diabetes mellitus type (DMT2), cardiovascular diseases, cancer and obesity (Schlörmann.W, Glei.M, 2017). Beta glucan is one form of soluble dietary fiber and is well known as the heart-healthy fiber. The addition of ≥3 g oat β-glucan (OBG) /day to the diet is strongly linked to reductions in LDL, total cholesterol while boosting heart health (J Beck.E, Tosh.S,MS Wolever.T et al, 2014). You can find it in whole grains, oats, bran, wheat, and barley.

Green Tea

Green tea is more than just liquid. Green tea is loaded with polyphenol antioxidants including a catechin called EGCG which functions as a natural antioxidant to help protect cell damage and are anti-aging and anti-inflammatory (Hae Suk.K et al, 2014).If you are looking for a safe fat burning supplement, green tea is on that list. Green tea has been shown to increase fat burning and boost metabolic rate. Caffeine containing in green tea also helps to improve physical performance by modulating lipid metabolism for use as energy (Vasantha H.P et al, 2016).Recent scientific evidence explaining its mechanism of action and biological activities suggest green tea has a promising role in the management of oral health among older adults (Agnihotri.R, Gaur.S, 2014). Here are some tips to maximise the benefit of green tea – look for green tea that contains the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), choose loose leaf tea and avoid added sugar.

Probiotic

Bear in mind that your gut contains both good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are often called “good” as they help to keep your gut healthy by restoring the natural balance of gut bacteria. Probiotic has also shown positive responses to clinical treatment against several diseases and disorders such as diarrhea associated with rotavirus, IBS and food allergies (Kerry R.G et al, 2018). You can find probiotic in supplements and in foods like yogurt, milk and cultured drink. Fermented foods like pickled vegetables, tempeh, miso, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and soy products may also contain some lactic acid bacteria.

Green leafy vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are placed high in the food pyramid and are an essential part of a balanced diet to meet our daily nutrient requirements. Containing rich sources of nutrients, high in dietary fiber, low in lipids, and rich in folate, ascorbic acid, vitamin K, Mg, K while carrying plenty of phytochemicals such as β-carotene flavonoids as an antioxidant. This good nutrition profile of green leafy vegetables is beneficial in lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, type 2 diabetes and ideal for weight management due to their low caloric value. (Randhawa M.A et al, 2015) Examples of green leafy vegetables are spinach, kale, collard greens, broccoli, broccoli rabe, arugula, and other leafy greens. They can also be consumed fresh and raw as a salad or cooked. Malaysia Dietary Guidelines (MDG) recommend taking 3 servings of green leafy vegetables /day which is equivalent to 1 ½ cup cooked or 3 cup raw leafy vegetables per day. If you do not like vegetables, multivitamin and phytochemicals supplements are available to help you incorporate the benefits of leafy vegetables into your diet.

Cold-Water Fish — Sardines and Salmon

These protein-packed fish have high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in brain and heart health. Specifically, they have been shown to decrease inflammation, reduce the risk of heart disease, and benefit pre- and post-natal development (Swanson.D et al, 2012). The American Heart Association recommends eating fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna, which are high in omega-3s, at least two times a week (about 450mg EPA and DHA per daily adult dose). If you do not eat fatty fish very often, you should consider taking a fish oil supplement.

Virgin coconut oil

Virgin coconut oil helps to reduce total cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, LDL, VLDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL cholesterol in serum and tissues. Research results demonstrate potential beneficiary effects of virgin coconut oil in lowering lipid levels in serum and tissues and LDL oxidation by physiological oxidants. This property of VCO may be attributed to the biologically active polyphenol components present in the oil (Nevin K. G. & Rajamohan, T., 2004).

Chia seed

Salvia hispanica L. A biannually cultivated plant that is categorised under the mint family (Labiatae). Chia seed contains 25% to 40% oil of which 60% comprises of (omega) ω-3 alphalinolenic acid and 20% of (omega) ω-6 linoleic acid. Both essential fatty acids are required by the human body for good health and they cannot be artificially synthesized. High in antioxidant, chia seed helps to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals in the body (Ixtaina, V. Y., Nolasco, S. M., & Tomas, M. C., 2008). As it is gluten free, it is a source of protein for those who suffer from celiac disease (Bueno, et al., 2012). Chia seed also contain zero cholesterol and is a good source of several minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, manganese, zinc and copper. Based on current research findings, chia seed is a good choice of healthy oil to maintain a balanced serum lipid profile (Ali et al., 2012).Note: Chia seeds may interact with blood pressure medications or blood thinners such as warfarin. If you take any of these drugs, do not consume chia seeds (McDermott A., 2017).

Reference:

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  10. Kerry R.G et al. (2018). Benefaction of probiotics for human health: A review. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, 927-939.
  11. Nevin, K. G. & Rajamohan, T. (2004). Beneficial effects of virgin coconut oil on lipid parameters and in vitro LDL oxidation. Clinical biochemistry, 37, 830– 835.
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  14. Swanson.D et al. (2012). Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA and DHA: Health Benefits Throughout Life. Advances in Nutrition Journal, 1-7.
  15. Vasantha H.P et al. (2016). Phytochemicals in regulating fatty acid β-oxidation: Potential underlying mechanisms and their involvement in obesity and weight loss. In Pharmacology and Therapeutics (pp. 153-163).
  16. Wang, L., & Martins-Green, M. (2014). Pomegranate and its components as alternative treatment for prostate cancer. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 15(9), 14949–14966. http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/15/9/14949
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