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Superfoods 4

1. Tomatoes – Loaded with Lycophene, which keeps heart healthy and protects against strokes. Also supports prostate in men. Can be eaten raw, cooked or in salads.

2. Prunes – Prunes are dried plums. They are packed with polyphenols and help in boosting bone density. They can also help in bowel movement.

3. Brussel sprouts – This are rich in glucosinolates, compounds that can combat cancer and detoxify our bodies. They can be added to salads.

4. Acai berry – A serving or two of this anthocyanin rich berry can dramatically boost the amount of antioxidants in your blood. Can be eaten alone or in a salad.

5. Bok Choy – This calcium rich veggie can protect your bones and keep your skin glowing.

6. Pumpkin – Pumpkins are filled with natural cancer fighters – alpha and beta carotene. At home it is usually made as a side dish and can be eaten with rice or bread.

7. Spinach – Popeye’s food. A half cup of spinach provides more than five times your daily dose of vitamin K, which helps blood clot and built strong bones. Also rich in iron. Also provides good fiber and can help with constipation.

8. Asparagus – One of my favorite vegetables. It also contains vitamin K and folate and is a natural diuretic and banishes bloating.

9. Water cress – This just has four calories per cup. This cruciferous veggie has a hefty dose of vitamin K, zeaxanthin, lutein, beta carotene and cancer fighting phytochemicals. Also good for bone and eye health.

10. Grapes – Grapes contain resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant, good for heart health and anti-ageing.

By now I am sure you realize that nature provides everything that we need for our health. I can go on and on with more superfoods. I have not even listed all the local Malay, Chinese and Indian spices and vegetables. The focus should be avoiding chemical and toxin laden foods. Remember we have to take personal responsibility for our health.

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Superfoods 3

1. Celery – Part of Apiaceae family. Contains a plant compound Apigenin which has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Also contains a flavonoid Luteolin which has antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Celery can also be used as a snack and because of its high fiber content can help in satiety and weight loss.

2. Fermented foods - Fermentation is a natural process through which microorganisms like yeast and bacteria convert carbohydrates such as starch and sugar into alcohol or acid. Fermentation also promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria – Probiotics. This improve immune function as well as digestive and heart health. Common fermented foods include kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, natto, cheese, kombucha, miso, kimchi, sourdough bread and yoghurt.

3. Cauliflower, cabbage – Part of the cruciferous family like broccoli, contains sulforaphane and high fiber content and definitely should be part of our diet.

4. Walnuts – Has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is said to be good for brain health and memory. Part of this could be due to walnuts having the appearance of the brain.

5. Papaya – Papaya is a superfood. Contains Zeaxanthin and Beta-carotene which helps in eye health. Also has Vitamin K2 for bone health. Has fiber and potassium for hearth health and Choline which helps in inflammation. Also contains vitamin C, folate, A, magnesium, copper and pantothenic acid. Can be eaten whole or part of a salad.

6. Pomegranate – This is another superfood. It contains the antioxidant Punicalagins and the good fatty acids Punicic acid. It also contains Vitamin C, Flavanols, Folate and K2. Can be eaten whole or as part of a salad.

7. Olive oil – Olive oil is a natural oil extracted from the fruits of olive trees and one of the mainstays of the Mediterranean diet. Its biggest claims to health are its high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyphenolic compounds. Adding olive oil to your diet may reduce inflammation and your risk of heart disease, diabetes and other inflammatory conditions. It also contains antioxidants such as vitamin C and K.

8. Seaweeds – Examples include Nori, Wakame and Kombu. Seaweeds contain iodine and tyrosine which support thyroid function. Also a good source of Omega 3 and B12. Also has the antioxidant Fucoxanthin. Seaweeds are low in calories and can be part of a salad.

9. Carrots – Carrots are high in fiber, beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin K1 and B6, biotin. Good for eye health. Can be eaten raw or part of a salad.

10. Honey- Contains important antioxidants like organic acids and phenolic compounds like flavonoids. Can help with cough and even healing wounds. However it still has sugar and I suggest just a teaspoon a day is sufficient for its health benefits.

Again we see that nature has a whole array of natural foods that are good for our health and we have to focus on eating this and not processed and manmade junk foods.
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Superfoods 2 – The Next Ten

The next ten foods that should be in our diet.

1. Broccoli – This is definitely a superfood with its fiber content and also sulforaphane which I have written about earlier. Should not be over cooked as it will lose some of its vitamins.

2. Mushrooms – Some of the most common varieties of edible mushrooms are button, Portobello, shiitake, crimini and oyster mushrooms. Mushrooms contain vitamin A, potassium, fiber and several antioxidants not present in most other foods. They play a role in reducing inflammation and preventing certain cancers.

3. Ginger – Comes from the root of a flowering plant in China. It is a flavor enhancer and has multiple medicinal effects. Ginger root contains antioxidants, such as gingerol, responsible for many of the health benefits associated with this food. Ginger can reduce pain and also reduce your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and dementia.

4. Seeds – From chia seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and hemp seeds, these small but mighty snacks are nutritional powerhouses. They are loaded with dietary fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These seeds should be added to your diet immediately.

5. Coconut oil – Especially the extra virgin coconut oil. It contains MCT oils which can actually help in reducing cholesterol. One tablespoon a day is usually sufficient to get its good effect.

6. Beets – This have been shown to help offset the risk of many chronic diseases due to their high levels of vitamin B, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium and manganese. At home it is usually made as a dish with added herbs and spices and becomes a real nutritional powerhouse.

7. Lentils – This earn the superfood label because they are loaded with nutrients and play a role in preventing various diseases. Legumes are a rich source of B vitamins, various minerals, protein and fiber. In my household it is almost taken daily in small quantities with wholegrain rice or bread.

8. Garlic – Research indicates that garlic may be effective in reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as supporting immune function. Sulfur containing compounds in garlic like allicin may even play a role in preventing certain cancers.

9. Apples - An apple a day keeps the doctor away. I believe this to be true as an apple is a powerhouse of vitamins, C, K, A. E, B1, B2 and B6. It also contains potassium, copper and manganese and fiber. It has polyphenols which have antioxidant effect.

10. Bananas – This fruit is high in potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and B6. It can strengthen the nervous system and increase the production of white blood cells. It is also high in antioxidants. Taking one banana a day is healthy but too many can increase the calories and hence weight.

As you can see there are a whole lot of foods that Mother Nature has provided for us. There really is no necessity for us to eat any man-made foods. The list will continue.
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