Health-e takes a look at this category of nutrition found in nature and best of all many items grown or purchased right here in Bali.
It’s no secret superfoods is the latest buzzword, with everything from chia seeds to goji berries now a regular presence in grocery store aisles. What many superfoods have in common is their foreign quality, with the rest of the world “discovering” the wonders of, say, the Brazilian acai berry.
By definition they are calorie sparse and nutrient dense meaning they pack a lot of punch for their weight as far as goodness goes and are superior sources of anti-oxidants and essential nutrients.
Thanks to the highland farmlands of Bali’s Bedugal, leafy greens are abundant in our corner of S.E. Asia. Calorie for calorie, they deliver more nutrients than just about any other food on the planet. Loaded with fibre, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (compounds found in plants), leafy greens stock your body with the artillery needed to fight off potential killers like heart disease and cancer. Simply put, “leafys” benefit virtually every cell inside you. Health-e favorites are kale, spinach, Swiss chard, mustard, and dandelion greens.
More veg to know about are those in the cruciferous category (plants of the cabbage family), which are said to lower your cancer risk. Put cruciferous on your list, namely broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and bok choy, once again, all grown in the central highland regions of Bali and sold in supermarkets throughout the south of the island.
Grown abundantly in Indonesia is avocado and don’t be afraid of this pear shaped fruit because you think it’s fattening. The often over-looked avocado is a delicious, creamy superfood that’s simply too healthy to skip. The myriad of healthy fats and nutrients found in avocados — oleic acid, lutein, folate, vitamin E, monounsaturated fats and glutathione among them — can help protect your body from heart disease, cancer, degenerative eye and brain diseases.
Blueberries are found in most Bali supermarkets, some frozen others fresh. Tasty, sweet and packed with disease-fighting phytochemicals, flavinoids and soluble fibre – blueberries have the power to help prevent serious diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stomach ulcers and high blood pressure. In summary, blueberries are a miraculous fruit.
Throughout island farms, many organic in nature, long beans are abundant. These dense and delicious veggies help raise levels of the hormone leptin, which curbs appetite and delivers a powerful combination of B vitamins, calcium, potassium and folate. All of this good stuff will help maintain healthy brain, cell and skin function and even helps reduce blood pressure and stroke risk.
Rich in Vitamin C, Indonesian mangosteen is a strong anti-oxidant that helps fight off prostate, bladder, pancreatic, colon and melanoma cancers. Mangosteen also works as an anti-inflammatory, and its effect on insulin production has been found to be therapeutic to those with diabetes or obesity (controlling glucose levels plays a key role in weight management and cancer prevention.)
Imported wild salmon is available in Carrefour and most large supermarkets on the island. Salmon provides a rich source of protein, vitamin D, selenium, B2, B3, B6 and B12 and those all-important omega-3 fatty acids. So exactly what can wild salmon do for you? Quite a bit, including protection from cancer, cardiovascular problems, macular degeneration, depression, and cognitive decline — that’s a lot of pluses in a pretty compact package.