Gardening Vivian | 24 Feb 2011 12:13 pm

10 Super Foods You Must Include In Your Organic Garden

When planning your organic garden most people think about the obvious. That is the vegetable plot, or number of plots. That is where we grow most of our organic food requirements.

If we think a little outside the box (or plot for us gardeners) we can include many more foods that are extremely beneficial to our long term health and quality of life. Some foods are now becoming well recognised as nutritional heavyweights when it comes to anti-oxidants, a healthy heart and cancer fighting properties.

Below are a list of 10 Super Foods that will greatly benefit your health and beauty.

1.Walnuts are an excellent source of plant based omega 3 fatty acids, known for fighting heart disease. They are also packed with micronutrients, antioxidants and plant sterol, which lower cholesterol. Eat nuts in moderation though as they are high in calories – perhaps a handful five times a week.

2.Blueberries are high in antioxidants, low in calories and contain fibre, folic acid, carotenoids, as well as vitamins C and E. Freezing does not reduce their value.

3.Citrus Fruits are rich in vitamin C, high in fibre and contain folic acid.

4.Pumpkin provides fibre, contains potassium and carotenoids (the antioxidants found in orange, yellow, red and dark green vegetables).

5.Beans both fresh and dried green beans are rich in the B vitamins and potassium. They may have even more antioxidants than blueberries and as much cholesterol-lowering fibre as oats (another super-food). They also are an excellent source of lean protein.

6.Avocados contain healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids, helping to lower bad cholesterol. They also contain antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, folate and fibre. Avocado helps your body to absorb more nutrients from other foods; such as when you eat tomato and avocado together in a salad.

7.Brassicas contain lots of vitamin C and some other useful phyto-nutrients. They are also high in calcium, folate, carotenoids, potassium and fibre.

8.Kiwi Fruit are brimming with vitamin C and potassium. The skin is packed with flavonoid antioxidants (I place whole kiwi fruits in my juicer so I benefit from the skin without the fuzzy texture). Another benefit is that it fruits in late autumn (fall) when other fruits are scarce.

9.Tomatoes especially when cooked have cancer-fighting lycopene, plus they are packed with vitamins A and C.

10.Olives are a great source of vitamin E, producing an antioxidant effect and they are also concentrated in monounsaturated fats. Olives also have some beneficial active phytonutrient compounds including polyphenols and flavonoids. Some of the benefits you can expect from including olives in your daily diet include: protection from heart disease; cellular protection from free radicals; anti-inflammatory benefits; improved gastrointestinal health. When buying olive oil, always choose extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil, for maximum health benefits.

There are many other fruits, nuts and vegetables that are extremely beneficial to your health and long term well being – but these are my top ten. Yes, some of these plants do take up more space than you may have available.

Or maybe you don’t plan to live in the same home to see your trees mature and provide you with fruit. You could keep nut trees pruned to a suitable size. Some fruit trees will grow happily for many years in pots, given the right love and attention.

If these foods seem a little too healthy for and you have a taste for the sweeter things in life, dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants so it’s on my list of yummy things to occasionally indulge in – along with a full-bodied glass of red every other night!

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