A tablespoon of ground flaxseed sprinkled over cereal or yogurt or added to a smootie provides an easy 2.3 grams of fibre, often more than what’s in the cereal itself! But flaxseed is most revered for its lignans. These act like estrogen in the body, blocking estrogen receptors on cells and contributing to reduced rates of certain hormone-related cancers, such as breast cancer. Flaxseed is also a fantastic source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential fatty acid the body uses to make omega-3 fatty acids. ALA thins the blood and makes it less sticky, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. The little seeds also can lower cholesterol, thanks to their big stores of soluble fibre. Their anti-inflammatory power may also help keep various conditions, from acne to asthma, at bay.
More health benefits have been ascribed to garlic than to just about any other food – and some of them even hold true. Garlic has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties; it even appears to banish some antibiotic-resistant bacteria, at least in test tubes. Most of its disease-fighting potential comes from its sulfur compounds, which act as antioxidants, providing many of its cardiovascular benefits. Garlic lowers cholesterol only modestly, but it also acts as a blood thinner, reducing the formation of blood clots and your risk of heart attack and stroke. Just six or more cloves a week can slash your risk of colorectal, stomach and prostate cancer in half, compared to eating one clove a week or less. The sulfur compounds flush out carcinogens before they can damage cell DNA, and they force cancer cells that do develop to self-destruct. Just dont go over the top with this one the night before valentines day
Yogurt is a great source of bone-building calcium, but its real strength lies in live beneficial bacteria, known as probiotics, that keep down the growth of harmful bacteria in your gut. Too many “bad” bacteria can lead to gastrointestinal and other health problems. Eating more yogurt could help with inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers, urinary tract infections and vaginal yeast infections, to name a few conditions. Getting plenty of “good” bacteria from yogurt is particularly important when you take antibiotics, which wipe out all bacteria, good and bad, in your gut. Probiotics also produce immunity-enhancing compounds and natural antibiotics that help reduce levels of nasty bacteria in the gut.
In addition to protecting your eyes from age-related macular degeneration, thanks to its carotenoids, spinach has high concentrations of vitamin K, which can help maintain bone density and prevent fractures. The green stuff is also a powerful source of potassium and magnesium as well as folate, all of which can keep blood pressure low, reducing the risk of stroke. Folate also appears to slash the risk of lung cancer in former smokers.
The fat in salmon is like liquid gold when it comes to your blood vessels. Just two servings of salmon a week can reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 17 percent and your risk of having a heart attack by 27 percent. And the benefits appear to go beyond the heart. A Swedish study that followed more than 6,000 men for 30 years found that those who ate moderate amounts of fatty fish slashed their risk of prostate cancer by a third. And researchers recently found that people who had the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood were 53 percent less likely to report feeling mildly or moderately depressed.
As a boxer making weight i have seen far far too much of these foods of late, but regardless of your profession everybody should try and get more of these into a healthy balanced diet.