BBC Health News

BBC health news presenter, Prof. Alice Roberts, investigates the health benefits of a range of popular supermarket foods, including vegetables, fruit and meat.

First  up was the humble mushroom which is packed full of the minerals potassium and selenium as well as B vitamins.

Health Benefits:

Selenium helps guard against cell damage, including cancer, dementia and Aids.

Potassium helps keep your blood pressure normal

B vitamins are essential for general health

TIP: Vitamin D is created if the mushrooms are left out in the sun for an hour or so. In the same way as we gain vitamin D from exposure to the sun.

Carrots and beets

Pep up your appearance with Carrots and Peppers which contain a carotenoid antioxidant that improves skin health and appearance.

Student volunteers were put on a diet high in these vegetables and after a month the improvement in their complexions was quite remarkable.

On the subject of salads it is important to be aware that the dressings often served with them can be high in calories and what you thought was a low calorie option can turn out to be exactly the opposite.

BBC Health News Warning On Bread

Bread of course usually finds its way into most people’s shopping basket and is a good source of carbohydrates. However it does tend to contain too much salt so read the label and try to buy low salt breads. Or why not make your own - the kneading is therapeutic or there are many good bread makers on the market.

Those of you who like to exercise hard, either on the road or in the gym, will be surprised to learn that milk is better at rehydrating than either water or sports drinks.

The reason is that it is absorbed through the gut wall more slowly than the other two which quickly pass through the system and are excreted by the kidneys.

Dairy lovers will also be pleased to know that eating cheese can actually help you lose weight. Dairy products are high in calcium which forms a soap like substance with fat which slips quickly through the digestive system before it is all absorbed by the body.

Cooking Apples

Fruit as we all know is good for us and it is heartening to learn that the most popular, apples and bananas are particularly beneficial in fighting modern diseases.

Polyphenols in apples help protect against cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and high cholesterol. Best apples to eat are the less sweet ones such as Bramleys (a cooking apple) and Granny Smith. Oh, and leave the skin on as most of the goodness lie just under it.

Bananas like mushrooms are high in potassium which helps to lower high blood pressure and stroke. I have taken to ensuring I eat at least one banana a day as each one gives 12% of the recommended daily requirement of potassium.

Finally protein reduces hunger cravings and can be gained either from meat or beans, Ensuring you include some protein in each meal helps you to stay fuller for longer.

The BBC health news programme warns that individual ready meals are getting larger which encourage people to eat more than they need. If you do eat meals prepared by others, either prepackaged or at a restaurant either share the meal with a partner or save half for another occasion.

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