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The old adage 'you are what you eat' is regaining currency with
increasing interest in foods that can help protect against serious
illness and fight the ageing process.
Generally fruit and vegetables that are dubbed 'superfoods' are high in antioxidants, such as vitamin C. Flavonoids (responsible for the dark colours of fruits such as blackberries) and phytochemicals such as betacarotene also have high antioxidant properties - so vibrantly coloured fruit and vegetables are particularly beneficial.
Antioxidants are believed to counteract the free radicals - harmful molecules that damage cells and can contribute to ageing, and diseases such as cancer. Phytochemicals, present in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and sprouts, can help protect against bowel cancer.
Eating superfoods doesn't have to be expensive. Currently supermarkets are promoting a range of exotic imports as 'superfoods': blueberries, pomegranates, avocados, mangoes. But you don't have to eat expensive imports to be healthy - home-grown wild blackberries, picked from hedgerows in late summer - are just as healthy as expensive blueberries.
The emphasis should be on variety, not a faddish insistence on certain foods. Concentrating on 'superfoods' to the exclusion of everything else may prove counter-productive.