Apples: contain vitamin C to help iron absorption; quercetin, a type of flavonol that helps prevent blood clots, strokes and narrowing of the arteries and pectin which helps lower cholesterol, eliminate potentially cancer-causing toxins from the body and ease arthritis, rheumatism and gout.
Apricots: contain the antioxidant beta-carotene which not only helps to combat cell-damaging free radicals (which play a major role in diseases such as cancer) but which the body naturally converts into vitamin A, essential for healthy eyes and the immune system.
Avocado: an excellent source of vitamin E, thought to slow the ageing process, and one of the richest sources of potassium, important in lowering blood pressure and reducing stroke risk. One small avocado provides more than half the recommended intake of vitamin B6, low levels of which are linked to depression and PMT. Avocados are also rich in mono-unsaturated acids, known to lower cholesterol.
Beans: all beans contain phytochemicals which can help lower cholesterol, stop cancer cells multiplying and prevent colon cancer. They are a good source of B complex vitamins, which help boost energy levels and are high in fibre to help moderate blood sugar levels and keep the gastro-intestinal tract healthy.
Blueberries: containing the highest level of antioxidants of all fresh fruit, blueberries neutralize cell-damaging free radicals, protecting the body from heart disease, cancer and other degenerative diseases and help stave off premature ageing.
Brazil Nuts: nuts are rich sources of essential mono-unsaturated fats and brazil nuts contain high levels of selenium which provides protection from cancer- causing free radicals.
Broccoli: all members of the Brassica family (sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, cress) are rich sources of the phytochemicals that can help protect against cancer. Broccoli is high in calcium, fibre and folic acid and can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Flaxseeds: one of the highest known sources of polyunsaturated omega- 3 and 6 oils and also rich in vitamin E which supports the immune system, keeps hair and skin healthy and helps protect against the damaging effects of free radicals, caused by smoke and pollution.
Garlic: acclaimed for thousands of years as a superfood, garlic reduces cholesterol, blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and is thought to help in preventing certain cancers. It is also acknowledged to have significant anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
Kiwi: as well as being a rich source of antioxidant carotenoids, vitamins E and K and magnesium, kiwis have a very high concentration of vitamin C - just one fruit will provide 40% of your recommended daily allowance. Vitamin C seems to be particularly important in fighting the diseases of ageing and can reduce the risks of cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Oily fish: the omega -3 fatty acids contained in salmon, mackerel and other oily fish are widely recognized as providing multiple protection for your heart, reducing the risks of clots and irregular heartbeats and improving blood flow through the arteries. They are also essential for healthy cell function (protecting skin, bone and teeth), can protect against arthritis and keep the brain healthy.
Shitake mushrooms: together with Reisha mushrooms, possess immune enhancing properties. Shitake mushrooms are rich in calcium and phosphorus; they also contain the phytochemical, lentinan, which strengthens the immune system and may afford protection against cancer.
Soya: contains isoflavones that seem to help lower blood cholesterol and may protect against osteoporosis by slowing the rate of bone loss. Soya is also thought to help ease menopausal symptoms as well as reducing the risk of some cancers.
Spinach: rich in antioxidant carotenoids, which is particularly good for healthy eyesight and may reduce the age-related macular degeneration.
Tea: A rich source of antioxidants that can reduce the risks of some cancers and protect your heart. Tea may even protect against osteoporosis and, over the long term, may increase the number of probiotic friendly bacteria in the colon. But you need to let your tea brew for at least three minutes to get the optimum benefits.
Tomatoes: contain lycopene, the red antioxidant pigment, that helps to deflect harmful UV rays and protect the skin against the ageing effects of the sun. Tomatoes may also help in reducing the risk of prostate and stomach cancers and heart disease.
Sweet Potato: contains more vitamin E than any other low-fat food and rich in carotenoids and beta-carotene, powerful antioxidants. One sweet potato provides more than 100% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E, thought to slow the ageing process.
Watermelon: The flesh is rich in the antioxidants vitamin C, lycopene and carotenoids including beta-carotene. The seeds are rich in vitamin E, essential fats, selenium and zinc.