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Oils It’s important to have enough oils and fats in your diet – but you have to be careful which ones. Olive oil is fantastic used cold over salads or cooked at a medium heat. But if you heat it until it’s smoking, the oil can form harmful compounds. Rapeseed oil contains omegas 3, 6 and 9. It’s good for your heart and rich in vitamin E, and can be cooked at high temperatures without losing any its benefits.

Parsley Parsley’s vitamin K strengthens the bones and its vitamins C and A are great antioxidants. Its chlorophyll freshens your breath and can act as an antibacterial. Flat leaf parsley is the best.

Quinoa Quinoa (keen-wa) is one of the best sources of non-animal protein around, and hence great for vegetarians. It’s a perfect blend of amino acids that the body can easily break down and convert into muscle, and it contains B vitamins, vitamin E and fibre to keep your digestive system healthy.

Red peppers Red peppers are one of the best sources of vitamin C – great for keeping the skin looking healthy, and can also help cut a cold short. It can also reduce the risk of having a stroke.

Spinach Good for your health and can help improve your skin and hair too thanks to its high vitamin C content. Its minerals help lower blood pressure, protect your body against cardiovascular disease and cancer, and the high vitamin K levels are good for protecting against osteoporosis.

Tea Drinking tea is a great way to rehydrate. Plus, because it also contains polyphenols, it can help prevent cell damage and protect the body against some forms of cancer. Green tea contains high levels of B vitamins. So get supping!

Uncooked vegetables Steaming and boiling is fine if you only cook lightly, but raw is by far the best (see Juicing, above).

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Our Experts Tracy Harper 07747 780035

John Kinski, 01296 662686 Spring 2015 | 25

Vegetables Dark, leafy vegetables contain lots more vitamins and minerals than light ones, while red, purple, orange and yellow vegetables contain much higher levels of antioxidants than pale ones.

Wine Hooray! Wine may help to lower cholesterol and stimulate nerve regeneration in the brain and ward off Alzheimer’s. Cheers!

Xylitol From the bark of the silver birch tree, xylitol is one of the best and safest low calorie sugar alternatives around – in moderation.

Yogurt (Greek yogurt) Lack of vitamin D can lead to depression, heart disease and osteoporosis and, although the best source is sunlight, yogurt is a good second-best.

Zucchini A healthy, low-calorie way of getting nutrients including vitamin C, fibre and potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. n

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