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There's been lots of press recently about superfoods, and the potentially transformative effect they can have on your health and well being. Every week there seems to be new items on the list - pomegranate juice, wheat grass, blueberries, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, watercress.

With so many does and don'ts coming at you it's hard to separate fact from hype. Do superfoods really work? Which ones? If you cook them in a particular way, do they lose their potency? How many superfoods should you include in your daily diet?

The truth is, superfoods can be beneficial to your health, but only if used sensibly and in combination with an over all healthy diet. One of the most common mistakes people make is in thinking that because of their antioxidant qualities, eating a few of these 'healing products' will counter balance a diet that's nutritionally poor and unbalanced. These foods are very good for you, but not one of them on it's own is nutritionally complete, and therefore one or two of these items is not a replacement for a well rounded eating plan.

Another thing to consider is whether you have a family history of a specific type of health problem. If you do, you'll want to choose to eat things that have the power to help with the illnesses common to your genetic history. For example, it's been found that eating tomatoes can help ward off prostate cancer - so if there's a history of prostate cancer in your family, you'll want to include tomatoes in your daily diet. However, it's also been found that tomatoes and members of the tomato family such as peppers can aggrevate and worsen conditions like arthritis - so if your family has a history of arthritis, you may want to avoid tomatoes where you can.

As always the key to optimizing your health is to make it your practice to eat a balanced diet, rich in vitamins and minerals and in keeping with national guidelines. If you are unsure about how a particular 'healing products' will affect your health, please see your doctor.



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