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Scientists create 'healthiest meal'

20/06/2012 4:00:00 PM
MSN NZ
Researchers claim to have created the healthiest meal plan ever with a list of foods they believe have the best health benefits.
Researchers claim to have created the healthiest meal plan ever with a list of foods they believe have the best health benefits.

Researchers claim to have created the healthiest meal plan ever with a list of foods they believe have the best health benefits.

Food scientists at Leatherhead Food Research in the UK put 4,000 food health claims from manufacturers and supermarkets to the test and found that only 222 of them were true. The findings led to the creation of a super-food meal plan including items with proven health and weight-loss benefits. Popular on the list were walnuts, which "contribute to the improvement of the elasticity of blood vessels", and salmon, which has a high-concentration of omega-3 fish oils and helps with metabolism.

It might be time to pull out your stock-pot because the humble chicken casserole was found to be an exceptionally healthy meal with researchers finding the dish could meet 80 health claims in one pot. The casserole's mixed vegetables and lentils both boost its nutritional value.

The team even created an original sports drink containing biotin, calcium, zinc, chromium copper, iron, potassium, selenium and magnesium. Magnesium is essential to proper muscle function, while potassium is important for electrolyte functions and water balance; both help with sporting performance.

Sweet-tooths can rejoice as a "velvety hot chocolate ... with melatonin, to help you get to sleep" makes an appearance alongside a live yoghurt dessert and a mixed berry shake containing Glucomannan, a proven weight-loss aide, to help people shed those extra kilos.

Surprisingly, the list reads pretty well with lots of everyday items like salad with extra virgin olive and whole grain bread featuring. As the CEO of the research company says, "We have also shown that healthy foods do not have to be dull. We carry out thousands of consumer taste tests a year and one thing is clear. No matter how healthy, if foods do not taste good they will not sell."

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