Here, you’ll find a list of foods that you should incorporate into your diet—because their health benefits are through the roof!
Creamy, succulent avocados not only contain the best kind of fat (monounsaturated oleic acid) but also help your body block the absorption of bad fats (cholesterol). They’re high in lutein, which aids eyesight, and in potassium and folate, which may reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. And they’re low in pesticides.
The pigment betacyanin, which gives beets their distinctive hue, is just one of several disease-fighting phytonutrients found in this root vegetable. Beets are also a good source of folate, which guards against birth defects, colon cancer, and osteoporosis, and are high in fiber and beta-carotene.
Glucosinolate-rich horseradish fights cancer and kills bacteria. It’s also a good source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin C, which, among other things, helps maintain collagen.
Whether orange or white, sweet potatoes contain phytonutrients that promote heart and eye health and boost immunity. They’re flush with beta-carotene (thought to lower breast cancer risk) and vitamin A (which may reduce the effects of smoking).
Cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli rabe—contain a powerful range of disease fighters. One particular hero, sulforaphane, may increase enzymes that lower the incidence of colon and lung cancers.
Fresh or frozen, blueberries have sky-high levels of antioxidants, which combat the damage done by inflammation. Anthocyanins, the natural plant compounds that give blueberries their deep color, may have antidiabetic effects as well. And new research suggests blueberries might protect the heart muscle from damage.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Spinach, kale, and swiss chard are an excellent source of iron (especially important for women), vitamin A, and lutein for eye health. Best of all, you know those omega-3s everyone’s talking about? They reside in dark greens (including seaweed, which is why they’re concentrated in fish).
The botanical family that includes leeks, onions, and garlic, share many remarkable traits. They can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Research suggests they inhibit the growth of prostate, stomach, and colon cancer cells and they also have antibiotic properties.
Whole grains such as buckwheat and quinoa are high in magnesium, B vitamins, fiber, and manganese and they taste great. They also may actually help you to not overeat—one study found that people feel fuller after eating buckwheat than after eating other grains.