- Apricots - Beta-carotene helps prevent free-radical damage and protect the eyes. may also help ward off some cancers, especially of the skin.
- Avocados - Oleic acid, an unsaturated fat that helps lower overall cholesterol and raise levels of HDL, plus a good dose of fiber.
- Raspberries - Ellagic acid, which helps stall cancer-cell growth. These berries
- Cantaloupe - Vitamin C (117mg in half a melon, almost twice the recommended daily dose) and beta-carotene - both powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from free-radical damage. Plus, half a melon has 853mg of potassium which helps lower blood pressure.
- Cranberry Juice - Helps fight bladder infections by preventing harmful bacteria from growing.
- Tomato - Lycopene, one of the strongest carotenoids, acts as an antioxidant. Research shows that tomatoes may cut the risk of bladder, stomach and colon cancers in half if eaten daily.
- Raisins - These little gems are a great source of iron, which helps the blood transport oxygen and which many women are short on.
- Figs - A good source of potassium and fiber, figs also contain vitamin B6, which is responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin, lowering cholesterol and preventing water retention.
- Lemons/Limes - Limonene, furocoumarins and vitamin C, all of which help prevent cancer.
- Onions - Quercetin is one of the most powerful flavonoids (natural plant antioxidants). Studies show it helps protect against cancer.
- Artichokes - Contain silymarin, an antioxidant that helps prevent skin cancer, plus fiber to help control cholesterol.
- Ginger - Gingerols may help reduce queasiness; other compounds may help ward off migraines and arthritis pain by blocking inflammation-causing prostaglandins.
- Broccoli - Indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, which help protect against breast cancer. Broccoli also has lots of vitamin C and beta-carotene.
- Spinach - Lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help fend off macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness in older people. Plus, studies show this green fountain of youth may help reverse some signs of aging.
- Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage) - Brassinin, which some research suggests may help prevent breast tumors, plus indoles and isothiocyanates, which lower levels of estrogen, make this vegetable a double-barreled weapon against breast cancer. A cup will also give you 158mg of calcium (16 percent of your daily recommended requirement) to help beat osteoporosis.
- Squash (Butternut, Pumpkin, Acorn) - Winter squash has huge amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which may help protect against endometrial cancer.
- Garlic - The sulfur compounds that give garlic its pungent flavor can also lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol, lower blood pressure and even reduce your risk of stomach and colon cancer.
- Wheat Germ - A tablespoon gives you about 7 percent of your daily magnesium, which helps prevent muscle cramps; it is also a good source of vitamin E.
- Lentils - Isoflavones, which may inhibit estrogen-promoted breast cancers, plus fiber for heart health and an impressive 9 grams of protein per half cup.
- Peanuts - Studies show that peanuts or other nuts (which contain mostly unsaturated "good" fat) can lower your heart-disease risk by over 20 percent.
- Pinto Beans - A half cup has more than 25 percent of your daily requirement of folate, which helps protect against heart disease and reduces the risk of birth defects.
- Yogurt - Bacteria in active-culture yogurt helps prevent yeast infections; calcium strengthens bones.
- Skim Milk - Riboflavin (a.k.a. vitamin B2) is important for good vision and along with vitamin A might help improve eczema and allergies. Plus, you get calcium and vitamin D, too.
- Shellfish (Clams, Mussels) - Vitamin B12 to support nerve and brain function, plus iron and hard-to-get minerals like magnesium and potassium.
- Salmon - Cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce the risk of cardiac disease.
Monday, January 04, 2010
Starting Off the New Year Right
In addition to my usual resolutions of taking my vitamins and drinking more water, I decided that I will try to eat at least one item from this list (below) of the healthiest foods. Each one helps the body in different ways. Perhaps I will make a game out of it and see how many items from this list I can get in me each day. Why not set your own challenge? It's a game that you just can't lose.