I always see these lists of “Top 10 foods to eat!“, or “Five Cancer fighting powerhouses we’re missing!“, etc etc.
And I can never find a comprehensive list of: This is what you should be trying to eat more of, FB.
So I thought I’d rectify that and I ended up Googling every list I could find, and came up with a comprehensive list of foods that we seem to be ‘missing’ in our diets and/or we should be eating more of, or paying more attention to.
Naturally, I cannot expect anyone (least of all ME) to eat every single item on this list every single day, but maybe.. we can all make an effort to eat these items on the list at least once a week?
They’re loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.They’re sweeter and firmer than other tomatoes, they’re packed with vitamin C and vitamin A, and you also get some fiber, some phytochemicals, and (finally) some flavor.Besides providing calcium, potassium, folate and fiber, broccoli contains phytonutrients – compounds that may help prevent diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Broccoli contains the antioxidant beta-carotene and is also an excellent source of vitamin C and folic acid.Every half-cup has 5 grams of fiber and payloads of vitamins A and C.Spinach’s secret weapon, lutein, makes it one of the best foods in the world to prevent cataracts, as well as age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of preventable blindness in the elderly. These standout leafy greens are also jampacked with vitamins A, C, and K, folate, potassium, magnesium, iron, and phytochemicals.Tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and as such helps to protect the cells in our bodies from damage.
They are naturally sweeter than any other vegetable and beets are one of the best sources of both folate and betaine. These two nutrients work together to lower your blood levels of homocysteine, an inflammatory compound that can damage your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease. Plus, the natural pigments — called betacyanins — that give beets their color have been proved to be potent cancer fighters in laboratory mice.
One cup of chopped cabbage has just 22 calories, and it’s loaded with valuable nutrients. At the top of the list is sulforaphane, a chemical that increases your body’s production of enzymes that disarm cell-damaging free radicals and reduce your risk of cancer. In fact, Stanford University scientists determined that sulforaphane boosts your levels of these cancer-fighting enzymes higher than any other plant chemical.
Small red, pinto and dark red kidney beans are an excellent low-fat source of antioxidants, protein, dietary fiber and copper. They’re also a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and thiamin.Packed with protein, fibre and nutrients such as magnesium, iron and folate, these legumes keep the heart happy by controlling cholesterol and blood pressure.Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, a special type of fat that is essential for our bodies, but that the body cannot produce. Omega-3 essential fatty acids protect us against heart disease. They’re also full of plant sterols (which lower LDL cholesterol), magnesium, copper, folate and vitamin E.
Almonds are also known for their ability to help lower LDL cholesterol levels and these nutrient-packed nuts contain fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron, calcium and vitamin E, a natural antioxidant. They’re also good for your heart. Most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated fat, which can help lower cholesterol levels when substituted for other fats. And most almonds are considered low sodium, with less than 140 milligrams of sodium an ounce.
Fat-Free (Skim) or 1% Milk
An excellent source of calcium, vitamins, and protein with little or no artery-clogging fat and cholesterol.Various cultures claim yogurt as their own creation, but the 2,000-year-old food’s health benefits are not disputed: Fermentation spawns hundreds of millions of probiotic organisms that serve as reinforcements to the battalions of beneficial bacteria in your body, which boost the immune system and provide protection against cancer. Not all yogurts are probiotic though, so make sure the label says “live and active cultures.”
Great-tasting and rich in vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber. The citrus bioflavanoids in oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit have anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. Many of these citrus bioflavanoids have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and blood clot inhibiting abilities.Apples are a good source of pectin, a fiber that can lower cholesterol and glucose levels. They are also a good source of vitamin C — an antioxidant that protects your body’s cells. Vitamin C also keeps your blood vessels healthy and aids in the absorption of iron and folate.Guava has a higher concentration of lycopene — an antioxidant that fights prostate cancer — than any other plant food, including tomatoes and watermelon. In addition, 1 cup of the stuff provides 688 milligrams (mg) of potassium, which is 63 percent more than you’ll find in a medium banana. And guava may be the ultimate high-fiber food: There’s almost 9 grams (g) of fiber in every cup.Prunes contain high amounts of neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids, antioxidants that are particularly effective at combating the “superoxide anion radical.” This nasty free radical causes structural damage to your cells, and such damage is thought to be one of the primary causes of cancer.Packed with bacteria-fighting anthocyanins, this tart little fruit also benefits the heart by inhibiting the build-up of LDL (bad) cholesterol.Berries are extremely rich in antioxidants which help protect the cells in our bodies from damage and therefore from diseases like cancer. Among other things they are also an excellent source of Vitamin C and soluble fiber.Blueberries are a rich, low-calorie source of fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Regular intake of blueberries may improve short-term memory and reduce the cellular damage associated with aging.
The Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and other fatty fish may help prevent heart disease and stroke by lowering the body’s rate of blood clotting and reducing the risk of sudden-death heart attacks.
Numerous studies have shown that regular consumption of garlic can lower our blood pressure. It also prevents the blood from being overly sticky and decreases LDL cholesterol (the “bad” one) while increasing the good HDL cholesterol.
Oats also help reduce cholesterol. Research shows that one bowl of oatmeal per day can reduce cholesterol by up to 23%. Oats are also considered an excellent grain for diabetics as they have less impact on blood sugar levels than some other grains and doesn’t spike blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon helps control your blood sugar, which influences your risk of heart disease. In fact, USDA researchers found that people with type-2 diabetes who consumed 1 g of cinnamon a day for 6 weeks (about 1/4 teaspoon each day) significantly reduced not only their blood sugar but also their triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Credit the spice’s active ingredients, methylhydroxychalcone polymers, which increase your cells’ ability to metabolize sugar by up to 20 times.