Here are the top foods to add to your diet.

 

Pomegranate juice

Pomegranates are among the healthiest fruits on earth. They contain a range of beneficial plant compounds, unrivalled by other foods. Many studies have shown that they have incredible benefits for your body, and may lower the risk of all sorts of diseases. Benefits include…

  1. High nutrient content: They are rich in Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate and Potassium and bioactive plant compounds, but they also contain some sugar.
  2. Anti-inflammatory properties: Pomegranate has potent anti-inflammatory properties, which are largely mediated by the antioxidant properties of the punicalagins.
  3. Could help fight prostate cancer: Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. Laboratory studies have shown that pomegranate extract can slow down cancer cell reproduction, and even induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells.
  4. Lower Blood Pressure: High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the leading drivers of heart attacks and strokes. In one study, people with high blood pressure had a significant reduction after consuming 150 ml (5 oz) of pomegranate juice daily for 2 weeks.
  5. Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease: Several human studies have shown that pomegranate can have benefits against heart disease. It improves the cholesterol profile and protects LDL cholesterol from oxidative damage.

 

Carrots

Carrots are a humble and simple vegetable that are often taken for granted. Due to their high vitamin, mineral and fibre content, carrots have a number of benefits meaning they should make a part of your diet…

  1. They’re good for your eyes: Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision. They also help prevent cataracts.
  2. Prevent against cancer: Studies have shown that they prevent against lung, breast and colon cancer.
  3. Slows aging: The high content of beta carotene helps act as an antioxidant in the body which helps to prevent the degradation of cells.
  4. Promotes healthier skin: Vitamin A and antioxidants protect the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin A prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes and uneven skin tone.
  5. Cleanses the body: Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body. It reduces the bile and fat in the liver. The fiber present in carrots helps clean out the colon and hasten waste movement.

 

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate differs from milk and white chocolate because it has a much higher cocoa content and much lower sugar content. Why is that important? Well, increasing the cocoa content of the chocolate has some very significant health benefits making dark chocolate (70% + cocoa content) an ideal treat.

Here are the potential benefits of dark chocolate…

  1. Nutrients: Chocolate with an increased cocoa content is loaded with nutrients. 100g contains 11 grams of fiber, 67% of the RDA for Iron, 58% of the RDA for Magnesium, 89% of the RDA for Copper.
    98% of the RDA for Manganese, and also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
  2. Antioxidants: ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It is a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods. This is where scientists subject foods to free radicals to measure the impact. Scientists have noted that dark chocolate scores amongst the best when subject to free radicals suggesting it could be a worthy addition to your diet.
  3. Lower blood pressure: The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce Nitric Oxide (NO), which is a gas. One of the functions of NO is to send signals to the arteries to relax, which lowers resistance to blood flow and therefore reduces blood pressure. There are many controlled trials showing that cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, but the effects are usually mild.
  4. Good for the brain: Flavanols are thought to reduce memory loss in older people, and the anti-inflamatory qualities of dark chocolate have been found beneficial in treating brain injuries such as concussion.
  5. Reduced cholesterol: Consumption of cocoa has been shown to reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and raise levels of “good” cholesterol, potentially lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

Broccoli

It is a very good source of dietary fiber, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, choline, vitamin B1, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), potassium, and copper. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamin B1, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, calcium, iron, niacin, and selenium.

  1. Cancer Prevention: Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which the body processes into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. This compound rids the body of H. pylori, a bacterium found to highly increase the risk of gastric cancer. Furthermore, broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant compound and anti-carcinogen found to not only hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer, but also boosts liver function.
  2. Cholesterol Reduction: Like many whole foods, broccoli is packed with soluble fiber that draws cholesterol out of your body.
  3. Reducing Allergy Reaction and Inflammation: Broccoli is a particularly rich source of kaempferol and isothiocyanates, both anti-inflammatory phyto nutrients. Research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. Broccoli even has significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which are well know as an anti-inflammatory.
  4. Powerful Antioxidant: Of all the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli stands out as the most concentrated source of vitamin C, plus the flavonoids necessary for vitamin C to recycle effectively. Also concentrated in broccoli are the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, other powerful antioxidants.

 

Salmon

Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium. It is a good source of niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus, and vitamin B6. It is also a good source of choline, pantothenic acid, biotin, and potassium.

  1. Improves joint health: Eating salmon is beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis and other inflammatory joint conditions. Salmon contains small proteins called bioactive peptides. One in particular, called calcitonin, has been shown to increase, regulate and stabilize collagen synthesis in human osteoarthritic cartilage. This salmon-found protein also improves bone density and strength.
  2. Reduces risk of depression: The brain is 60 percent fat and most of that is the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is critical it is for brain function and a healthy nervous system. Eating salmon regularly has been associated with reducing the risk and incidence of depression, hostility in young adults and cognitive decline in the elderly.
  3. Increases your cardiovascular health: As noted, salmon contains high levels of the omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA. These fats are responsible for many cardiovascular benefits such as reducing inflammation. When eaten two to three times per week, salmon can protect you from problems such as heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia, high blood pressure and high triglycerides.
  4. Salmon helps build children’s brains: Eating salmon while pregnant and nursing can boost learning capability and academic performance in children. Salmon contains high levels of DHA (decosahexaenoic acid) which is the main structural fatty acid in the central nervous system and retina. Feeding salmon to preschool children also aids in the prevention of ADHD and can even boost academic performance.
  5. Excellent source of vitamin D: Sufficient vitamin D is crucial to maintaining optimal health. A deficiency of this essential vitamin has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and type-1 diabetes. One can of salmon, for example, contains a day’s worth of vitamin D.

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