Here are five more foods to add to your diet.
Many of us forget that sometimes, the simplest answers are the best. Better health could be as easy as reaching for the fruit bowl for some apples next time you need a snack. Apples are a sweet treat which pack a surprisingly high nutritional punch…
- Could curb cancer Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research, among others, agree that the consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 per cent.
- Decrease your risk of diabetes: Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. Apples are loaded with soluble fibre, the key to blunting blood sugar swings.
- Prevent gallstones: Gallstones form when there’s too much cholesterol in your bile for it to remain as a liquid, so it solidifies. They are particularly prevalent in the obese. To prevent gallstones, doctors recommend a diet high in fibre to help you control your weight and cholesterol levels.
- Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome: Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and bloating. To control these symptoms doctors recommend staying away from dairy and fatty foods while including a high intake of fibre in your diet.
- Boost your immune system: Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Recent studies have found that quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system, especially when you’re stressed out.
Blueberries are not only popular, but also repeatedly ranked in the as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. Antioxidants are essential to optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals that can damage cellular structures as well as DNA.
Most health research on blueberries involves their phytonutrient content. Anthocyanins – the colorful antioxidant pigments that give many foods their wonderful shades of blue, purple, and red – are usually the first phytonutrients to be mentioned in descriptions of blueberries and their amazing health-supportive properties. While it is true anthocyanins are pretty spectacular when it comes to blueberries and their support of our body systems, there are actually a wide variety of health support phytonutrients found in blueberries.
- Bladder aid: Blueberries, like cranberries, contain compounds that prevent bacteria from adhering to bladder walls, which helps ward off urinary-tract infections (UTI’s), according to a Rutgers University study.
- Brain food: To work smarter, pack dried-blueberry trail mix for a snack. A study from the University of Reading and the Peninsula Medical School in England suggests that blueberries reverse age-related memory loss, thanks to its abundance of antioxidants called flavonoids.
- Cardiovascular Benefits: In repeated studies of blood composition, blueberry intake has been shown to improve blood fat balances, including reduction in total cholesterol, raising of HDL cholesterol, and lowering of triglycerides. At the same time, blueberry intake has been shown to help protect the blood components (like LDL cholesterol) from oxygen damage that could lead to eventual clogging of the blood vessels.
- Eye Health: In preliminary studies on laboratory animals, the anthocyanins in blueberry protected the retina from unwanted oxygen damage. Interestingly, they have also been determined to help protect the retina from damage from sunlight.
- Warding off heart disease: The blueberry’s fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. The fiber in blueberries helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease.
Whether you roast it whole, blend into a classic soup or drink as juice like the Olympians do – beetroot is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants – a health-food titan.
- Exceptional nutritional value: Beetroot is of exceptional nutritional value; especially the greens, which are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. Beetroots are an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fibre, manganese and potassium.
- High in fibre: Beetroot fibre has been shown to increase the level of antioxidant enzymes in the body, (specifically one called glutathione peroxidase), as well as increase the number of white blood cells, which are responsible for detecting and eliminating abnormal cells. Beets are also one of the richest sources of glutamine, an amino acid, essential to the health and maintenance of the intestinal tract.
- Reduced blood pressure: A reduction in blood pressure is beneficial for the avoidance of heart disease and stroke. Studies state that nitrate rich foods like beetroot may help in heart attack survival.
- Fights depression: Betaine, the same component that is used by practitioners to treat depression using certain methods, is found in beetroot. Another great element that beetroot contains is tryptophan, which has been shown to create a sense of well-being while also relaxing the mind.
- Boosts energy levels: Because the sugar contained in beetroot is released slowly throughout the body, even though the sugar levels are high, they help maintain steady energy levels. When compared to foods such as chocolate whose sugars are processed quickly by the body, beetroot, which is also low in calories, makes its energy boost last a great deal longer.
When you eat cherries, you enjoy much more than just their amazing taste. They’re packed with antioxidants and offer many health benefits, including help with insomnia, joint pain and belly fat. Cherries could be just what the doctor ordered.
- Protects Against Diabetes: Sweet cherries have a low glycemic index of 22 — lower than apricots, grapes, peaches, blueberries or plums. This makes them a better snack than many other fruits, especially for diabetics.
- Helps Ward Off Alzheimer’s: The Alzheimer’s Association includes cherries as one of the memory boosting foods because they are rich in antioxidants.
- Reduces Risk of Stroke: Tart cherries provide cardiovascular benefits. The anthocyanins, which are the pigments giving tart cherries its red color, may activate PPAR which regulates genes involved in fat and glucose metabolism. This reduces the risk of high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes, according to research from the University of Michigan Health System.
- Helps Regulate Blood Pressure: Cherries are very high in potassium, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension. The phytosterols in cherries help reduce bad cholesterol levels.
- Helps with osteoarthritis relief: The pain and discomfort of swollen joints were reduced when tart cherry juice was consumed twice a day for three weeks in a studyof twenty women ages 40 to 70 with inflammatory osteoarthritis.
Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They’re a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits. These include weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.
- Oats Are Incredibly Nutritious: Oats are loaded with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds. Half a cup (78 grams) of dry oats contains manganese phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, vitamin B1 (thiamin, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) and smaller amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B3 (niacin). This is coming with 51 grams of carbs, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and 8 grams of fiber, but only 303 calories.
- Whole Oats Are Rich in Antioxidants: Whole oats are high in antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols. Most notable is a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, which are almost solely found in oats. Avenanthramides may help lower blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide. This gas molecule helps dilate blood vessels and leads to better blood flow. In addition, avenanthramides have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects.
- Oats Can Lower Cholesterol Levels and Protect LDL Cholesterol From Damage: Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. One major risk factor is high blood cholesterol. Many studies have shown that the beta-glucan fiber in oats is effective at reducing both total and LDL cholesterol levels. Beta-glucan may increase the excretion of cholesterol-rich bile, thereby reducing circulating levels of cholesterol in the blood.
- Oats Can Improve Blood Sugar Control: Type 2 diabetes is a common disease, characterized by significantly elevated blood sugars. It usually results from decreased sensitivity to the hormone insulin. Oats may help lower blood sugar levels, especially in people who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes.
- Oats are naturally very low in sugar and salt