Quick Health Food Reference
In a world of fast food, junk food and mystery food with ingredients you cannot pronounce, there are healthy, good-for-you foods ripe for the eating. Use this page to quickly familiarize yourself with the best of the best health foods. Start your healthy eating lifestyle today!
First, the basics of food and what we all need to know about it.
Have we been eating the wrong foods all along?
The Top 10 Healthiest Foods You Should Be Eating.
- Apples. Apples are an excellent source of antioxidants, which combat free radicals. Free radicals are damaging substances generated in the body that cause undesirable changes and are involved in the aging process and some diseases. Some animal studies have found that an antioxidant found in apples (polyphenols) might extend lifespans. investigators found that older women who starting a regime of eating apples daily experienced a 23 percent drop in levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and a 4% increase in good cholesterol (HDL) after just six months.1
- Almonds are rich in nutrients, including magnesium, vitamin E, iron, calcium, fiber, and riboflavin. Almonds have more fiber than any other tree nut. The fatty acid profile of almonds, which is made up of 91-94% unsaturated fatty acids, may partly explain why it helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
- Broccoli is rich in fiber, calcium, potassium, folate and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds which reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Broccoli also contains vitamin C, as well as beta-carotene, an antioxidant. A single 100 gram serving of broccoli can provide you with over 150 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which in large doses can potentially shorten the duration of the common cold. Another ingredient, sulforphane, which exists in broccoli, is also said to have anti-cancer as well as anti-inflammatory qualities. However, overcooking can destroy most of the benefits.
Blueberries are rich in fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are natural chemicals found in plants. Unlike minerals and vitamins that are also found in plant foods, phytonutrients are not essential for keeping us alive. However, they may help prevent disease and keep the body working properly. Blueberries help in curbing obesity. Plant polyphenols, which are abundant in blueberries, have been shown to reduce the development of fat cells (adipogenesis), while inducing the breakdown of lipids and fat (lipolysis).
- Oily fish. Examples of oily fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies. These types of fish have oil in their tissues and around the gut. Their lean fillets contain up to 30% oil, specifically, omega-3 fatty acids. These oils are known to provide benefits for the heart, as well as the nervous system. Oily fish are also known to provide benefits for patients with inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis. Oily fish also contain vitamins A and D.
- Leafy green vegetables. Studies have shown that a high intake of dark-leafy vegetables, such as spinach or cabbage may significantly lower a person’s risk of developing diabetes type 2. Spinach, for example, is very rich in antioxidants, especially when uncooked, steamed or very lightly boiled. It is a good source of vitamins A, B6, C, E and K, as well as selenium, niacin, zinc, phosphorus, copper, folic acid, potassium, calcium, manganese, betaine, and iron.
- Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber, beta carotene, complex carbohydrates, vitamin C, vitamin B6, as well as carotene (the pink, yellow ones).
- Wheat germ is the part of wheat that germinates to grow into a plant – the embryo of the seed. Germ, along with bran, is commonly a by-product of the milling; when cereals are refined, the germ and bran are often milled out. Wheat germ is high in several vital nutrients, such as vitamin E, folic acid (folate), thiamin, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, as well as fatty alcohols and essential fatty acids. Wheat germ is also a good source of fiber.
- Avocados. Many people avoid avocados because of its high fat content; they believe that avoiding all fats leads to better health and easier-to-control body weight – this is a myth. Approximately 75% of the calories in an avocado come from fat; mostly monosaturated fat. Avocado extracts are currently being studied in the laboratory to see whether they might be useful for treating diabetes or hypertension.
- Oatmeal is meal made from rolled or ground oats. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, the term “porridge” or “porridge oats” are common terms for the breakfast cereal that is usually cooked. Studies have shown that if you eat a bowl of oatmeal everyday your blood cholesterol levels, especially if they are too high, will drop, because of the cereal’s soluble fiber content. Oats is rich in complex carbohydrates, as well as water-soluble fiber, which slow digestion down and stabilize levels of blood-glucose. Oatmeal is very rich in B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium.
For a more comprehensive version of this list, check out medicalnewstoday.com.