10 Easy and Great Health Foods From Your Pantry

Posted on July 18, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

These 10 great health foods meet at least three of the following criteria: (1) Are a good or excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients; (2) Are high in phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds, such as vitamins A and E and beta carotene; (3) May help reduce the risk of heart disease and other health conditions;  (4) Are low in calorie density, meaning you get a larger portion size with a fewer number of calories; and/or (5) Are readily available.

     Almonds – Packed with fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron, calcium (more calcium than any other nut w/ 75 milligrams (mg) in one serving or about 23 almonds), and vitamin E.  Also a great plant source of protein and most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated fat – a healthier type of fat that may help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Apples – An excellent source of pectin, a soluble fiber that can lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels, and fresh apples are a good source of vitamin C – an antioxidant that protects your body’s cells from damage, helps form the connective tissue collagen, keeps your capillaries and blood vessels healthy, and aids in the absorption of iron.

Blueberries – They’re are a rich source of phytonutrients (plant compounds) which may help prevent urinary tract infections, improve short-term memory and promote healthy aging.  One cup of blueberries is also a low-calorie source of approximately 3.6 grams of fiber and 14mg of vitamin C in only 84 calories.    

Broccoli – Broccoli is a good source of calcium, potassium, folate and fiber, and broccoli contains phytonutrients – a group of compounds that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamins A and C – antioxidants that protect your body’s cells from damage.

Red Beans – Small red beans and dark red kidney beans are good sources of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and thiamin. They’re  low-fat and low-calorie sources of protein and dietary fiber, and contain phytonutrients that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Salmon – Salmon is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and is a good source of protein.  It’s also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which is a type of fat that makes your blood less likely to form clots that may cause heart attacks. Omega-3s may also protect against irregular heartbeats that may cause sudden cardiac death, decrease triglyceride levels, decrease the growth of artery-clogging plaques, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.

Spinach – Popeye had it right.  Eat your spinach!   The plant compounds in spinach may boost your immune system, and may help keep your skin and hair healthy.  Spinach is a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, iron and magnesium, and is high in vitamins A and C and folate.

     Sweet Potatoes – You can tell sweet potatoes are high in the antioxidant beta carotene by their deep orange-yellow color. Foods rich in beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in your body, may help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of some cancers. Sweet potatoes are also fat-free, low in calories, and are a good source of fiber, vitamins B-6, C and E, folate and potassium.

 

Vegetable Juice – Vegetable juice is an easy way to include veggies in your diet and includes most of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals found in the original vegetables.  Vegetable juices that include tomato juice, and tomato juice, are good sources of lycopene, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of heart attack, prostate cancer and possibly other types of cancer.  (Be sure to choose low-sodium vegetable juices.)

     Wheat Germ – The wheat germ – the part of the seed that’s responsible for the growth and development of the new plant sprout – is a highly concentrated source of niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc.  It also contains protein, fiber and some fat.    

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How Do Birds and Berries Depend On Each Other?

Posted on June 4, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

blueberry

 

For their cycle of life.  Birds eat the yummy berry fruits – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and more – then fly hither and yon spreading the berry seeds.  The berry seeds have more places to grow and spread, and the cycle repeats.  Phytonutrients are the phytochemicals that give berries their attractive and lively colors.  These highly visible colors attract the seed-distributing birds that feast on the fruit and spread the wealth.

 

Berries, in general, contain vitamins (Vitamins C & E are common), minerals (Manganese and Niacin, too), and fiber (4-9 grams per cup) plus a burst of succulent flavor in every bite.  These fun-to-eat foods may help prevent heart disease and cancer, boost the immune system, have antiviral and antibacterial properties, and slow the aging process.  These healthful benefits are due to the concentration of phytonutrients which have an antioxidant effect (kind of like anti-rust).  Besides the deeply colored berries, strongly colored vegetables, nuts, flax seeds, tea and dark chocolate also tend to be high in the healthful phytochemicals. 

 

Would you rather get your daily dose of phytonutrients and antioxidants from your cup of tea, carrots and broccoli, dark chocolate, or brightly colored berries?

 

“Mac”

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