These 10 superfoods contain nutrients, vitamins, and good fats that can improve your health now and down the road.
Blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries are all high in antioxidants and fiber. According to Everyday Health, the anthocyanin pigments, which give berries their vibrant colors and antioxidants, can help protect against diabetes, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark Leafy Greens, including spinach, collard greens, kale, and swiss chard, are some of the best vegetables to include in one’s diet. Full of Vitamin C, fiber, iron, and other phytochemicals, plant made chemicals that yield positive health benefits, these veggies can help prevent certain cancers and chronic illnesses, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Most fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, which can help prevent heart disease. Healthline suggests salmon as the most healthful fish for its high concentration of B vitamins, selenium, protein, potassium, and, of course, omega-3 fatty acids. Though there are possible negative side effects from eating fish that may be contaminated due to pollutants, Healthline believes these effects can be mitigated by limiting one’s consumption of fish to two-to-three times a week.
Green tea can help prevent chronic diseases including heart disease and diabetes. The EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, antioxidant found in green tea can prevent damage to the heart muscles. To maximize absorbing green tea’s catechins, the Huffington Post recommends having green tea without milk.
Nuts sometimes have a bad reputation for their fat content, but Everyday Health notes that nuts have been linked to lowering the risk for obesity and weight gain. Nuts are packed with fiber, protein, and fats including monounsaturated fats, which Harvard Medical School says can lower the risk of heart disease.
Yogurt is rich in probiotics, good bacteria that help with digestion and fight harmful bacteria. While all yogurt has these positive healthful qualities, Harvard Medical School suggests buying plain yogurt and adding fresh fruit instead of fruit-flavored yogurt to minimize added sugar intake.
Avid exerciser? Be sure to intake plenty of magnesium, a mineral commonly found in legumes. According to Time, magnesium regulates blood sugar and is lost through sweat, and losing too much can cause dizziness. Eating legumes can prevent this, and they can also help manage type 2 diabetes and a healthy weight.
The polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats packed in avocados may prevent the accumulation of cholesterol. Avocados are high in fiber, magnesium, and lutein, which helps eyesight. Another perk, which the Huffington Post points out, is that avocados are low in pesticides.
Allium vegetables can help prevent certain types of cancer, in addition to supporting the immune system. According to Healthline, garlic is especially nutritious, and may prevent diabetes and high cholesterol due to its concentration of vitamins C and B6, manganese, selenium, and fiber.
Contrary to how they taste, Healthline notes sweet potatoes are low in sugar and may help regulate blood sugar for those with type 2 diabetes. Sweet potatoes also contain carotenoids, an antioxidant that may prevent cancer, in addition to energy packed carbs and starches.