10 great health foods for eating well (Part 1)
Here are your best for eating well. These 10 health foods are some of the healthiest because they meet at least three of the following criteria:
• Are a good or excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients
• Are high in phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds, such as vitamins A and E and beta carotene
• May help reduce the risk of heart disease and other health conditions
• Are low in calorie density, meaning you get a larger portion size with a fewer number of calories
• Are readily available
Why eat almonds?
These tear – shaped nuts are packed with nutrients — fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron and calcium. In fact, almonds have more calcium than any other nut — 75 milligrams (mg) in one serving (about 23 almonds).
Also, one serving of almonds provides half of your body's Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin E.
Like all nuts, almonds provide one of the best plant sources of protein. And they're good for your heart. Most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated fat — a healthier type of fat that may help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Why eat apples?
Apples are an excellent source of pectin, a soluble fiber that can lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Fresh apples are also good sources of vitamin C — an antioxidant that protects your body's cells from damage. Vitamin C also helps form the connective tissue collagen, keeps your capillaries and blood vessels healthy, and aids in the absorption of iron.
Why eat blueberries?
Blueberries are a rich source of plant compounds (phytonutrients). As with cranberries, phytonutrients in blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections. Blueberries may also improve short-term memory and promote healthy aging.
Blueberries are also a low-calorie source of fiber and vitamin C — 1 cup of fresh blueberries has 84 calories, 3.6 grams of fiber and 14 mg of vitamin C.
Why eat broccoli?
Besides being a good source of calcium, potassium, folate and fiber, 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.
Why eat red beans?
Red beans — including small red beans and dark red kidney beans — are good sources of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and thiamin. They're also an excellent low-fat, low-calorie source of protein and dietary fiber.
Red beans also contain phytonutrients that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
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