10 great health foods for eating well (Part 2)
Why eat salmon?
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids — 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.
In addition to being an excellent source of omega-3s, salmon is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and is a good source of protein.
Why eat spinach?
Spinach is high in vitamins A and C and folate. It's also a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B-6, calcium, iron and magnesium. The plant compounds in spinach may boost your immune system and may help keep your hair and skin healthy.
Why eat sweet potatoes?
The deep orange-yellow color of sweet potatoes tells you that they're high in the antioxidant beta carotene. Food sources of beta carotene, which are converted to vitamin A in your body, may help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of some cancers. Sweet potatoes are also good sources of fiber, vitamins B-6, C and E, folate and potassium. And like all vegetables, they're fat-free and relatively low in calories — one small sweet potato has just 54 calories.
Why drink vegetable juice?
Vegetable juice has most of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients found in the original vegetables and is an easy way to include vegetables in your diet.
Tomato juice and vegetable juices that include tomatoes are good sources of lycopene, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of heart attack, prostate cancer and possibly other types of cancer.
Some vegetable and tomato juices are very high in sodium, so be sure to select the low-sodium varieties.
Why eat wheat germ?
At the center of a grain of wheat is the wheat germ — the part of the seed that's responsible for the development and growth of the new plant sprout. Though only a small part of the wheat seed, the germ is a highly concentrated source of nutrients, including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc. The germ also contains protein, fiber and some fat.
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