Recently, someone challenged me to name the ten healthiest foods. I found the query interesting as there are literally thousands of foods from which to choose! We all know that excessive amounts of fat, sugar and processed foods aren’t good for us, so that cuts out a lot of what the supermarket offers. Not surprisingly, the produce isle has all of the top 10 best foods. Produce is perhaps the most neglected item in our diets, despite being high in vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, and antioxidants.
Take a look at this 10 healthiest foods list and see if you don’t agree. If you’re also looking to lose weight, here’s a list of the top 10 foods to burn fat.
1. Berries: Nearly all berries are very healthy for your heart and blood. Several studies have shown that a daily serving of berries, which are rich in potassium, can decrease your risk of stroke by as much as 40%. In addition, most berries have antiviral properties to some degree, are excellent blood purifiers, and work wonders for your complexion.
2. Broccoli must be included on our list of the 10 healthiest foods. Like most dark, green leafy veggies, broccoli is packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Naturopathic physicians recommend generous daily servings of broccoli to patients recuperating from a lengthy illness, as this veggie has been shown to speed their return to good health.
3. Avocado lowered blood cholesterol levels in a V.A. Study. Patients ranging from 27-72 years old were given 1/2-1 ¼ avocados each day. Fully 50% of the patients experienced a decrease in serum cholesterol, ranging from 9-43%! Given that we all need to monitor our cholesterol levels, this tasty fruit deserves a spot on our list of 10 healthiest foods. Avocado is also beneficial in cases of psoriasis and eases deep muscle inflammation.
4. Bamboo shoots: besides being good in Asian, and many other, dishes bamboo shoots are reported to be an ancient remedy for peptic or duodenal ulcers. Bamboo shoots are low in fat and calories. One cup of half-inch long slices contains a mere 14 calories and half a gram of fat. They are also a good source of fiber. The same serving size provides about 2.5 grams of fiber; which is about 10% of the recommended amount needed in a day. Fiber helps keep cholesterol levels in check and plays a role in preventing colon cancer.
5. Bananas make the list for a number of reasons. High in fiber and potassium, bananas are good for your digestive system and makes an ideal mid-morning snack or breakfast dish. One study, of blue-collar women workers, showed that daily consumption of bananas reduced their incidence of illness, while improving morale, attentiveness and energy levels. A retirement home study found that all 117 residents no longer suffered from digestive disorders, after consuming just one banana a day!
6. Garlic and onions, both members of the allium family, might well be called ‘miracle’ foods, and should be included in as many dishes (as appropriate to your taste.) Why? Both contain allicin, the active constituent which produces their medicinal benefits. These veggies are reputed to help prevent blood clots, reduce HBP, reduce the ‘bad’ cholesterol while raising the ‘good’, increase longevity and eliminate worms – in both man and beast! Type 2 diabetics benefit from garlic and onions in reduced blood sugar levels. Garlic is also a natural antibiotic.
7. Olive oil is well known as a healthful and tasty alternative to many other cooking oils, with heart-healthy and cancer preventative properties. Olive oil also reduces the ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, without adversely affecting the ‘good’ cholesterol. In countries where olive oil is the primary source of dietary fat, the incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, ovary and colon are markedly lower when compared with data from 30 other countries, where olive oil is not generally used.
8. Parsley may seem a surprising choice in our 10 healthiest foods list. Packed with vitamins A and C, parsley provides more protection against cancer than you might have imagined. Parsley contains more histadine, an important amino acid that inhibits tumor development, than almost any other vegetable. Put it in omelets, soups, sandwiches, gravies and salads. It’s also an excellent breath freshener!
9. Peppers, whether sweet or hot, are surely one of the 10 healthiest foods. Habaneros bring relief to arthritis sufferers and dramatically reduce blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. Generally speaking, the medicinal benefits increase along with the pepper “temperature.” Cayenne pepper serves as a cholesterol lowering antidote to a greasy, fried meat entree. When indulging in such a meal, make your beverage an 8-ounce glass of tomato juice, spiked with 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Consuming hot peppers regularly also helps to prevent blood clots. Ironically, cayenne capsules (1 capsule, 2-3 times daily) helps heal ulcers.
10. Last, but not least on our 10 healthiest foods list, is the kiwifruit. Kiwifruit is a relative newcomer to the American supermarket, but has rapidly gained in popularity. It’s usually available fresh in the produce aisle and is also found in juices, either as all kiwi or in a mix of strawberries (delicious!). It’s sweet taste finds favor with kids, having a flavor sometimes described as a mix of melon, bananas, strawberries and pineapple. Now for the health benefits: It’s a great choice for dieters, with about 46 calories per average sized fruit, loaded with vitamins C, E and niacin. It’s highly recommended for people on hypertensive meds, due to its high (average 250mg) potassium content. Anecdotal reports, gathered from medical anthropologists investigations, indicate that kiwifruit, eaten three times daily, dramatically reduces HBP to normal levels within just a couple of months! That’s not all. This cute and tasty fruit also provides relief from heartburn and acid indigestion.
As you can see, chowing down on the veggies and fruits can have major health benefits. All of these 10 healthiest foods are readily available and are easy additions to a variety of menus. Add in a workout routine, like this core fitness training, and you’ll be glowing.