Cauliflower has been called out for its cancer-fighting benefits — and that’s just the beginning
Sure, you knew these foods were healthy, but did you know they pack a powerful punch of more than one nutrient? We break down all their benefits below.
These are a health superstar for a host of reasons, many of which are related to their serious anti-inflammatory powers. They are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid ALA (alpha linolenic acid), which might help protect you against degenerative diseases like ALS. Plus, since they’re loaded with vitamin E and other phytonutrients, regularly crunching on walnuts can aid in reducing your risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, and type II diabetes.
They contain a compound called nitrate, which helps improve blood flow throughout your body — important for lowering your blood pressure and promoting heart health. Because meals heavy on beets can improve oxygen delivery to blood vessels, recent research has linked eating beets with improved athletic performance. And, since they’re also rich in antioxidants and fiber, they’re a great immune system-booster and promote gut health by keeping you regular.
They’re often considered the gold standard of protein-rich foods. And since just one egg packs about seven grams of protein and roughly 75 calories, they’re an easy, low-calorie option for fueling up at breakfast or on the go. But that’s not all: Eggs also have choline, a B-vitamin-like compound that is associated with reducing the risk of liver and heart disease.
If you’re like me, then your day doesn’t start without a cup of Joe — and that’s a good thing! Coffee is chock-full of antioxidants, which are important for protecting your immune system. Plus, caffeine is linked to a whole host of brain benefits, including protection against Alzheimer’s disease.
The fruit — yes, fruit! — is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, the good type of fat that’s been associated with reducing the risk of heart disease. Another heart-healthy benefit? Potassium, which can help stabilize blood pressure. And because many of the vitamins we eat (vitamins A, E, D, and K) need a little fat for absorption, avocados are a great addition to salads and sautés. On top of all of that, avocados are loaded with fiber and can help keep us fuller, longer.
But eat them with caution: Due to their fat content, avocados are a high-calorie food. An easy way to get the health benefits of them without busting your calorie intake is to swap avocado for mayo in sandwiches, which will give you flavor and a health boost.
Low in calories but high in fiber, cauliflower is a veggie source of omega-3 fatty acids. It provides us with additional vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and bone-mineral density. But what makes cauliflower a true all-star is that they’ve been touted for their anti-cancer benefits.
It has been linked to a whole host of benefits to mood, learning, cognition, and memory due to their antioxidant powers. Even better: Research says that regular intake of chocolate can help lower Body Mass Index (BMI). Indulge in a one-ounce portion (that’s about 150 calories) to satisfy your sweet tooth without busting your diet.
It’s no secret that oranges are chock-full of immune-boosting vitamin C. But did you know that citrus fruits have the highest content of folate than any other fruit? This B-vitamin is important for protecting pregnant against defects in infants, as well as reducing the risk of a whole host of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and psych disorders.
9. Black Beans
Black beans are rich in protein and fiber, a winning combo when it comes to staying satisfied after a meal. They are packed with magnesium and iron, which aids in muscle contraction and helps deliver oxygen to red blood cells, meaning it helps you stay energized. Plus, their versatility makes them an easy go-to for salads and soups. For more black-bean meals and snacks we love, go here.
They’re packed with selenium, an antioxidant that can both help your body naturally detox and protect against chronic disease, like heart disease and type II diabetes. What’s more, shrimp are super low in calories (one is about 14 calories), which make them a healthy, protein-rich alternative to other higher fat sources of animal protein.
Loads of meals and snacks can be packed with nutritional powerhouses! How to tell: Look for real, whole-foods to be the first ingredient; double-check that marketing language is consistent with what you’re looking for (e.g., are you looking for a candy bar or a protein bar?) and that the ingredients listed are as simple as possible. Check out our new Nutritionist Approved Emblem, which makes it easier to choose better-for-you options — without additional time, cost or effort!