Author: Patrick Carpen
It is a widely accepted idea that some foods do more good to your body than others. In other words, some foods are healthier to eat than others. In this article, I set out to examine some of the natural nutrition sources that experts consider to be exceptionally “healthy” for your body. Remember, you are what you eat!
The Apricot is number one on my list. Apricots contain beta-carotene which helps to prevent free radical damage and gives protection to the eyes. An average sized apricot gives you 17 calories, 0 fats, and 1 gram of fiber. They may be eaten dried or soft.
Next, I’ll strongly recommend the mango fruit. Accounting for approximately 50 percent of all tropical fruits produced worldwide, mango is one of the most extensively exploited fruitsâ€”for good reasons. A medium sized mango packs 57 mg of vitamin Câ€”almost your entire daily dose. Considered a model “superfruit”, it boosts your immune system and helps prevent arthritis.
The average sized cantaloupe contains 177 mg of vitamin Câ€”almost twice your recommended daily dose. Half a melon contains approximately 853 mg of potassium, 97 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 2 grams of fiber. The potassium in the cantaloupe helps to lower blood pressure.
Tomatoes, according to a review published in the “Journal of the National Cancer Institute” has been linked (although by limited evidence) to the prevention of certain types of cancer. One medium sized tomato contains 26 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber.
In the vegetables category, I’ll choose to start with onions. A cup of onions provide 61 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Onions are known to prevent cancer, according to studies. They have been used in Chinese medicine to treat coughs, angina, bacterial infections and breathing problems. The World Health Organization (WHO) supports the use of onions for the treatment of poor appetite and to prevent atherosclerosis. Onion extracts are also recognized by the World Health Organization for providing relief in the treatment of coughs and colds, asthma and bronchitis.
Next in my vegetables list is broccoli. One cup of chopped broccoli contains 25 calories, 0 fats and 3 grams of fiber. Broccoli is rich in a wide array of nutrients with a substantial amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene. Half of the fiber in broccoli is soluble, and half insoluble, helping to meet your needs for both types of fiber. Broccoli belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables– which are known for reducing the risk of many types of cancer.
Spinach is recommended for its high calcium and iron content. In addition, spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, protein, phosphorous, zinc, and vitamin E. This vegetable also contains omega-3 fatty acids in a fairly good proportion. The carotenoids in spinach helps fend of macular degeneration, which is a major cause of blindness in elderly people. One cup of spinach provides 7 calories, 0 fats and 1 gram of fiber.
In the “grains, beans and nuts” section, I’ll choose to start with “peanuts”. Peanuts, and other nuts, can lower your risk of heart disease by 20 percent. One ounce contains 166 calories, 14 grams of fats, and over 2 grams of fiber.
The pinto bean is another highly recommended potassium rich health food. Half cup of pinto beans provides more than 25 percent of your daily folate requirement, which protects you against heart disease. Half a cup gives 103 calories, 1 gram of fats, and 6 grams of fiber.
Skim milk is a great source of vitamin B2, which is important for good vision and, along with vitamin A, could protect against allergies. It also gives calcium and vitamin D. One cup contains 86 calories, 0 fats, and 0 fiber.
In the “seafood” category, the salmon is strongly recommended. Like all cold water fish, salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to help reduce the risk of cardiac diseases. A 3 ounce portion of salmon contains 127 calories, 4 grams of fats, and 0 fiber. Two other great sources of omega-3 fatty acids in the “seafood” category are mackerel and tuna.