7 Superfoods to Eat for a Health Boost
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Popeye was right: Spinach should be part of your diet. It's low in calories and high in nutrients. Research has shown that spinach aids in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, some cancers and cardiovascular disease. While you can always have a spinach salad or a side of the greens hot, try this recipe for a different take on the superfood:
Nuts are an excellent source of protein, fiber and vitamin E. Walnuts are the only nuts that contain a significant amount of omega-3s, and are known for their high antioxidant activity. Eat them by the handful, toss them on salads or try this delicious recipe:
Honey isn't just for tea. You've probably relied on honey in the past to soothe an aching throat, but did you know it has been used to treat wounds and gastrointestinal problems? Honey acts as an antioxidant, a substance that can prevent the effects of free radicals, which we're exposed to from environmental toxins such as tobacco smoke or radiation and which can contribute to disease. Honey also contains oligosaccharides, which increase the number of good bacteria in the colon. The color of honey is relevant: the darker the honey the more antioxidants it contains.
Salmon is a tasty fish that's chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial fats that can improve heart health. Salmon is also protein-rich. Choose wild over farmed salmon, which has been shown to contain elevated levels of contaminants and is artificially colored.
Ten years ago, the FDA approved a label publicizing the association between a diet high in oat fiber and the reduction of cholesterol. Further research has proven this claim to be true: The fiber in oats lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, or the bad type of cholesterol. With every 1 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol, heart-disease risk is lowered 1 to 3 percent. Oats also contain plant chemicals that have antioxidant properties.
The good news: Dark chocolate is a potent antioxidant and can help reduce blood pressure. The potentially bad news: You should still keep your daily chocolate intake low, due to the fat and calories. Remember that darker is better because processing strips chocolate of some of its health benefits.
For a little temptation, check out these organic and fair trade chocolates
Sweet blueberries don't just make your smoothies and cereal taste better; they contain high levels of antioxidants. Some research has shown blueberries can slow degenerative diseases associated with aging and improve motor skills. Still other studies have shown the fruit to improve urinary tract health.