Thursday, June 24, 2010

A few healthy foods

Nutritionist Jonny Bowden notes that cherries are packed with anti-inflammatory properties. They contain antioxidants, thought to help the body protect against the damaging effects of free radicals and the chronic diseases associated with the aging process.

Like cherries, blueberries contain antioxidants found to promote heart health. A 2009 study showed that rats fed blueberries lost belly fat, the kind of fat linked to diabetes and heart disease.

This tart little green fruit, with its soft, hairy skin and seeds you can swallow, is chock full of vitamin C--a whopping 115% of what you need to eat in a day. It's also low in calories--just 45 per fruit sans skin.

Flax Seed
Also a tremendous source of omega-3 fatty acids, flax seed has been shown to contain powerful anti-cancer compounds called lignans. Flax is also a great source of fiber, which enhances digestion. Try throwing it into your next smoothie or sprinkling on a salad.

A member of the cabbage family, which Bowden dubs "vegetable royalty," kale contains indoles, a compound found to fight cancer. Kale is also full of sulforaphane, another cancer-prevention agent. Plus, Kale contains calcium, iron and vitamins A, C and K, and two nutrients that are great for the eyes, including zeaxanthin.

Dark Chocolate
Rich with a phytochemical called flavanol, found by a 2005 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology to improve cardiovascular health. Look for chocolate with at least 60% cocoa content.

Eat Mediterranean
For some, sticking to a Mediterranean-style diet is the healthiest way to eat. That means plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, and lots of olive and nut oils. The Mediterranean diet has indeed been proved by study after study to have multiple healthful properties.

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