In order for your body to function on a daily basis, you need to eat. But that's only half the battle. If you choose to eat foods that don't promote good health, your body will not function at optimal levels, and your risks for chronic diseases may increase. The best foods for your body are ones that offer you health benefits. This compiled list is from Dr. Nicholas Perricone and the Women's Healthcare Topics website.
Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called "lycopene." According to the Mayo Clinic, foods that contain lycopene can help men lower their risk for prostate cancer. But women can also benefit from tomatoes. According to research at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, consumption of lycopene can help lower the risk for cardiovascular disease. Although any type of tomatoes have lycopene, the concentration gets stronger when they are stewed or in the form of sauce or ketchup.
Acai is a powerful antioxidant fruit. According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone, eating acai pulp can combat premature aging, promote cardiovascular health and improve digestive health.
Salmon is high in protein. This food also contains omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats help protect your heart from cardiovascular disease.
Barley is a grain that's high in fiber and moderately high in protein. According to Dr. Perricone, eating barley on a regular basis can lower cholesterol levels, help prevent cancer by speeding food through the digestive tract and slow down the digestion of starch, which can stabilize blood sugar levels. As well, oatmeal is high in fiber and contains zinc, copper and potassium.
Spinach is high in iron, folate, manganese, vitamin A, vitamin K and magnesium. It can help reduce your risks for certain cancers and it can also improve brain function. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that has a substance called "sulforaphane," which can help reduce your risks for cancer. It is also high in vitamin K, vitamin C and beta-carotene. Chili peppers are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which can help boost your immune system. Asparagus contains folic acid, which can help release a neurotransmitter called "serotonin" that can help regulate your moods.
Yogurt is a fermented dairy product that has calcium, protein and healthy bacteria that help keep your digestive system working optimally.