Top 10 Foods with Health Benefits

ksst ksstradio.comTexas A&M University Names Top 10 Foods with Health Benefits

Interesting research topics often cross my desk, but this particular article caught my attention more than some.  As my husband and I read through the list of these beneficial foods, we realized that we consume many of these on a regular basis.  This information was posted on Stone Hearth News by Texas A&M University Health Science Center and I wanted to share it with you.

When you open your refrigerator, do you see a way to fight cancer or a way to boost memory retention?  Day in and day out, we put food in our bodies, but might be unaware of the benefits to our health.  With media and fad diets constantly advising us on what to eat, it’s difficult to sort out the good information from the bad – and that’s where the experts at the Texas A&M Health Science Center can help.  If you’re unsure of how to fuel your body, these 10 foods with health benefits can be a game-changer for your healthy lifestyle.

1)      Almonds:  adding a handful of this antioxidant to your daily diet can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.  A study in the Nutrition Research Journal suggests that diet quality improves when eating these tear-shaped nuts on a consistent basis.

2)      Apples:  While eating an apple a day doesn’t keep the doctor away on its own, they are a good source of dietary fiber for your diet.  One study found that compounds from apples can help slow aging and extends the length of your life.  Additionally, eating the white fruit more often can protect against stroke.

3)      Avocados:  This creamy, green fruit (one of my personal favorites!) launched into popularity over the past few years and for good reason.  Avocados are a great source of fat that lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease if substituted in place of other dietary fats.

4)      Beans:  Providing health benefits for over 10,000 years, beans are a common part of diets around the world.  Beans contain protein, fiber and many vitamins and minerals that help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.  Scientists recommend eating half a cup of beans per day to take advantage of their nutrients.

5)      Blueberries:  Another of my favorite foods, blueberries are abundant in anthocyanins, which give the fruit a blue pigment and are filled with antioxidants.  Studies show that these anthocyanins help reduce and prevent chronic inflammation.  Additionally, increasing the intake of blueberries can help with short-term memory in children and elderly.

6)      Broccoli:  Put another scoopful on your plate tonight!  This powerful vegetable contains vitamin C and folic acid, as well as being a good source of fiber and potassium.  One compound in broccoli, called sulforaphane, can fight and treat cancers and reduce inflammation in chronic diseases like heart disease.  In order to get the most out or your broccoli, avoid freezing or boiling the vegetable.

7)      Cranberries:  While active ingredients in cranberries are well known for treating urinary tract infections, these same ingredients can prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth.  Additionally, cranberries can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease and various types of cancer.

8)      Leafy greens:  Spinach, kale, and cabbage can pack a punch of health benefits if added to your diet.  Filled with vitamins C, K, and E, folate, carotenoids, and fiber, studies show that leafy greens may help prevent cancer.  For adults, the USDA recommends eating three to four cups of leafy greens weekly.

9)      Fish: Oily fish is a great source of protein, low in fat and abundant in omega-3 fatty acids.  Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis, lower blood pressure and provide anti-inflammatory benefits.  The American Heart Association recommends eating 3.5 ounces of fish twice a week.

10)   Sweet potatoes:  While you might find this orange vegetables on your table at Thanksgiving, sweet potatoes have high nutritional value year round.  Nutrients provide anti-cancer, antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory benefits.  Even more, the leaves of sweet potatoes can be treated like leafy greens and help reduce malnutrition.

And of course, don’t forget the milk!  Dairy products are full of nutrients, including calcium, riboflavin, and other vitamins and minerals to help strengthen your bones and teeth.  Three servings a day provide the calcium you need.  A serving consists of one cup of milk, one-ounce of cheese, 8 ounces of yogurt, or ½ cup ice cream made with milk.  When you are given a choice, go with the lower fat versions to reduce calories.

4-H Members to Compete at TAMU-Commerce

On April 15 and 16, a whole slew of Hopkins County 4-H members will converge on Texas A&M University in Commerce for District competition in Educational Presentations, Public Speaking, Food Show, and Fashion Show.  Watch my column later this month for the results!

Closing Thought

An optimist is the human personification of spring – Susan Bissonette

Author: Staff Reporter

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