There is no doubt that apples, broccoli, olives, and yogurts are on every list of healthy foods. But that’s not all: science shows us that they are so nutritionally complete that they can almost be called therapeutic foods.
This basic fruit brings so many health benefits that it is difficult to list them. Apples contain quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that is thought to protect brain cells from degeneration. Its richness in natural fibers would protect us from the dangers of colon cancer. And, of course, the apple is a heroine for our hearts. Adults who eat apples are 37 percent less likely to have high blood pressure, and a group of researchers has found that women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to get diabetes than those who don’t eat it.
Their color indicates the presence of carotenoids, the specific antioxidant of beta-carotene linked to cancer prevention. Apricots are also rich in potassium, a mineral essential for the proper functioning of nerves and muscles and which also helps in normal blood pressure and the balance of body fluids.
This bulbous vegetable is a great source of silymarin, an antioxidant that would prevent skin cancer.
Yes, asparagus can make your urine smelly, but you still have everything to gain by including it in your diet. Asparagus contains a natural diuretic, asparagine, which helps the body get rid of excess fluid and salt. It is also rich in folates, a vitamin B that helps fight stress.
In equal amounts, this creamy fruit contains 60 percent more potassium than bananas and is a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Avocado is also stuffed with plant sterols, which are known to lower cholesterol. Add avocado slices to a sandwich, and its fat will slow down the digestion of the bread, reducing its impact on your blood sugar level.
The banana is said to be a fruit of genius. It arrives in its own sealed, portable container. A single banana gives about 100 calories and contains large amounts of potassium and fiber, but not the least fat. She can also boast of hiding tryptophans and 30 percent of your daily intake of vitamin B6, which helps our brain produce serotonin so that we can get through the day with less stress.
This cereal which delighted our grandmothers is frankly underestimated from a health point of view. Its greatest virtue, barley derives from its soluble fibers which would reduce cholesterol levels and the risks of heart disease. Barley fibers are present throughout the seed, so its benefits are felt even when refined. The niacin and vitamin B3 in unrefined barley can also protect us from cardiovascular disease.
8) Beans and legumes
The modest bean is a real nutritional bomb – stuffed with fiber, vitamin B, iron, potassium, and other minerals, while being very low in fat. Legumes contain a good dose of therapeutic phytochemicals such as isoflavones, which are particularly effective against heart disease. Studies have shown that 10 grams of soluble fiber a day – or 1 ½ cups (300 g) white beans – lowers LDL cholesterol by about 10 percent
9) Lean beef
This is not the big responsible for heart attacks that we were willing to let us believe, especially if you stick to the recommended daily portion of 100 grams (3 ounces). Many cuts are 20 percent leaner than a few years ago. Beef is an excellent source of iron, essential for transporting oxygen in the blood. And a daily serving of 100 grams provides you with more than 25 percent of your daily intake of selenium, a trace element essential for the proper functioning of our immune system.
The next time you see a beet salad on the restaurant menu, order it, and you will be doing your heart a favor! Beets are an extraordinary source of folate and betaine, nutrients which, when combined, lower the level of homocysteine, an amino acid responsible for inflammation of the arteries. Beets also contribute to the production of nitric acid, which improves blood circulation. MRI scans of older adults have shown that the frontal lobes of those who eat a diet rich in nitrates (including beet juice) are better irrigated, which could affect the risk of dementia.