This month I would like to share the 10 “power foods” – foods that are packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Phytonutrients are thought to protect against disease and boost the immune system. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals, helping to ward off cancer, heart disease, boost the immune system and keep the mind and eyes in good shape.
The “power foods” are:
BLUEBERRIES: Fresh or frozen, they are the champion of antioxidants. Blueberries decrease the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and vision loss. They are also shown to slow and possibly reverse memory loss.
OLIVE OIL: Extra virgin olive oil provides antioxidants, monounsaturated fat and vitamin E – all great for your heart.
ALMONDS: 1 ounce may help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol). Emerging research shows almonds may play a role in weight maintenance or loss.
TOMATOES: The most potent phytochemical in tomatoes is lycopene. Lycopene may slow degenerative diseases and reduce your risk of several cancers.
WHOLE GRAINS: Whole grains boost metabolism and control blood sugar, helping to reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Limit intake to about 25 percent of your meal and make sure whole grain is listed as the first ingredient.
BELL PEPPERS: Raw or cooked, peppers of all colors are good for your heart and eyes. And they help prevent cancer.
BROCCOLI: A half of a cup of broccoli provides 40mg of calcium and 1,700 IU of vitamin A.
GRAPES: Red, green or purple – they are delicious and filled with phytonutrients working for your heart.
SPINACH: Popeye was right – spinach is packed with iron, calcium and folate.
Last but not least, STRAWBERRIES: Fresh or frozen, the juicy wonders are shown to reduce inflammation in the body. This action helps prevent heart disease and arthritis.
Robyn Kretschmar is a registered nurse and respiratory therapist who loves to combine her love of medicine with her love of cooking. She and her family have lived in Richmond Hill for more than 14 years.