Apples – The old saying really is true. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and maybe even some damaging diseases. Apples are beneficial on so many different levels. They pack more Vitamin C than an orange and they are full of antioxidants that will help your body stay healthy. With so many different varieties, it’s easy to pick and choose the flavor that’s perfect for you. Try eating a few slices of apple as an after-dinner snack, or add it to your salad for a bright kick.
Flaxseed – This ancient grain is extremely beneficial, particularly to women who suffer hormone imbalances. As little as two tablespoons a day can help maintain bone health and cut your risk of breast cancer. Make sure you grind it properly before eating, so that you can properly digest it. Flaxseed is great on salads, or even sprinkled into a healthy shake. Some people even find that it adds a delightfully nutty flavor to their morning coffee.
Carrots – These little roots are chock full of beta carotene, which your body turns into Vitamin A. They are essential for eye health and there are a variety of different ways to add them to your diet. Cooking carrots does tend to lessen their benefits, so try to eat them raw when possible. Beta carotene can even help ward off cancer, especially skin cancer. If you have trouble eating them raw, try a few in a healthy soup, or dehydrate them for an afternoon snack.
Tomatoes – Tomatoes are extremely rich in lutein, an incredible nutrient that can keep your eyes healthy. They also contain lycopene, which is an antioxidant. Recent studies have shown that eating a few slices of tomato a day can halve your risk of developing cancer, including bladder, stomach and colon cancer. It’s easy to add a few slices to your dinner, or for a special treat, brush your favorite dressing on them a few minutes before eating.
Onions – Onions have been shown to help lower blood pressure and they contain flavonoids, which are believed to protect your body against cancer. In some cultures, raw onions are applied to the soles of the feet during an illness to help draw out the disease. While chopping onions helps release their beneficial nutrients, you can also try grilling them with a steak, adding a few slices to a hamburger or you can add a few slices to your salad. Onions are also easy to add to soups, stews and stir-fry dishes.
Garlic is extremely beneficial. It can help lower blood pressure, and may even reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood stream. It may even help prevent cancer of the stomach. Add a clove to your next batch of mashed potatoes, or a few slices to your next meal. In addition to making your dish more tender, you’ll be reaping the fantastic benefits. To remove garlic’s odor from your hands, rub them on stainless steel. For garlic breath, try a sprig of fresh parsley.
Cauliflower – This member of the cruciferous family is believed to help prevent cancer and promote a healthy liver. In fact, it may even be beneficial to those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Try a few fresh pieces of cauliflower in your salad for maximum benefits, or add it to a soup or stir-fry. If the strong flavor bothers you, its close relative broccoli is also just as beneficial.
Plums – If you suffer from anemia, adding plums to your diet may actually help your body absorb more available iron from your blood stream. Plums are also rich in Vitamin C and it may even help reduce the threat of macular degeneration. Try adding a fresh plum as a desert snack, or if you prefer them cooked, a plum tart is fantastic. Cooking plums does tend to lessen their benefits, but you’ll still get some nutrients. Dried plums, or prunes as they are commonly called, are also beneficial.
Green Tea – This tea is rich in antioxidants and it’s extremely easy to find. Make sure to look for green tea that is made in countries that do not allow certain toxic pesticides to be used during the growth process for a healthier cup of tea. Green tea has been found to reduce the risk of stroke and promote a healthy immune system. You can drink it hot or cold and still benefit from its incredible properties. Green tea can also be used as a poultice on wounds.
Cranberries – These little berries are very important to urinary tract health and they are also rich in antioxidants and vitamins. In fact, the latest research has shown that cranberries can even be used as a very effective antibiotic. Cranberry juice is a great way to get your daily dose of health, but make sure you’re drinking natural juice and not a 10% juice cocktail. You can also try canned cranberries for a delicious side dish at your next meal.
Yams – Candied or not, yams are very good for you. They are an excellent source of Vitamin B6, which is essential for heart health. They also contain a high amount of potassium, which is very important in controlling blood pressure. Wild yams are commonly used to help women suffering from hormonal imbalances and they can even help balance your body’s blood sugar. Try adding yams to replace potatoes as a side dish.
Celery – Celery is a great source of Vitamin C and it Celery contains active compounds called Pthalides which help maintain good blood vessel health. Pthalides can relax the muscles of the arteries that regulate blood pressure allowing these vessels to dilate. Celery can also be a diuretic. . Don’t slather your celery in artery clogging cheese or peanut butter though. Slice up a stalk and add it to your salad or your next pot of soup instead.
Olives – Whether you like them green or black, olives are an excellent source of Vitamin E and it can even act as an anti-inflammatory. They are also a good source of iron, copper and dietary fiber. Olives are easy to add to most dishes. Slice them up and add them to your next salad or just eat them plain. You can also experiment and try olive bread, or just stick with olive oil in your cooking to enjoy its benefits.
Strawberries – This favorite berry is rich in phenols which are good for your heart, can protect against cancer and they can even act as an anti-inflammatory, making them a wonderful addition for arthritis or chronic pain sufferers. Recent studies have shown that strawberries can also protect you from macular degeneration. They are rich in folate, Vitamin B5 and many other nutrients.
Honey – If you’re looking for a natural sweetener that’s actually good for you, honey is an excellent choice. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties and can protect your body from free-radicals and promote quick healing of wounds. Try to find a apiary near your area for fresh honey. Processed honey loses some of its benefits, but it’s a great alternative in a pinch. Try it on toast as an alternative to butter, or add it your oatmeal for a great sweet taste.