It is natural for you to love eating and to want to look and feel great at the same time. Choose the right foods and you can achieve both.
The following foods pack a lot of benefits and can help you achieve health-related goals. They are also easy on your taste buds. So getting a lot these foods in your diet can be helpful in more ways than one.
Parmesan cheese - Strengthens bones
Calcium is critical for preventing osteoporosis, particularly in younger women. One way to pack calcium in your diet is through parmesan cheese. Per ounce of the cheese contains 340 mg of calcium, compared to about 200 mg in cheddar or Swiss cheese.
Apples - Boosts immunity
The good thing about apples is that it is a fruit that everyone already eats. The Iowa Women’s Health Study, which has studies the health habits of 34,000 women for nearly 20 years, listed apples among the most effective foods at reducing the risk of death from heart disease in postmenopausal women. Other studies have revealed that the fruit lowers risk of lung cancer and Type 2 diabetes and even helps women lose weight.
Lentils – Fights breast cancer
Studies prove that women who eat lentils at least twice a week are 24% less likely to develop breast cancer than women who eat them less than once a month. Lentils maintain blood sugar at steady levels. Only a quarter cup provides 13 gm of protein, 11 gm of fiber and 5 mg of iron. Lentils also ward off hypertension.
Broccoli – Rich in vitamins and fibre
Research suggests the chemicals in cruciferous vegetables, particularly broccoli, may help prevent breast cancer by fighting excess estrogen. It is plentiful in vitamin C and vitamin A. It helps you feel full on less than 30 calories per serving. Plus it is rich in fibre, folate (folic acid), calcium, iron, and potassium.
Potatoes – Filled with healthy carbs
Potatoes contain a fat-fighting compound called resistant starch that can help maintain weight. A medium-sized potato packs around 100 calories with more potassium than bananas. Potatoes also maintain blood pressure which helps fight heart disease.
Spinach – Truly muscular
Popeye was singlehandedly credited with saving the US spinach industry in the 1930s! Given its extraordinary nutritional benefits, it is a good thing spinach finally found its place under the sun!
Spinach contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in egg yolks. Apart from protecting against age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness, lutein may prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of cholesterol. It is also packs iron, which helps deliver oxygen to the cells for energy, and folate, a B vitamin that prevents birth defects.
Dark chocolate – Combines taste with nutrients
Dark chocolate is one of those foods that you love and it loves you back. It is rich in heart-protective antioxidants, which helps lower risk of stroke and heart disease. It is great for your bones, thanks to the magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc and phosphorus. It may also help hydrate skin, lower blood pressure and sharpen thinking.
Mushrooms - Cancer fighting oxidants
It is estimated that women who ate just one third of an ounce of raw mushrooms a day had a 64% reduction in breast cancer risk. Research also suggests that mushrooms likely reduce the effects of aromatase, a protein that helps produce estrogen – a major factor in some breast cancers.
Avocados – Good fats
Avocado is filled with monounsaturated fats or the ‘good’ fats that helps lose belly fat, a risk factor for heart disease and even some fertility problems. They are also rich in potassium, magnesium, folate, protein, and vitamins B6, E, and K.
Whole grain pastas - Energizer
Whole-grain pasta is plentiful with B vitamins, which helps the body convert food into energy. Also whole grains are more filling than their refined grains. So you feel fuller with fewer calories.