When you hear “chocolate,” you probably think of the candy aisle. But chocolate is actually a product of cacao, a plant. It is rich in antioxidants, and low on the glycemic index. It can reduce blood pressure, improve the flow of blood, boost mood, and lower plaque buildup. A small square every day has been proven to enhance health.
Of all the spices, cinnamon has one of the highest levels of antioxidants. Sprinkle it over foods or brew it into tea. It has shown promise in controlling blood sugar and lowering cholesterol. It also possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties.
The citrus fruits: lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines and grapefruit, have high levels of vitamin C, fiber, thiamine and potassium. They are low in calories.
Garlic adds flavor to dishes, and it is rich in antioxidants and sulfur compounds to fight disease and infection. It is particularly useful during cold and flu season.
Ginger is a root that adds spice to foods and flavor to a popular carbonated drink. It also contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols to boost the immune system, suppress pain and ward off aging. It is also useful to treat nausea, bloating, gas and upset stomach.
16. Onions and Leeks
These vegetables, like garlic, are part of the Allium family. The also contain sulfur compounds to support the immune system, reduce inflammation and lower hypertension and cholesterol.
Peas are a tasty little superfood that contain a surprising amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. They are low in calories but high in protein, vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C, fiber, B vitamins, phosphorus, vitamin A, magnesium, copper, iron, and potassium. They contain healthy omega fatty acids, are low in fat, and they stabilize cardiovascular health and control blood sugar.
18. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds aren’t just decoration on top of bread products They contain lignan fiber to lower cholesterol, prevent high blood pressure, and make vitamin E more available to the body. These seeds are also a good source of healthy fats, protein, and minerals.
19. Sweet Potatoes
You may want to consider trading in your white potatoes for the sweet potato alternative. Their orange color signals that this delicious vegetable is rich in carotenoids, like pumpkin and carrots. Some sweet potatoes are even purple, and those are packed with extra antioxidants. They are a source of complex carbs that prevent blood sugar spikes.
Tomatoes are known to lower cholesterol and prevent blood platelets from adhering to each other. They are good for your bones and they fight certain cancers. Tomatoes are also high in antioxidants, particularly Lycopene, and a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A. It is preferable to avoid canned tomatoes, which contain BPA, a toxic chemical. Use tomatoes packed in glass, instead.