Spinach is one of the best plant-based sources of iron, making it excellent for restoring energy levels, improving quality of the blood and anemia treatment. Spinach is rich in folate, extremely high in vitamin K and has good amounts of calcium, helping maintain good bone health. High vitamin A and carotenoid content makes it great for eye health and preventing cataracts and macular. Compounds in spinach like antioxidant kaempferol and chlorophyll may help slow down tumor growth and have anti-cancer effects. Spinach is rich in nitrates which, together with potassium, lower blood pressure and protect heart health. Antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid, found in spinach, can help treat diabetes and lower glucose levels.
Radish detoxifies body and blood, especially organs like liver and stomach. It improves quality of the blood and supports collagen production to strengthen blood vessel walls, lowering the risk of atherosclerosis. Acting as natural diuretic, it boosts urine production. Anthocyanins make it beneficial for heart health and prevent cardiovascular diseases. Radish contains decent amounts of potassium and helps reduce blood pressure. It is an excellent choice for people with diabetes, with low glycemic index and containing compounds that help regulate blood sugar levels and support production of hormones protecting against insulin resistance. Antifungal effect helps fight against some yeast infections caused by for example Candida. Finally, radish is great for the skin thanks to vitamin C and high water content, which also makes it good for hydration.
Pumpkin is type of squash and one of the best known sources of beta carotene, converted into vitamin A in the body. This makes it great for fighting certain cancers, maintaining eye health and preventing macular degeneration and cataract. Pumpkin is good for heart health and lowering blood pressure. It promotes fullness and is very filling while low in calories, helping with weight management. Both vitamin A and C help boost immunity and vitamins C and E additionally promote good and healthy skin.
Onion is a good source of fibers called fructans which act as prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in the guts. Therefore it is beneficial for gut flora and reduces the risk of colon cancer. Onion is rich in sulfur compounds and flavonoid antioxidants, especially quercetin. Quercetin reduces symptoms of bladder infections, is good for prostate health and lowers blood pressure and risk of cancer. The main benefits of onion include blood sugar regulation and fighting diabetes, increasing bone density for osteoporosis prevention and anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.
Mango is rich in fiber and polyphenols antioxidants, especially mangiferin. High contents of vitamin C and A boost immunity and folate ensures healthy prenatal development. Vitamin C content also improves collagen production, making it beneficial for hair and skin health. Mango can help lower cholesterol and thanks to magnesium, potassium and mangiferin keeps heart health in check. Apart from fiber, mango contains enzymes that help break down complex food molecules and help their absorption, making it great for digestive health and relieving constipation. It supports eye health thanks to antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin A.
Lentils are one of the oldest foods, widely consumed in Middle East and Egypt. They are packed with protein and fiber, as well as antioxidants, especially polyphenols. These have mainly anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Eating lentils protects heart from disease, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. They are rich in vitamin B and folate, good for proper development during pregnancy, as well as iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium. Thanks to a combination of fiber, carbohydrates and iron, they are great for steady increase of energy levels.
Kidney bean is an excellent plant based source of protein and fiber. It is also high in starch, but since this type is a slow-release carb and bean has low glycemic index, it is beneficial for diabetics, not causing fast and high rises in blood sugar. Kidney bean is rich in phosphorus and manganese, reduces cholesterol and improves heart health, lowers risk of heart disease, boosts digestion and prevents colon cancer. Although rich in iron, it might not be very accessible due to phytate content in beans that reduces iron absorption. Bean is very rich in folate, benefiting red blood cells formation and development during pregnancy. It is favorite among athletes due to its combination of energy boosting carbohydrates, muscle building protein and low fat content. Finally, it promotes fullness and is a great choice for weight management.
Hazelnut is full of antioxidants, especially present in its skin. These, together with healthy fats, more specifically omega-3, support heart health and lower cholesterol levels. Thanks to extremely high vitamin E and manganese content, hazelnut can have anti-cancer properties and like other nuts reduces blood sugar levels. Thanks to vitamin E, it is beneficial for skin and hair health and it is also a good source of fiber, magnesium and folate. Combination of compounds in hazelnut helps decrease the risk of diabetes as well as maintain brain and cognitive functions and prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin K, manganese, folate and fiber. They are rich in chlorophyll, stopping some carcinogenic effects and slowing down growth of cancer tumors. Thanks to folate and iron content, it is good to eat them during pregnancy to ensure healthy prenatal development, as well as for energy boost. Green beans are beneficial for bone and heart health and good for lowering cholesterol. Another compound they are rich in is silicon, supporting skin and nail growth. Due to high carotenoid content, they keep eye health in check and prevent macular degeneration. As a downside, raw green beans contain protein lectin, which might cause digestive issues.
Grapefruit is one of the fruits highest in water content. It is great for hydration, weight loss and obesity prevention. Antioxidant levels in grapefruit are very high, especially beta carotene and lycopene, resulting in its red color. These give grapefruit its anti-cancer properties and prevent heart disease. Grapefruit can lower cholesterol and has high vitamin A and C content, good for boosting immunity. Low glycemic index makes it diabetes friendly food. Grapefruit should be avoided when taking certain medications, since it contains compounds that affect their metabolism, resulting in higher levels of these drugs in the body.