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.
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.
Celery packs a lot of nutrients in a very few calories, which makes it an excellent snack for weight loss. Rich in vitamin K and mainly antioxidants, it protects cells from damage and reduces inflammation, especially a compound called apigenin, which can ease arthritis symptoms. It can help neutralize effects from consuming acidic foods. Another compound found in celery called phthalide can help lower blood pressure and relax blood vessel walls. It is believed that celery can have anti-cancer properties due to presence of apigenin and luteolin.
Grape is full of antioxidants, particularly polyphenols, mostly present in its skin and seeds. Red grapes contain higher amounts, especially anthocyanins giving them their red color. Another polyphenol antioxidant found in grapes is resveratrol, protecting heart from disease, lowering blood sugar and having some anti-cancer properties, like reducing inflammation and preventing growth of cancer cells. Other benefit of resveratrol is potential activation of genes responsible for slower aging and longevity. Brain and cognitive performance can be also improved by increasing intake of this compound. Grape is a great choice for reducing cholesterol levels, as well as blood pressure. Many compounds from grape help maintain eye health, like resveratrol, lutein and zeaxanthin while others can also prevent growth of different bacteria and spread of viral infections.
Kale is one of the most nutrient rich foods known. It is packed with vitamin K, antioxidants and fiber, which make it great for diabetes prevention and treatment. Like other green vegetables, it contains chlorophyll, which might reduce the risk of cancer. Similar anti-cancer effects in kale come from high amounts of vitamin C, selenium and other antioxidants. Loaded with vitamin K that helps blood clotting and rich in calcium and phosphorus, kale is a good choice to keep bones healthy. Combination of vitamin C and A in kale support skin and hair growth and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin make it beneficial for eye health. Kale is high in nitrates, which help boosting physical performance in athletes and iron, helping supply muscles with oxygen.
Pecan has distinctive buttery texture and slightly sweet, but bitter taste, making it used mostly in desserts and salads. Together with macadamia nut, it is highest in fat content among all nuts and is particularly rich in copper and manganese. Monounsaturated fats together with phenolic antioxidants promote heart health and lower cholesterol levels. Like other nuts, pecan is packed with fiber and if consumed in moderation, promotes fullness and benefits weight management. Fiber content keeps digestive system healthy and prevents constipation. Pecan is rich in antioxidant ellagic acid that can protect from certain cancer forms. Magnesium levels provide anti-inflammatory benefits and lower blood pressure. Pecan can also slow down skin ageing, thanks to ellagic acid, vitamin A and E. Combination of different nutrients, mainly zinc, makes pecan great immunity booster. Among other nutrients, it also contains iron and significant amounts of flavonoids. Low sugar levels make it an excellent choice for diabetes prevention and management and slowing down blood sugar spikes.
Avocado is not a typical fruit considering the amount of fats it contains, making the antioxidants very accessible and easily absorbed in our body. It has a lot of nutrients important for healthy hair and skin and it keeps heart in check and lowers cholesterol. Avocado is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, maintaining eye health. Due to high levels of vitamin B6 and K, it is good for strong and healthy bones and osteoporosis prevention. Rich in potassium, it regulates blood pressure and lowers risk of heart attack and stroke. It is believed that avocado can play a significant role in cancer prevention due to presence of folate. Since it contains lots of fiber, it is great for digestion and low carb and high fat content make it a great choice for people with diabetes.
Strawberry belongs to the rose family and is one of the most popular berries. It is very low in calories and contains much less sugar than other more consumed fruits. Loaded with vitamin C (even more than orange), manganese and potassium and it is especially rich in antioxidants anthocyanins. They give it not only its rich red color but make it a great choice for heart health too. It is great for diabetes prevention and treatment due to low sugar levels and low glycemic index. Other health benefits include lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and cancer prevention.
Originating in Africa, watermelon is high in water content, vitamin A and C and very low in calories. Although a poor fiber source, it is not only good as a refreshing snack in summer, but is one of the richest foods in lycopene (even more than tomatoes, giving it its pink color) and citrulline. While lycopene can improve heart health, lower cholesterol and protect from cancer, citrulline is an amino acid responsible for lowering blood pressure and can be used to treat muscle soreness.