Blackberry is packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, especially anthocyanins. Main benefits to overall health include keeping heart in check and preventing heart disease, boosting immunity and fighting inflammation. It is a very good source of fiber and helps with digestion. Due to vitamin K and manganese content, it is good for bone health and development and osteoporosis prevention. Blackberry extract can help maintain good oral health and fights bacteria in our mouth and gums. This berry is great for diabetes and obesity management, benefiting insulin resistance and triglyceride levels. It also has very low glycemic index and glycemic load, lower than most other commonly consumed berries.
Carrot is a known booster of eye health. That is mainly for beta carotene it contains, converted to vitamin A in our body. Just 100g of raw carrot provides almost 3,5 daily doses of vitamin A. Eating some fat with carrot improves the absorption of beta carotene. Another antioxidant present in carrot is lutein, also good for eye health. Carrot is rich in vitamin K, as well as fiber, mainly pectin. Glycemic index of raw carrot is low, making it suitable for diabetes when consumed in this form. It is good for digestion and gut health and can aid weight loss. Thanks to high fiber content, it is believed that carrot can decrease cholesterol levels.
Chickpea has high fiber and protein content that makes it excellent meat replacement. It is considered that the protein of chickpea is of higher quality than in other legumes, containing almost all essential amino acids. It promotes fullness and aids weight management and is high in vitamin B6, copper, phosphorus and iron. Chickpea reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels and protects heart. It is also one of the best sources of folate. Consuming chickpea promotes production of butyrate, decreasing the risk of colon cancer and other nutrients in chickpea also help reduce cancer risk, such as saponins. Presence of choline improves brain and nervous system function. Chickpea is good for people with diabetes and has low glycemic index as well as decent amounts of magnesium and zinc, that can lower the risk of this health issue.
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.
Blueberries are very low in calories and are incredibly nutrient-dense. They are considered to be the richest food in antioxidants among all fruits and vegetables. They contain mainly flavonoids, more specifically anthocyanins giving them their deep blue color. Antioxidant properties of blueberries help reduce DNA damage and therefore slow down aging and have anti-cancer effect on our body. They are also believed to be mood boosters. Blueberries help reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and protect our heart. They have low glycemic index and are an excellent choice for people with diabetes and can be consumed as a prevention against this health issue. Lastly, they improve cognitive performance and brain health.
Cabbage is low in starch and high in fiber, which, together with low glycemic index make it an excellent choice for diabetes treatment. It also contains anthocyanins, especially found in red cabbage, that help reduce blood sugar levels and keep heart healthy. Although it can cause excessive gas, it is very high in vitamins K and C and antioxidants like polyphenols. It is good for digestion and lowering cholesterol levels. Cabbage is one of the best medicines for inflammation and promotes gut health, especially in fermented form or as famous ‘kimchi’.
Zucchini is non starchy and very low in calories. It is rich in antioxidants and great for digestion due to high water and fiber content, preventing constipation and improving overall gut health. A lot of healthy compounds in zucchini are found in its skin, especially for anti-inflammatory effect. It lowers and stabilizes blood sugar levels and is a great choice for people with diabetes. Zucchini brings many benefits to eye health due to relatively high levels of vitamin A and promotes weight loss and feeling of fullness. Thanks to high levels of potassium, it helps lower blood pressure and keeps blood vessels healthy.
Tomato is an essential part of Mediterranean cuisine. It is rich in vitamins A, C and K and loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant good for the heart and fighting some cancers, especially prostate one. When cooked, tomato releases more lycopene and therefore is more effective for fighting cancer when consumed in this form. It is good for diabetes management and digestion due to its fiber content. Since it helps burn fat, it is on everyday food list for those trying to lose weight and is very low in calories. Oh, and don’t forget that it pairs well with vodka. Bloody Mary anyone?