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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Peach is rich in carotenoids and other antioxidants that have anti-cancer properties and that are concentrated mainly in its skin. Rich in fiber and prebiotics, it can help improve digestion. It can also relieve allergy symptoms by preventing the release of histamines and reducing body’s reaction to allergens, like sneezing, itching or coughing. Antioxidants and vitamin A in peach can also benefit eye health.
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.
Cantaloupe is type of melon with rich orange flesh, loaded with vitamin A and C. It is low in calories and one of the best sources of beta-carotene that gets transformed in vitamin A in our body. Thanks to vitamin A, cantaloupe is great for eye health. Additionally, it contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two other antioxidants also beneficial for eyes. It is also a good source of folate and contains another nutrient in traces that is very rare in plant-based foods – selenium. Cantaloupe is rich in potassium and thanks to high water and electrolyte content, it is a great choice for hydration.
Sweet potato is loaded with beta-carotene that’s converted to vitamin A in our body – just 100g provides almost 4 times of needed daily intake of this vitamin. Beta-carotene is giving it bright orange color, making sweet potato a great booster of eye health. It is also rich in fiber and antioxidants and is beneficial for gut health, especially the purple sweet potato. This colored variety of sweet potato is rich in anthocyanins, that can even have anti-cancer properties, particularly colon cancer. It is also a good source of magnesium that can help manage stress levels.