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.
Lime is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, especially flavonoids and can be easily added to the diet, either in form of salad dressings or by squeezing a few drops in drinking water. Thanks to its antioxidant and vitamin C levels, lime is good for skin health and promotes collagen production. Due to high acidity, it can improve digestion and help with constipation treatment. Another benefit of citric acid is helping metabolism and weight management and like other citrus fruits, lime can reduce risk of kidney stones. Drinking warm water with lime juice can help relieve reflux symptoms.
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.
Walnut is highest in antioxidants among all nuts, rich in vitamin E, ellagic acid and melatonin. Loads of omega-3 fats make it a great choice for protecting heart health. It is believed that walnut can reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Walnut also lowers risk of cancer, especially prostate and color one and being also rich in polyphenols, it decreases inflammation in the body. It benefits gut health and is a good choice for weight management and decreasing appetite. Another benefit is lowering risk of diabetes and it is considered good for brain health and improving brain functions. In males, walnut can improve reproductive health.
Apple has high content of polyphenols – powerful antioxidants present mostly in the peel, helping regulate blood sugar and fat levels. Apples are very filling and help reduce appetite when consumed before a meal. That makes them an important food in weight management and obesity prevention. They are beneficial to heart health and lower risk of stroke and heart disease due to high soluble fiber content. Apples contain fiber pectin, feeding good bacteria in our guts and lowering cholesterol. They are considered to lower risk of type 2 diabetes and widely believed to reduce risk of cancer.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable high in fiber and low in calories. It is one of the most filling vegetables and promotes fullness and weight management. It is rich in antioxidants, especially in glucosinolates and sulforaphane helping slow down growth of cancer cells. Cauliflower is good for heart and blood vessel health and contains high amounts of vitamin C. It is also rich in choline, a nutrient promoting brain development and nervous system health and protecting liver from excessive cholesterol accumulation. It contains decent amount of folate that promotes blood cell formation and enables healthy cell growth and function.
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?