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Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats, lower triglyceride levels, slow the growth of artery-clogging fat deposits, and reduce blood pressure. There is also evidence that omega-3s could be a "brain food," since they may reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive decline. Most fatty fish are rich in omega-3s, but salmon is a particularly nutritious healthy food choice because it is low in the potentially toxic contaminant, mercury.
Blueberries are another healthy food that can help protect against disease and potentially boost longevity. In addition to vitamins and minerals, blueberries, like many other brightly colored berries, are a terrific source of antioxidants, natural compounds that are thought to decrease inflammation, guard your cells against damage from free radicals, and reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, and age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
This healthy food is a great source of probiotics, which are "friendly bacteria" similar to the bacteria that are naturally found in your gut. Probiotics function to support your immune system, protect you against disease, and help your body digest and absorb foods and nutrients. There is emerging evidence that regularly consuming yogurt and other sources of probiotics can help bolster your general wellness, prevent certain cancers, and treat some health conditions including diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and irritable bowel syndrome
Sweet potatoes are delicious vegetables that pack a powerful nutritional punch. They are good sources of potassium, which can help lower your blood pressure, and are also packed with vitamin A, which is important for your vision, bone health, reproduction, and cell growth and maintenance. This vibrantly colored healthy food also delivers about 3 grams of fiber per 160-calorie potato and, thanks to its natural sweetness, it tastes great on its own — no fattening topping needed.
More and more people are learning about the health benefits of green tea, a rich source of antioxidants. Green tea has been shown to help keep you mentally alert, and it may also help with weight loss, regulate cholesterol levels, and prevent sun damage on your skin. There is preliminary evidence that regularly drinking green tea may even help prevent or slow the growth of certain cancers.
If your mother told you to eat your spinach when you were a kid, she had good reason. This low-calorie dark leafy green vegetable is a healthy food loaded with many of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. A cup of spinach contains as much bone-building calcium as a cup of milk. Spinach is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps your body's muscular and cardiovascular systems function as they should. It’s also loaded with vitamin A and vitamin E, which support the health of your cells.
Tomatoes are one of those healthy foods that become even healthier when you cook them, since cooking releases and concentrates key nutrients. Canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and even ketchup are great sources of lycopene, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce your risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease. Tomato products also provide potassium, some iron, and vitamins A, C, and E.
It is not often that a healthy food is as indulgent as dark chocolate. But the next time you are nibbling on a piece of this sweet, savor the fact that it delivers antioxidants called flavonoids, which support the health of your heart and blood vessels. Just don't overdo it since chocolate is high in fat and calories. And remember: the darker the chocolate, the higher level of healthy antioxidants.
Oatmeal is one of the best sources of soluble fiber, the type of fiber that can help lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad” cholesterol and control your blood sugar. This reduces your risk of developing heart disease or diabetes. Eating a bowl of this healthy food in the morning can also help you maintain a healthy weight, since soluble fiber helps you feel full longer.
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