Here is part 2 of our ongoing health challenge for "Heart Month". Adding these foods to your daily and weekly menu planning can help you enjoy many health benefits. Packing a health punch, in no particular order, are the next five food dynamos.
6. Oatmeal - Always touted as a fibre-rich, heart healthy choice by the FDA; the importance of oats has been underestimated for years. New research shows that in addition; they can also reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. To enjoy these health benefits you need to eat 1/2 cup daily - best unsweetened if you can. A great add-in on fruit, yogurt and nuts or use as a coating for meat and add texture to meatballs.
7. Tomatoes - Most common source of lycopene. A powerful antioxidant that may protect against heart disease and breast cancer. For best results, use them fresh as opposed to their jarred and preserved form.
8. Spinach - Even Popeye had it right; spinach is a core heavy hitter. Containing lutein, it guards against age-related macular degeneration which is the leading cause of blindness. This powerhouse of a nutrient can also help prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls free of cholesterol. Just when you thought we were done, spinach is also rich in iron that helps deliver oxygen to your cells for energy as well as folate. Folate is a B vitamin that can prevent birth defects.
9. Garlic - The list goes on and on for this superstar. Besides being a popular flavour booster; it contains more than 70 active phytochemicals including allicin, which experts say may lessen blood pressure by as much as 30 points. Higher consumption of garlic is also shown in research to significantly lessen rats of ovarian, colorectal and other cancers. Allicin also fights infection and bacterial. Studies have shown that garlic users were two-thirds less likely to catch the common cold.
10. Red Peppers - Unfortunately, citrus fruits generally take all the nods and bows for vitamin C; however red peppers are actually the best source. Best known for skin and immunity perks; it also has other benefits. Some research has shown that men with low levels were 2.4 times more likely to have a stroke. Other research shows that the antioxidant reduces pain by protecting your knees against arthritis. While vitamin C will not prevent you from catching the common cold, studies do provide proof that it can help you get over that cold quicker.
*Try blending soups or sauces to accommodate your picky eaters. These health benefits can be enjoyed by them too.
Feel better and live better by taking the Cheateralert challenge and adding these amazing power house foods to your weekly menu.