Eating a diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fibre is key to staying healthy. While there is often a great deal of emphasis placed on the advantages of eating super foods and getting your 5 a day, there are many unexpected health benefits that come from foods many of us eat every day, and wouldn’t usually consider anything special or healthy.
Coffee: Coffee is rich in antioxidants which have a variety of health benefits. Studies have shown that women who drink three to four cups of coffee each day lower their risk of developing endometrial cancer by as much as 25 percent. These benefits are primarily found in coffee that contains caffeine. Experts recommend coffee drinkers avoid placing creamer in their coffee, as this may affect the way the body absorbs these antioxidants.
Garlic: Taking supplements of garlic on a daily basis can actually cut down your chance of catching a horrible cold in the winter time! And if that wasn’t enough, Garlic (just 1 clove) can give your body a surprisingly high boost of vitamins A, B and C – as well as topping us up on iron, iodine, potassium, selenium, zinc. Which isn’t too bad for something we can easily add to a bowl of pasta!
Popcorn: If you leave out the extra salt, butter or sugar popcorn is actually quite healthy! Recent research indicates that popcorn may actually have more health benefits than certain types of fruit and veg! Researchers found polyphenols—a group of beneficial antioxidants—to be more plentiful in popcorn than certain fruits and veggies. Popcorn is also a pure source of whole grain, an important dietary element for seniors.
Berries: Berries are delicious fruits that many people enjoy in cereal, yogurt or even raw. Eating these tasty fruits can greatly improve your health. Strawberries and blueberries contain substances known as polyphenols, which help reduce inflammation in the body. This is great news for people who suffer from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. These berries also boost memory and slow down memory loss as we age. Eating a diet rich in blueberries and strawberries may also help prevent heart disease and breast cancer. Avoid ingesting harmful pesticides by purchasing organically grown berries.
Spinach: Green vegetables are necessary to a healthy diet. There is one leafy vegetable that packs a powerful punch with vitamins B,C, and E. Other beneficial nutrients include iron, calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium. Using spinach in a green salad instead of lettuce is one way to get more of this beneficial vegetable. Spinach is also delicious when steamed or used as a pizza topping.
Tomatoes: Diets rich in lycopene are essential to slowing down the aging process. The highest concentration of lycopene is found in tomatoes, which many people eat every day. While tomatoes are delicious raw, their nutrients are more readily absorbed by the body when processed in tomato sauce and ketchup. Lycopene is also known to prevent breast cancer, benign prostate hyperplasia and coronary artery disease. Eating a diet rich in lycopene may also lower the likelihood of cancers of the colon, gastrointestinal tract, esophagus and the rectum.
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Guest Post by: Elle-Rose works for XXPress PCR as a health and medical writer.