From disease prevention to an abundance of vitamins and minerals, the kiwi provides a wide array of nutrition benefits. According to a study at Rutgers University, the kiwi is the most nutrient dense fruit, ounce for ounce. Below is a list of the different ways that the naturally fat-free kiwi can help our health:. Look for a fruit that is plump and fragrant with no visible bruising or wrinkles and a slightly firm feel. Kiwis ripen quickly when placed in either a paper or plastic bag with a banana.
However, once they are ripened, store them away from other fruit or they will decompose more quickly! You can, but wash carefully to remove unwanted pesticides! Rub it a bit to minimize the fuzz. The skin actually provides more fiber to your sweet snack. Kiwifruit can be enjoyed in smoothies, sprinkled into your morning yogurt, mixed into fruit salad, or eaten plain.
Click here to return to the Medical News Today home page. However, understanding which foods to eat for specific benefits can sometimes be difficult, which is why Medical News Today previously supplied a list of the top 10 healthy foods. We provide a cornucopia of delicious and nutritious options for individuals who wish to boost their health by eating healthfully.
What are the top healthful foods?
Note that this article contains summaries and you should click through to read individual articles containing the full list of possible health benefits. Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, copper , magnesium , good quality protein, and healthy unsaturated fatty acids.
Studies have revealed that almonds can potentially help prevent cardiovascular diseases , cut the risk of cancer , and help prolong life. Apples are sometimes called "nutritional powerhouses" because of their impressive nutritional profile. Apples contain about 14 percent of our daily needs of Vitamin C a powerful natural antioxidant , B-complex vitamins, dietary fiber, phytonutrients which help protect the body from the detrimental effects of free radicals , and minerals such as calcium and potassium.
Studies have revealed that eating apples can potentially help prevent dementia and reduce the risk of stroke and diabetes. Along with other leafy greens, arugula contains very high nitrate levels more than milligrams per grams. High intakes of dietary nitrate have been shown to lower blood pressure , reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise, and enhance athletic performance. The potential health benefits of arugula include lowering the risk of cancer, preventing osteoporosis , and improving muscle oxygenation during exercise.
Asparagus is very rich in dietary fiber and contains high levels of vitamin B6, calcium, zinc, and magnesium. The potential health benefits of asparagus include: reducing the risk of diabetes, preventing kidney stones , and lowering the risk of neural tube defects in babies. Asparagus is also a natural diuretic, which can help with fluid balance in the body and influence blood pressure and edema. Bananas are naturally free of fat, cholesterol , and sodium, and very rich in potassium. The potential health benefits of bananas include: lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of developing childhood leukemia , and supporting heart health.
Studies have revealed that basil can potentially reduce inflammation and swelling , prevent the harmful effects of aging , and may be useful in treating arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases. Beetroot, also known simply as the beet, has been gaining in popularity as a new super food due to recent studies claiming that beets and beetroot juice can improve athletic performance, lower blood pressure and increase blood flow.
This is partly due to its high content of nitrates, which increase nitric oxide in the body and play a substantial role in heart and vascular health. Beetroot is a rich source of folate and manganese, and also contains thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, choline, betaine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and selenium. Bok choy belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes kale , broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga, and turnips.
These nutrition powerhouses supply loads of nutrients for little calories. If you are trying to eat healthier, cruciferous vegetables like bok choy should be at the very top of your grocery list. Broccoli contains high levels of fiber both soluble and insoluble and is a rich source of vitamin C. In addition, broccoli is rich in vitamin A, iron, vitamin K, B-complex vitamins, zinc, phosphorus, and phytonutrients. Studies have found that broccoli can potentially help prevent osteoarthritis , protect skin against the effects of UV light , reverse diabetes heart damage , and reduce bladder cancer risk.
Cantaloupes are also commonly known as muskmelons, mush melons, rock melons, and Persian melons. They are a member of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae, along with honeydew and watermelons. Cantaloupe contains an abundance of antioxidants, including choline, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene , all of which protect against a range of diseases and conditions from the common cold to cancer. Potential health benefits of cantaloupe include lowering risk of developing asthma , managing blood pressure, aiding digestion, keeping hydrated, and reducing inflammation. Carrots are a great source of vitamin A.
They provide percent of an average adult's needs for the day. The potential health benefits of carrots include: preventing lung cancer , destroying leukemia cells and inhibiting their progression , and helping to restore vision. They also contain fiber that helps with satiety, weight loss, and a healthy digestive tract, choline that is essential for learning and memory, as well as many other important nutrients. The potential health benefits of cauliflower include preventing mutations and reducing stress from free radicals, preventing constipation , and helping memory.
Celery is a very rich source of antioxidants, electrolytes, and vitamin K. Also, thanks to its high water content, it can help rehydrate.
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The potential health benefits of celery include: lowering blood pressure, preventing cancer, and soothing joint pain. Originally cultivated in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have spread their culinary influence throughout the world. The potential health benefits of chickpeas include improved glucose levels, lipids, and insulin levels for diabetes, maintaining bone strength and heart health.
Chives are a nutrient-dense food, meaning that while they are low in calories, they are high in beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The potential health benefits of chives include potential beneficial and preventative effects against cancer, prostate cancer , esophageal and stomach cancer , and positive effects on sleep and mood.
Chocolate is rich in antioxidants. Despite its bad reputation for causing weight gain, there are a number of health benefits associated with its consumption particularly dark chocolate. The potential benefits of eating chocolate include: lowering cholesterol levels, preventing cognitive decline, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems. Known as coriander in the United Kingdom, cilantro comes from the plant Coriandrum sativum. In the United States, the leaves of the plant are referred to as cilantro the Spanish translation , and the seeds are referred to as coriander.
Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like cilantro decreases the risk of obesity , overall mortality, diabetes, and heart disease while promoting a healthy skin and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight. Studies have found that cinnamon can potentially be effective against HIV , improve glucose and lipid levels in patients with type 2 diabetes , help prevent Alzheimer's disease , and stop the destructive process of multiple sclerosis MS.
In addition, researchers at Penn State found that consuming cinnamon can help reduce the body's negative responses to eating high-fat meals. Coffee is one of the main sources of antioxidants in the U. The potential health benefits of drinking coffee in moderation include: protecting against type 2 diabetes , preventing Parkinson's disease , lowering the risk of liver cancer , preventing liver disease , and promoting good heart health. Collard greens are part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, rutabaga, and turnips.
Collard greens are an extremely rich source of vitamin K and also contain folate, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, choline, phosphorus, and potassium. Health benefits of collard greens may include assisting with bone health, reducing cancer risk, helping lower glucose levels in those with diabetes, and improving sleep and mood. Studies have found that cranberries can potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease CVD , slow tumor progression , prevent urinary tract infections , and benefit oral health by preventing bacteria from binding to teeth.
Edamame is a young soybean that has been harvested before the beans have had a chance to harden. They can be bought shelled or in the pod, fresh or frozen. The potential health benefits of edamame include maintaining a healthy blood pressure, helping with depression , promoting fertility, and decreasing bone loss. The eggplant, also known as aubergine, garden egg, guinea squash, melongene, and brinjal, is usually distinguishable by its signature egg-like shape and vibrant purple color. The potential health benefits of eggplant include supporting heart health, maintaining weight and blood cholesterol levels, and anti-cancer effects.
Flaxseed is not only "an excellent source of two fatty acids that are essential for human health - linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid," but also "an excellent source of fiber and a good source of minerals and vitamins," according to the American Nutrition Association. The potential health benefits associated with flaxseed include: lowering cholesterol , protecting against cancer , preventing hot flashes, and improving blood sugar levels.
Studies have found that garlic can potentially be a very powerful antibiotic , help protect the heart during cardiac surgery and after a heart attack , lower the risk of developing lung cancer , and reduce high cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Ginger contains a chemical that is used as an ingredient in antacid, laxative, and anti-gas medications.
Studies have found that ginger can potentially prevent inflammation of the colon , reduce exercise-induced muscle pain , help alleviate nausea caused by chemotherapy , and reduce the severity of period pains. The portability, texture, flavor, and variety of grapes have made them a popular finger food in countries all over the world. Studies have associated grapes with the prevention of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure , and constipation as well as decreasing the risk of obesity and overall mortality.
Grapefruits are low in calories but full of nutrients. They support clear, healthy skin, help to lower the risk of many diseases and conditions and may even help with weight loss as part of an overall healthy and varied diet. The potential health benefits of grapefruit include boosting weight loss, maintaining healthy blood pressure and heart health, and combating free radicals. Green tea may well be one of the world's healthiest drinks and contains the highest amount of antioxidants of any tea.
What Do Specific Foods Do?
Studies have found that drinking green tea is associated with a reduced risk of stroke , and may help fight prostate cancer. Studies have found that honey can potentially help prevent GERD gastroesophageal reflux , shorten the duration of bacterial diarrhea , help heal burns , minimize seasonal allergies , and fight off infections. The potential health benefits of kale include: reducing the risk of certain cancers, lowering the risk of coronary artery disease , and lowering levels of bad cholesterol.
Kiwis are a nutrient dense food, meaning they are high in nutrients and low in calories. The kiwifruit is higher in vitamin C per ounce than most other fruits. The potential health benefits of eating kiwis include: maintaining healthy skin tone and texture, reducing blood pressure, and preventing heart disease and stroke. The mango is a member of the drupe family, a type of plant food in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell what we sometimes call a pit with a seed inside. Olives, dates, and coconuts are also types of drupes.
Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like mangoes decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes, heart disease, and promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, overall lower weight. Dairy products, like milk, are a great dietary source of calcium.
Calcium has many functions in the body, but its primary job is the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Calcium is also important for blood-clotting and wound-healing, maintaining normal blood pressure, and muscle contractions, including heartbeat. The potential health benefits of milk include: maintaining bone, blood pressure, and heart health, and providing an increase in vitamin D. Deficiency in vitamin D has been associated with depression, chronic fatigue , and PMS. There are many reasons you might search for an alternative for dairy, the most common being allergies and lactose intolerance.
Some people choose to not consume dairy to follow a vegan diet, which avoids any foods that come from an animal, including milk, cheese, eggs, and honey. Others may cut dairy out of their diet to avoid hormones and antibiotics in conventional milk, as an acne treatment, or when following the popular "Paleo" diet. Soy isoflavones have been shown to be beneficial in preventing heart disease, and at least 10 milligrams per day can decrease breast cancer recurrence by 25 percent.
Increased soy consumption may be beneficial for menopausal women. Mint , also known as mentha, is actually a genus of around types of plants including peppermint and spearmint. Mint oil is often used in toothpaste, gum, candy, and beauty products while the leaves are used either fresh or dried for teas and food. Mint has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any food. Mint has possible positive effects on allergies, common cold, indigestion , irritable bowel syndrome IBS , and skin.
Mushrooms, though classified as vegetables in the food world, are not technically plants.
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They belong to the fungi kingdom and provide several important nutrients. The potential health benefits of mushrooms include helping to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, regulating blood pressure, and improving immune responses to infection. Oats contain high levels of a type of fiber known as beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is known to help lower levels of bad cholesterol.
The potential health benefits of oats include: reducing the risk of coronary artery disease, lowering the risk of colorectal cancer , and lowering blood pressure.
Oily fish, such as salmon or mackerel, is an excellent source of omega-3 oils and lean protein. Potential health benefits of eating oily fish include: preventing cardiovascular disease , reducing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis , boosting infant sensory, cognitive, and motor development , improving memory , protecting vision , and preventing oral and skin cancers.
People who regularly consume olive oil are at a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension high blood pressure , stroke, and hyperlipidemia high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In addition, olive oil intake may help treat inflammation, endothelial dysfunction problems with the inner linings of blood vessels , thrombosis and carbohydrate metabolism. Onions can vary in size, shape, color, and flavor. The most common types are red, yellow, and white onion. Flavors can vary from sweet and juicy with a mild flavor to sharp, spicy, and pungent, often depending on the season in which they are grown and consumed.
Flavanoids Most fruits and vegetables cruciferous, garlic, citrus fruits, caraway seeds, umbelliferous, solanaceous, cucurbitaceous vegetables, sage, camphor, dill, basil, mint. Controversy exists on the role of dietary fat on the promotion of breast cancer. Some animal studies and epidemiological data have suggested that the type of fat consumed may initiate the development of breast cancer.
Women who are overweight or obese have higher levels of circulating estrogen than women at their ideal body weight. This might be important for anyone who is trying to reduce the risk of a future recurrence of a hormone-responsive cancer, even after they have been treated for cancer. Overweight or obese are defined by body mass index BMI that is greater than 25 or 30, respectively.
Many studies have demonstrated an association between body mass index and breast cancer in postmenopausal women. We recommend weight reduction by diet modification first, followed by the introduction of exercise. We provide weight loss counseling that focuses on healthy eating tips and behavior modifications that will provide long term results. For an individualized weight management consultation, you may wish to meet privately with one of our expert physicians at Green Spring Station who specialize in this area.
Several studies have shown an association between alcohol consumption and breast cancer. Dietary guidelines suggest that a woman consume no more than one drink per day. Women diagnosed with breast cancer may want to consider avoiding alcohol. Please call for an appointment. Request an appointment with the Breast Center at Johns Hopkins.
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