The health benefits of popular foods
Though the field of medicine continues to advance and branch out in many ways, nutritionists and health experts continue to praise the benefits of certain foods. In fact, eating healthfully has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity, cardiovascular illnesses, and even certain types of cancer.
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.
Below is a list of foods along with information regarding their potential health benefits.
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.
Almond nutritional report
One cup of whole, raw almonds (143 grams) contains:
- Water - 6.31 grams
- Energy - 828 kilocalories
- Protein - 30.24 grams
- Total lipid (fat) - 71.40 grams
- Carbohydrate, by difference - 30.82 grams
- Fiber, total dietary - 17.9 grams
- Sugars, total - 6.01 grams
- Cholesterol - 0 grams
- Calcium, Ca - 385 milligrams
- Iron, Fe - 5.31 milligrams
- Magnesium, Mg - 386 milligrams
- Phosphorus, P - 688 milligrams
- Potassium, K - 1048 milligrams
- Sodium, Na - 1 milligrams
- Zinc, Zn - 4.46 milligrams
- Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid - 0 milligrams
- Thiamin - 0.293 milligrams
- Riboflavin - 1.627 milligrams
- Niacin - 5.174 milligrams
- Vitamin B-6 - 0.196 milligrams
- Folate, DFE - 63 micrograms
- Vitamin B-12 - 0 micrograms
- Vitamin A, RAE - 0 micrograms
- Vitamin A, IU - 3 International Units
- Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) - 36.65 milligrams
- Vitamin D - 0 International Units
- Vitamin K (phylloquinone) - 0 micrograms
- Caffeine - 0 milligrams
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.
Apples deserve to be called "nutritional powerhouses". They contain the following important nutrients:
Vitamin C - a powerful natural antioxidant capable of blocking some of the damage caused by free radicals, as well as boosting the body's resistance against infectious agents, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
B-complex vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6) - these vitamins are key in maintaining red blood cells and the nervous system in good health.
Dietary fiber - the British National Health Service says that a diet high in fiber can help prevent the development of
certain diseases and may help prevent the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood from rising.
Phytonutrients - apples are rich in polyphenolic compounds". These phytonutrients help protect the body from the detrimental effects of free radicals.
Along with other leafy greens, arugula contains very high nitrate levels (more than 250 milligrams per 100 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.
Basil is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium.
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.
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.
Cauliflowers are a member of the brassica family, more commonly known as cruciferous vegetables.
They contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that can protect against cancer.
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.