SuperFoods That Power You Up

16 tasty ways you may improve memory, lower blood pressure, even boost the immune system!

– There’s more than caffeine in your morning cup of coffee. It’s loaded
with antioxidants, which can protect against cell damage and reduce your
risk of chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

– Long known for its ability to fight bacteria, thyme—in tincture form—was recently found to be as effective as prescription creams in treating acne.

WILD SALMON – Chock-full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, wild salmon can be a powerful ally in the fight against premature aging. New research shows that a diet abundant in omega-3s can help preserve small bits of DNA on the ends of cells, called telomeres. Shorter telomeres have been linked to early aging and even premature death.

KALE – Rich in vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting, kale also contains lutein, a nutrient that reduces the risk of cataracts and other eye disorders. One serving of cooked kale has nearly triple the amount of lutein that a serving of raw spinach has.

– Once reviled for their high fat content (a medium avocado has 22 grams of fat), avocados have regained favor as a good source of glutathione, an antioxidant that improves overall hormone function.

– Used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine to aid digestion and diminish inflammation, basil and mint (a basil relative) are also strong sources of luteolin, which may boost the immune system.

OIL – Key ingredients in the Mediterranean diet, olives and olive oil are known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. A study from the American Academy of Neurology found that olive oil may reduce the risk of stroke by up to 41 percent.

WALNUTS – Ounce for ounce, walnuts have almost twice as many antioxidants as any other nut. Plus, they contain high levels of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, which enhance heart health.

GREEN TEA – Abundant in catechins, a type of antioxidant known to protect cells, green tea may also reduce the risk of certain cancers, particularly those of the stomach and esophagus.

POTATOES – With their generous helpings of vitamin B6 and potassium, sweet potatoes can help protect the immune system and regulate blood pressure. When eaten with the skins, they have more fiber than a cup of oatmeal.

DARK CHOCOLATE – Rich in flavonoids, dark chocolate can aid in decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In fact, the British journal BMJ reports that daily consumption of chocolate with at least 60 percent cocoa may reduce heart attacks and strokes in high-risk individuals.

ASPARAGUS – A natural diuretic, asparagus is high in potassium and vitamin B12, important for cell repair and maintenance. New research has also shown that B12 can boost the auditory system: People with low levels have a 39 percent increased risk of hearing loss.

– With high levels of antioxidants, pomegranates can help keep the cardiovascular system healthy. Case in point: According to a 2011 British study, drinking a 17-ounce glass of pomegranate juice every day lowered blood pressure.

GARLIC – Sulfur compounds in garlic give this herb both its potent smell and its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. When garlic is crushed, it releases allicin, which wards off heart attacks and strokes.

YOGURT – Known for restoring balance to the gastrointestinal tract, yogurt with live cultures may improve heart health. One study found that participants were 31 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure if they ate just 6 ounces of
yogurt every three days.

BLUEBERRIES – Loaded with antioxidants, blueberries rank among the top disease-fighting foods. Among recent findings: A diet high in blueberries may reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by 33 percent and stave off memory loss by several years.

PEPITAS – Put some pep in your step with our raw pepitas! These tasty pumpkin seeds pack an irresistible crunch along with a major health punch. High in protein and healthy fats, pepitas are a good-for-you, satisfying snack. Toss them in salads, mix them in trail mix, or add them to your favorite recipes for a boost of nutrition. You’ll agree that their delicious nutty flavor is simply delightful.

To view the full chart, click here. Happy Eating!

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