1 – Apples
Apples are an excellent source of antioxidants, which combat free radicals. Free radicals are damaging substances generated in the body that cause undesirable changes and are involved in the aging process and some diseases.
Some animal studies have found that an antioxidant found in apples (polyphenols) might extend lifespans.
Researchers at The Florida State University said that apples are a “miracle fruit”.
In their study, the investigators found that older women who starting a regime of eating apples daily experienced a 23 percent drop in levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and a 4% increase in good cholesterol (HDL) after just six months.
2 – Almonds
Second on our list of top 10 healthy foods is almonds. Almonds are rich in nutrients, including magnesium, vitamin E, iron, calcium, fiber, and riboflavin. A scientific review published in Nutrition Reviews3 found that almonds as a food may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Almonds have more fiber than any other tree nut.
The fatty acid profile of almonds, which is made up of 91-94% unsaturated fatty acids, may partly explain why it helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
3 – Broccoli
Broccoli is rich in fiber, calcium, potassium, folate and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds which reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Broccoli also contains vitamin C, as well as beta-carotene, an antioxidant.
A single 100 gram serving of broccoli can provide you with over 150 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which in large doses can potentially shorten the duration of the common cold.7
Another ingredient, sulforphane, which exists in broccoli, is also said to have anti-cancer as well as anti-inflammatory qualities. However, overcooking can destroy most of the benefits.
4 – Blueberries
Blueberries are rich in fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are natural chemicals found in plants.
Unlike minerals and vitamins that are also found in plant foods, phytonutrients are not essential for keeping us alive. However, they may help prevent disease and keep the body working properly.
According to a study carried out at Harvard Medical School, elderly people who eat plenty of blueberries (and strawberries) are less likely to suffer from cognitive decline, compared to other people of their age who do not.10
Scientists at Texas Woman’s University found that blueberries help in curbing obesity. Plant polyphenols, which are abundant in blueberries, have been shown to reduce the development of fat cells (adipogenesis), while inducing the breakdown of lipids and fat (lipolysis).
Regular blueberry consumption can reduce the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) by 10%, because of the berry’s bioactive compounds, anthocyanins, scientists from East Anglia University, England, and Harvard University, USA reported in the American Journal of Nutrition.
5 – Oily fish
Examples of oily fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies.
These types of fish have oil in their tissues and around the gut. Their lean fillets contain up to 30% oil, specifically, omega-3 fatty acids. These oils are known to provide benefits for the heart, as well as the nervous system.
Oily fish are also known to provide benefits for patients with inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis.
Oily fish also contain vitamins A and D.
Scientists at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center found that prostate cancer progression was significantly slowed when patients went on a low-fat diet with fish oil supplements.