The 7 Healthiest Foods on the Planets


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Healthy Food #1: Lemons
Why They're Healthy:
— Just one lemon has more than 100 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C, which may help increase "good" HDL cholesterol levels and strengthen bones.
— Citrus flavonoids found in lemons may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and act as an anti-inflammatory.
Quick Tip:
Add a slice of lemon to your green tea. One study found that citrus increases your body's ability to absorb the antioxidants in the tea by about 80 percent.
Healthy Food #2: Broccoli
Why It's Healthy:
— One medium stalk of broccoli contains more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement and almost 200 percent of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C — two essential bone-building nutrients.
— The same serving also helps stave off numerous cancers.
Quick Tip:
Zap it! Preserve up to 90 percent of broccoli's vitamin C by microwaving. (Steaming or boiling holds on to just 66 percent of the nutrient.)
Healthy Food #3: Dark Chocolate
Why It's Healthy:
— Just one-fourth of an ounce daily can reduce blood pressure in otherwise healthy individuals.
— Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants shown to reduce "bad" LDL cholesterol and increase "good" HDL levels.
Quick Tip:
A dark chocolate bar contains about 53.5 milligrams of flavonoids; a milk chocolate bar has fewer than 14.
Healthy Food #4: Potatoes
Why They're Healthy:
— One red potato contains 66 micrograms of cell-building folate — about the same amount found in one cup of spinach or broccoli.
— One sweet potato has almost eight times the amount of cancer-fighting and immune-boosting vitamin A you need daily.
Quick Tip:
Let your potato cool before eating. Research shows that doing so can help you burn close to 25 percent more fat after a meal, thanks to a fat-resistant starch.
Healthy Food #5: Salmon
Why It's Healthy:
— A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a reduced risk of depression, heart disease, and cancer.
— A 3-ounce serving contains almost 50 percent of your daily dose of niacin, which may protect against Alzheimer's disease and memory loss.
Quick Tip:
Opt for wild over farm-raised, which contains 16 times as much toxic polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) as wild salmon.
Healthy Food #6: Walnuts
Why They're Healthy:
— Contain the most omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce cholesterol, of all nuts.
— Omega-3s have been shown to improve mood and fight cancer; they may protect against sun damage, too (but don't skip the SPF!).
Quick Tip:
Eat a few for dessert: The antioxidant melatonin, found in walnuts, helps to regulate sleep.
Healthy Food #7: Avocados
Why They're Healthy:
— Rich in healthy, satisfying fats proven in one study to lower cholesterol by about 22 percent.
— One has more than half the fiber and 40 percent of the folate you need daily, which may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Quick Tip:
Adding it to your salad can increase the absorption of key nutrients like beta-carotene by three to five times compared with salads without this superfood.


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