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Top healthful foods

Brazil nut

Selection of nuts and seeds.

Nuts, pulses, and grains are in important part of a healthy diet.

Brazil nuts, (Bertholletia excels) are some of the most healthful nuts on the planet. In Brazil, they are called ‘castanhas-do-pará’ – which translates as “chestnuts from Pará.” Pará is a state in northern Brazil.

They are rich in protein and carbohydrates. They are also excellent sources of vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc.

Not only that, but they contain one of the highest amounts of selenium of any food; selenium is a vital mineral for maintaining thyroid function.

The nuts come in a hard shell and are often served prepared ready to eat, making them an excellent and nutritious, healthful snack

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is meal made from rolled or ground oats. Interest in oatmeal has increased considerably over the last 20 years because of its health benefits.

Research found that the cereal’s soluble fiber content helps lower cholesterol levels. When these findings were published in the 1980s, an “oat bran craze” spread across the U.S. and Western Europe.

In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed that foods with high levels of rolled oats or oat bran could include data on their labels about their cardiovascular heart benefits if accompanied with a low-fat diet. This was followed by another surge in oatmeal popularity.

 

Oats are rich in complex carbohydrates, as well as water-soluble fiber, which slow digestion down and stabilize levels of blood-glucose. Oatmeal is rich in B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. Coarse or steel-cut oats contain more fiber than instant varieties.

 

Wheat germ

Wheat germ is the part of wheat that germinates to grow into a plant – the embryo of the seed. Germ, along with bran, is a by-product of milling; when cereals are refined, the germ and bran are often milled out.

Wheat germ is high in several vital nutrients, such as vitamin E, folic acid (folate), thiamin, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, as well as fatty alcohols and essential fatty acids. Wheat germ is also a good source of fiber.

There is an excellent selection online with thousands of customer reviews if you want to buy almonds, Brazil nuts, lentils, oatmeal, and wheat germ.

Broccoli

A selection of fruits, leafy greens, and vegetables.

Fruits, leafy greens, and vegetables contain vital nutrients and fiber.

Broccoli is rich in fiber, calcium, potassium, folate, and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds that 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.

Another ingredient, sulforphane, is also said to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory qualities.

However, overcooking broccoli can destroy many of its nutrients. Eating it raw or lightly steamed is best.

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. They 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 Florida State University said that apples are a “miracle fruit.” In their study, the investigators found that older women who started a regime of eating apples daily experienced a 23 percent drop in levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and a 4 percent increase in good cholesterol (HDL) after just 6 months.

Blueberries

Blueberries are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Unlike minerals and vitamins, 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, older adults who eat plenty of blueberries (and strawberries) are less likely to suffer from cognitive decline, compared with other people of their age who do not.

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 percent, because of the berry’s bioactive compounds, anthocyanins. Scientists from East Anglia University and Harvard University reported in the American Journal of Nutrition.

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