Like other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts are full of phytonutrients (natural plant compounds), which may help protect against cancer. They’re also a good source of:
• Vitamins A and C, which help fight against such ailments as heart disease, cancer, and cataracts (one half cup of sprouts provides more than 80 % of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C)
• Potassium, which helps lower blood pressure and maybe even cholesterol
• Folate, which is necessary for normal tissue growth and may protect against cancer, heart disease, and birth defects
• Iron, necessary for maintaining red blood cell count
• Fiber, which aids in digestion and helps lower cholesterol
Oranges are rich in antioxidants―vital for healthy cells―including vitamin C, which aids in healing, boosts your immune system, helps your body absorb iron, and even helps reduce the risk of cancer. This citrus fruit is also a good source of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and, like vitamin C, reduce your cancer risk.
Generally, most varieties are rich in vitamins C and A (in the form of beta-carotene), two antioxidants that help prevent cancer, heart disease, and some eye problems. That’s why color is important–the darker the color, the more beta-carotene and other nutrients it contains. They’re also good sources of iron and riboflavin.
A study published earlier this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that pomegranate juice may help prevent fatty deposits from forming on artery walls, while another study conducted at the University of California at Los Angeles suggests that it might help prevent prostate cancer.
Apples are firm and packed with fiber, so they demand a chewing commitment, giving your body time to register itself “full” before you scarf down too many calories. And the natural sweeteners in apples enter the bloodstream gradually, helping keep your blood sugar and insulin levels steady so you feel full longer — the opposite of many sugary snacks, which produce a quick rush followed by a hunger-inducing crash.
And thanks to two key components, pectin (a type of fiber) and polyphenols (powerful antioxidants), apples can take a bite out of blood cholesterol levels and prevent the oxidation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol — the chemical process that turns it into artery-clogging plaque. The trick to maximizing the benefit: Don’t toss the peel; apple skin has two to six times the antioxidant compounds as the flesh.
Posted on 12/17/2013 at 12:00:00 AM