Numerous food options make it hard to make a better choice for a healthy diet, so we have rounded up 20 great natural foods for you. They can help tackle health issues from high blood pressure and diabetes to obesity and heart disease. Read on to see how they work!
Speaking of the most underrated fruits, figs definitely deserve a spot. Rich in both calcium and fiber, figs provide the body with essential nutrients to improve heart health. It also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals. Best of all, this versatile fruit can be eaten in many forms: raw, dried, cooked, or even candied.
High in fiber and low in fat, kidney beans are beneficial to your heart. Also bursting with vitamins and minerals, it helps reduce the risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and heart attack. You can try to add some to soups and salads, and you will love it!
You may have doubted the health benefits of this purple vegetable. Actually, this colorful vegetable is quite powerful, because it's packed with B-vitamin folate and betaine, which help bring down homocysteine levels and lower the chances of developing heart-related diseases.
Loaded with fiber and vitamins, especially Vitamin A, E, C, and K, asparagus has entered the diets of many people. Studies have found its functions in increasing insulin levels, reducing the risk of high blood pressure, and fighting against diabetes and heart disease as well. Just having it baked, grilled or sauteed will make a great dish!
Chia seeds are a tasty addition in pudding or any kind of smoothie. The best news is that they have high amounts of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids while being super low in calories. These nutrients and antioxidants work together to lower cholesterol and keep your heart healthy.
You can find kale in almost every supermarket thanks to its popularity in recent years. It has nutrients that regulate your cardiovascular system by vital organs, including your heart. And what may surprise you is that kale has way more omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber than most other vegetables out there! It's time to add it to your meals!
You must be familiar with the benefits of this purple fruit. It is deemed as the greatest berry due to many of its functions. For instance, it regulates blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, and reduces plaque buildup in arteries. Even more, the essential nutrients and antioxidants they carry are powerful enough to prevent cancers. Remember to grab some packs in your trolley!
Either as a dish cooked on its own or as an addition to salads, quinoa tastes great. With almost twice the amount of fiber as other grains, it's a great choice for feeling full. Besides, it has high amounts of antioxidants, minerals, and various essential amino acids, helping improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing hypertension.
Though sardines may not be on the top of most people's favorite foods list, the nutrients and heart-healthy fats they contain make it a superfood. This cold fish is especially loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which is great for reducing dangerous triglyceride levels, increasing the healthy HDL cholesterol as well as stopping heart disease in its tracks.
For those who are not into fish, prepared to be surprised by mackerel. This fish has extremely high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and mineral selenium, helping the body fight against the development of heart disease or even cancer. You can take it as a great main course for dinner or a tasty addition to other dishes.
Apart from adding tasty flavor to salads or other dishes, lentils have quite a number of health benefits. Rich in proteins, potassium, and magnesium, this powerful legume can help regulate blood pressure, lower high levels of cholesterol, and eliminate dangerous plaque buildup in blood vessels. Also, it reduces the risk of strokes and heart disease.
Spinach is not only a superfood for Popeye. This leafy green is so rich in vitamin K that just half of a traditional serving can provide you with five times the recommended daily dose of this vital vitamin! It helps prevent blood clots and ensures that your bones stay strong. High in fiber, lutein, folate, and potassium, it protects you from heart disease. Feel free to take it as a salad topper or as a salad base.
Garlic has been well-known for its power in lowering blood pressure and reducing the plaque in arteries that may lead to heart problems. Besides, it can also decrease enzymes that constrict blood vessels. Its taste or lingering smell is not always palatable to everyone, so you can take it in the form of a pill as an alternative.
Who would not like nuts if they don't have cholesterol? For what it's worth, pistachio is the one! Commonly found in salads or as a standalone snack, this tiny nut has high levels of antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Better still, it is bursting with fiber and has a low-calorie density.
Cabbage may be one of the most underrated superfoods. It serves as a great low-calorie snack, yet is packed with vitamins, minerals, and important antioxidants. What most people don't know is that it contains high amounts of vitamin C, making it a great guard against heart disease. Moreover, it also helps fight sight loss and some types of cancers.
Pomegranates are often added to salads, smoothies, and shakes for their great taste. This fantastic fruit harbors an excellent mix of antioxidants that curb the accumulation of plaque on artery walls. The fruit can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, cancers, diabetes, and keep your teeth healthy.
Edamame is surely a snack that we can't live without! With tons of nutrients like plant protein and fiber, this small green food helps lower cholesterol. And it's low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Since it helps combat heart disease, it will be a smart choice if you eat it regularly.
Coconut is quite versatile, because it is not only a juicy fruit, but a great source of oil. It contains lauric acid, which helps increase low-density lipoproteins in the bloodstream. Meanwhile, coconut also contains large amounts of high-density lipoproteins. This mysterious combination is proved to improve heart health with moderate amounts.
You may find cranberries tart on their own, but they're a staple juice in households all over the world. They are also made into a Thanksgiving dessert for Americans. Since they are high in antioxidants, they lower the risks of developing heart disease. Regular intake also protects you from contracting a urinary tract infection, and reduces the chances of having stomach ulcers.
Known as the "chicken of the sea", tuna is a favorite among households. Loaded with high concentrations of amino acids, it helps promote the growth of muscle tissues. Don't fret about the price tag of fresh tuna, because canned tuna also has tons of omega-3 fatty acids, an energy booster for your heart.