It may come as a shock to regular readers of health publications, but there is no such thing as a superfood. While sensational headlines are full of magical foods that can transform your life, no particular food can cure a disease unless your disease is caused by the lack of a particular nutrient a particular food may contain.
Scurvy, for instance, which is caused by a lack of vitamin C, might be cured by consuming oranges. No single food will add years to your life, make you jump higher, melt your body fat, erase your crow’s feet, or smooth your cellulite.
Scientific studies have shown us that no particular diet, be it high-protein, low-carbohydrate, vegan, paleo, low-fat, gluten-free, low-glycemic, dairy-free, or any combination thereof is the best diet.
Rather, it seems the magic bullet is choosing a variety of real foods and avoiding processed foods as much as possible. Eating a diet rich in a variety of the right foods will increase the odds in your favor of living a longer life free of chronic illness.
Here are 8 fruits and vegetables that you should consider including in your diet.
Raspberries are rich in quercetin and gallic acid, which are flavonoids linked to healthy heart function, and they provide protection against obesity. Raspberries have also been shown to promote healthy cell life and regulate normal cell death.
Oranges are high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body against free radicals, which are roaming atoms with an unpaired electron. Free radicals can damage cells. Vitamin C renders free radicals harmless by pairing off the free electron. Oranges also contain a flavonoid called herperidin, which is contained in the white part of the orange peel. Hesperidin has been shown to help regulate blood pressure.
Technically an herb, not a fruit, the banana is a terrific source of potassium, which is essential to good cardiovascular health. Bananas also help the body absorb calcium, and are a great source of vitamin B6, which helps the body produce serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter that can help stave off depression.
Kiwi has even more vitamin C than oranges, along with vitamin E and other antioxidant nutrients. This along with potassium, fiber, magnesium, and zinc make kiwi a nutritional powerhouse.
Eggplant contains a host of phytochemicals that help support health, chief among them chlorogenic acid, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants found in our foods.
Forget the myth that the avocado is a fat bomb. In truth, the avocado contains almost 20 vitamins and minerals, and the fat it contains is the good kind that actually lowers your cholesterol levels.
Tomatoes are a nutritionally potent fruit disguised as a vegetable. They are chock-full of a phytochemical called lycopene, which appears to protect cell DNA and is believed to act as a powerful anti-carcinogen.
This delicious fungi contains ergothioneine, an antioxidant that may help fight off cancer. Additionally, mushrooms are high in vitamin D and riboflavin.