1. Spinach – Spinach is the best source of omega-3s (plant-based), and folate, both help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Incorporate Spinach into your salads, add spinach to scrambled eggs,or drape it over just about anything!
2. Blueberries – Blueberries have more antioxidants than any other North American fruit, blueberries help prevent cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes (they are nicknamed “brain berry”). Blueberries are rich in fiber and vitamins A and C, they also boost cardiovascular health. Aim for 1 cup fresh blueberries a day, or 1/2 cup frozen or dried. Stick them into yogurt, cereal, or a smoothie. Of course they are great alone!
3. Yogurt – Yogurt containing probiotics will boost your immune system by building the gut lining. One ailment I test for in my office is candid/yeast, when positive I treat with probiotics. Not all yogurts have probiotics, so make sure the label says “live and active cultures.” Aim for 1 cup of the calcium and protein-rich yogurt a day. Avoid yogurts with high sugar content, goat yogurt is most preferred.
4. Walnuts – Walnuts are richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon, loaded with more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine, and packing half as much muscle-building protein as chicken. Other nuts combine only one or two of these features, not all three. A serving of walnuts–about 1 ounce, or 7 nuts–is good anytime, but especially as a postworkout recovery snack. Walnuts are great sprinkled over a salad.
5. Tomatoes – Red are the best, because they’re packed with more of the antioxidant lycopene, and processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones, because it’s easier for the body to absorb the lycopene. Diets rich in lycopene can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Aim for 22 mg of lycopene a day, which is about eight red cherry tomatoes or a glass of tomato juice.