All vegetables and fruits are nutritious, but these picks have the highest levels of good-for-you nutrients that help ward off disease, enhance cognition, and keep your heart healthy.
1. Sweet Potato
Along with squash and carrots, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant that protects vision. Beta-carotene may also help reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancers in post-menopausal women.
2. Sweet Red Peppers
Surprisingly, sweet red peppers have twice the vitamin C of oranges. This important vitamin is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Rich in flavonoids, broccoli helps fight oxidative stress, which damages cells and leads to inflammation. Broccoli may help ward off hear disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
4. Dark Leafy Greens
People who eat more greens score better on tests measuring general cognition and memory (versus those that eat greens less often). Greens are brimming with iron, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Tomatoes are nature's best source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may reduce cholesterol levels and protect against advanced-stage prostate cancer.
This fruit is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, which can help lower cholesterol levels when eaten instead of harmful saturated fats.
Blueberries may help lower the risk of developing diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Blueberries contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant that may help protect memory and cognition as you age.
High in fiber, raspberries help keep you regular. They are also a source of the antioxidant ellagic acid, which has been linked to the prevention of cervical cancer.
With almost 400mg of potassium per serving, bananas are important for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Potassium acts to counterbalance sodium, so blood pressure stays in control.
Cherries have a lower glycemic index that most other fruits, so they won't wreak havoc on blood sugar levels. Plus cherries may help relieve symptoms of gout and arthritis.