The oleic acid in this fruit, which is rich in “good” fats, improves cholesterol levels. At the same time, potassium and folic acids reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Avocados are the perfect choice for savory dishes. Slice an avocado and sprinkle it with sea salt for the perfect afternoon snack. Avocado cubes can be added to calcium-rich coleslaw.
Have you ever wondered why this superberry has such a deep blue color? The culprits are flavonoids, antioxidants that fight free radicals that cause heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Blueberries can spice up a typical morning meal by simply tossing them into soy yogurt or oatmeal. A unique pleasure is to eat freshly picked blueberries straight from the basket. Sometimes adding blueberries to muffins and pancakes is one way these nutritional heavyweights get into the diet, but a healthier and just as sweet alternative is to make homemade blueberry popsicles!
This immune system cleanser boasts at least two other benefits. Garlic is rich in sulfur compounds that help prevent infectious diseases, heart disease, and increase cholesterol levels. Another health benefit of garlic is its pungent taste. The fighting properties of garlic are effective in fighting bacteria, the disease will be kept aside, especially if raw garlic is eaten. For those who are not ready to chew raw cloves, you can add diced garlic to marinades and sauces, soups and salads.
Adults and teens who eat beans are 23 percent less likely to have big waists compared to people who never eat beans, so stock up on this magical product! Soluble fiber aids the digestive system and keeps cholesterol levels in check. Potassium helps lower blood pressure, while folic acid supports heart health. Bean puree can be used to create a creamy texture in soups. A handful of black beans looks good in a salad. Beans go well with other legumes and with rice.
If you thought sweet potatoes were sugar-coated members of the nightshade family, you thought wrong. These amazingly healthy vegetables actually have a lot more in common with carrots. The bright orange color of the sweet potato is due to its high levels of beta-carotene, which is known to promote skin, eye, and heart health. Sweet potatoes are an excellent component of a plant-based diet at any time of the year. It can be served as a puree along with tofu or lentils.
If you are looking for foods rich in alpha-linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid to keep your heart healthy and help your brain function optimally, walnuts are your best bet. Walnuts are also ideal in terms of fatty acid ratio and are easy to include in your daily diet. They can be added to soy yogurts or cereals at breakfast time, or toasted and mixed with a fresh vegetable salad at lunchtime. If the taste of walnuts seems unappealing to you, try using them to make homemade vegan parmesan, where the flavor of the nuts is largely masked by other ingredients and seasonings. This is a surefire way to get the essential omega-3s and a delicious side dish for many meals. Liz Miller, 2014