For $1.50, the price of a large bag of spinach at most grocery stores, you can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis, lower your cholesterol, and raise your I.Q. Spinach is an excellent bone-builder, containing vitamin K, calcium, and magnesium. It's also high in flavonoids, plant molecules that act as antioxidants, which have been shown to prevent breast, stomach, skin, and ovarian cancer. Spinach is a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C, which not only keep you from getting sick in the winter, but also de-clog your arteries and reduce heart disease.
Spinach contains antioxidants that neutralize free radicals in the brain, thereby preventing the effects of aging on mental activity. Scientific studies have demonstrated that both animals and people who eat a few servings of spinach per day improve their learning capacities and motor skills.
A Tufts University study found blueberries were the number one source of antioxidants among 60 fruits and vegetables analyzed. Blueberries contain antioxidants that can (get ready): prevent ulcers, cataracts, and glaucoma; decrease risks of heart disease and various types of cancer; and lower cholesterol. They can also reduce aging of the brain, keeping your memory sharp and diminishing the effects of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Eating an apple a day can keep all kinds of doctors away, from physicians to dentists. Apples contain both insoluble and soluble fiber, which not only make them filling, but also work double time to reduce cholesterol. Some doctors even recommend drinking apple juice after eating a fatty meal to reduce the food's negative effects on your body.
Apples have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. And if that's not enough to make you bite into a Fuji or McIntosh, consider this: Chewing apples stimulates saliva, which scrubs stains off your teeth and freshens breath instantly.
4. Winter Squash
One cup of winter squash provides 170 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A, a nutrient necessary for night vision that's hard to find in other foods. Squash's bright orange color comes from a high dose of carotenoids, antioxidants that prevent eye degeneration due to aging and filter out carcinogenic light rays. Makes you think of jack-o'-lanterns in a new "light," doesn't it?
Roast the seeds alongside the flesh and you'll reap a host of other benefits. Winter squash seeds contain a significant amount of L-tryptophan, which can help to prevent depression. They're also a rich source of magnesium, a mineral Americans don't consume nearly enough that's vital to almost every bodily function. Eating your daily dose of magnesium will lower your risks for heart disease, abdominal obesity, and diabetes.
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