I really like to refer to the 100 Healthiest Foods which is a list of foods as well as healthy-food terms that are useful and beneficial. Try to use the list next time you go grocery shopping. Here is a brief overview of some of the key healthy-food terms you should know:
- ANTHOCYANINS: These pigments come from plants and help in protection of the heart. Some foods that contain these plant pigments include: berries, grapes, eggplant, bananas, black beans and kidney beans.
- ANTIOXIDANTS: These substances help in preventing free radicals (harmful molecules) from damaging our DNA. Free radicals are contributors to heart disease, cancer and other chronic illnesses. Foods that contain these? Berries, artichokes, beans, apples carrots and yes! dark chocolate too.
- CAROTENOIDS: These antioxidant plant pigments are transformed into vitamin A. Vitamin A assists with vision, lowers risk of heart disease and cancer. Foods containing carotenoids include: A variety of vegetables like raw carrots, sweet potatoes and dark leafy greens.
- ELLAGIC ACID: This plant compound helps with reducing tumors or at least slowing down the process of growing cancerous tumors. Foods that contain Ellagic Acid include berries, walnuts and pecans.
- FLAVONOIDS: These plant pigments help in fighting cancer. Foods containing these are a variety of fruits and vegetables like blueberries, apples, plums, spinach, nuts, red wine and tea.
- FOLIC ACID: Folic acid is important with helping prevent birth defects as well as being linked to the prevention of heart issues. Foods containing Folic Acid include: beans, legumes, dark leafy greens, citrus juice, fortified cereals.
- INDOLES: These phytochemicals are cancer fighters and some foods that contain Indoles are cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or brussel sprouts, also, spinach, oranges and bellpeppers.
- ISOFLAVONES: These compounds help in maintaining and improving bone density. Foods in this selection include soy products like edamame and soy nuts.
- ISOTHIOCYANATES: Once again, these compounds help in the fight against cancer. Foods containing Isothiocyanates include watercress, turnip greens, mustard greens, cabbage, kale, horseradish and more...
- LIGNANS: These phytoestrogens are estrogen-like chemicals found in plant foods like flaxseed, other seeds like cashews, whole wheat products, many vegetables like cauliflower, mushrooms and carrots.
- MONOUNSATURATED FAT: The heart-healthy type of fat found in avocados, nuts, olives and olive oil.
- OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS: This type of fat assists with lowering the risk of heart disease. Foods containing these fatty acids include: halibut, herring, mackerel, oysters, sardines, trout and salmon as well as eggs, milk, watercress, brussel sprouts and more.
It seems like a lot, but it helps with choosing the right foods the next time you go grocery shopping. After all, it is up to us to take care of our bodies.