Making changes to your diet is one of the easiest ways to manage and take control of your health. In addition to providing the energy you need, the foods you consume on a daily basis could also benefit your health in myriad ways, from preventing cancer to protecting you against heart disease. Here are some of the world’s most nutritious foods that should be staples in your diet.
Despite their fat, or actually because of it, avocados can lower your cholesterol. Researchers find that replacing just five percent of your calories from saturated fat (think butter or cheese) with monounsaturated fat – the kind in avocados – could slash the risk of heart attack by more than a third. An added benefit: Avocados are also high in beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol that blocks the absorption of cholesterol from food, and the anticancer compound glutathione, a powerful antioxidant.
Beans are in fact good for your heart, thanks in large part to their soluble fibre, which soaks up cholesterol so the body can dispose of it before it can stick to artery walls. Studies find that diets high in soluble fibre can cut total cholesterol by 10 to 15 percent. The same soluble fibre, combined with beans’ protein, makes beans beneficial to blood sugar. Their magnesium helps relax arteries, giving blood more room to flow and lowering blood pressure. Finally, a recent study ranked beans among the top antioxidant foods.