1 - Apples
Apples are an excellent source of antioxidants, which combat free radicals. Free radicals are damaging substances generated in the body that cause undesirable changes and are involved in the aging process and some diseases.
Some animal studies have found that an antioxidant found in apples (polyphenols) might extend lifespans.
2 - Almonds
Almonds are rich in nutrients, including magnesium, vitamin E, iron, calcium, fiber, and riboflavin. A scientific review published in Nutrition Reviews3 found that almonds as a food may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
3 - Broccoli
Broccoli is rich in fiber, calcium, potassium, folate and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds which reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Broccoli also contains vitamin C, as well as beta-carotene, an antioxidant.
4 - Blueberries
5 - Oily fish
6 - Leafy green vegetables
Studies have shown that a high intake of dark-leafy vegetables, such as spinach or cabbage may significantly lower a person's risk of developing diabetes type 2.
Researchers at the University of Leicester, England, said that the impact of dark green vegetables on human health should be investigated further, after they gathered data from six studies. They reported their findings in the BMJ.16
Spinach, for example, is very rich in antioxidants, especially when uncooked, steamed or very lightly boiled. It is a good source of vitamins A, B6, C, E and K, as well as selenium, niacin, zinc, phosphorus, copper, folic acid, potassium, calcium, manganese, betaine, and iron.
7 - Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber, beta carotene, complex carbohydrates, vitamin C, vitamin B6, as well as carotene (the pink, yellow ones).
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, USA, compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables.17 The sweet potato ranked number one, when vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, protein and complex carbohydrates were considered.
8 - Wheat germ
Wheat germ is the part of wheat that germinates to grow into a plant - the embryo of the seed. Germ, along with bran, is commonly a by-product of the milling; when cereals are refined, the germ and bran are often milled out.
Wheat germ is high in several vital nutrients, such as vitamin E, folic acid (folate), thiamin, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, as well as fatty alcohols and essential fatty acids.
Wheat germ is also a good source of fiber.
9 - Avocados
Many people avoid avocados because of its high fat content; they believe that avoiding all fats leads to better health and easier-to-control body weight - this is a myth. Approximately 75% of the calories in an avocado come from fat; mostly monosaturated fat.
Weight-for-weight, avocados have 35% more potassium than bananas.
Avocados are also very rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamin K and vitamin E.
Avocados also have a very high fiber content of 25% soluble and 75% insoluble fiber.
Studies have shown that regular avocado consumption lowers blood cholesterol levels.
Avocado extracts are currently being studied in the laboratory to see whether they might be useful for treating diabetes or hypertension.
10 - Oats
Oats is rich in complex carbohydrates, as well as water-soluble fiber, which slow digestion down and stabilize levels of blood-glucose.
Oatmeal is very rich in B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium.
Studies have shown that if you eat a bowl of oatmeal everyday your blood cholesterol levels, especially if they are too high, will drop, because of the cereal's soluble fiber content.