Wednesday, July 16, 2008

8 Daily Diet Foods

8 Foods You Should Eat Every Day

1. Spinach
Sexual enhancement, Muscle growth, Heart healthy, Bone builder, Enhances eyesight-

It may be green and leafy, but spinach is also the ultimate man food. This noted biceps builder is a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Bonus: Folate also increases blood flow to the penis. And spinach is packed with lutein, a compound that fights age-related macular degeneration. Aim for 1 cup fresh spinach or 1/2 cup cooked per day.

2. Yogurt
Cancer fighter, Bone builder, Boosts immunity -

Various cultures claim yogurt as their own creation, but the 2,000-year-old food's health benefits are not disputed: Fermentation spawns hundreds of millions of probiotic organisms that serve as reinforcements to the battalions of beneficial bacteria in your body, which boost the immune system and provide protection against cancer. Not all yogurts are probiotic though, so make sure the label says "live and active cultures." Aim for 1 cup of the calcium and protein-rich goop a day.

3. Tomatoes

Cancer fighter, Heart healthy, Boosts immunity -

There are two things you need to know about tomatoes: Red are the best, because they're packed with more of the antioxidant lycopene, and processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones, because it's easier for the body to absorb the lycopene. Studies show that a diet rich in lycopene can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Aim for 22 mg of lycopene a day, which is about eight red cherry tomatoes or a glass of tomato juice.

4. Carrots

Cancer fighter, Boosts immunity, Enhances eyesight-

Most red, yellow, or orange vegetables and fruits are spiked with carotenoids — fat-soluble compounds that are associated with a reduction in a wide range of cancers, as well as reduced risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis — but none are as easy to prepare, or have as low a caloric density, as carrots. Aim for 1/2 cup a day.

5. Blueberries

Brain stimulant, Cancer fighter, Heart healthy, Boosts immunity -

Host to more antioxidants than any other popular fruit, blueberries help prevent cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes (hence the nickname "brain berry"). Studies show that blueberries, which are rich in fiber and vitamins A and C, boost cardiovascular health. Aim for 1 cup fresh blueberries a day, or 1/2 cup frozen or dried.

6. Black Beans

Muscle growth, Brain stimulant, Heart healthy -

All beans are good for your heart, but none can boost your brain power like black beans. That's because they're full of anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve brain function. A daily ½cup serving provides 8 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber, and is low in calories and free of saturated fat.

8. Walnuts

Muscle growth, Brain stimulant, Cancer fighter, Heart healthy, Boosts immunity -

Richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon, loaded with more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine, and packing half as much muscle-building protein as chicken, the walnut sounds like a Frankenfood, but it grows on trees. Other nuts combine only one or two of these features, not all three. A serving of walnuts — about 1 ounce, or seven nuts — is good anytime, but especially as a postworkout recovery snack.

8. Oats

Muscle growth, Brain stimulant, Heart healthy -

The √©minence grise of health food, oats garnered the FDA's first seal of approval. They are packed with soluble fiber, which lowers the risk of heart disease. Yes, oats are loaded with carbs, but the release of those sugars is slowed by the fiber, and because oats also have 10 grams of protein per ½-cup serving, they deliver steady muscle-building energy.
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