Health Value Of Foods
A healthy diet is rich in foods with high nutritional value, providing your body with the vitamins, minerals and other food nutrients it needs to protect against disease and maintain a healthy weight. To identify healthy foods, it's important to read nutrition labels and know the source of your food. Products advertised as whole-grain, organic or fortified may not necessarily be healthy for you. Find out how to get the most health value from various fruits, nuts, spices, oils and vegetables -- and learn which types of red meat and processed foods to avoid -- with expert advice from Sharecare.
1 AnswerMs. Ashley Koff, RD , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
1 AnswerBrooke Alpert, MS, RD , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
1 AnswerSharon Richter, RD , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
1 AnswerEvidence shows that eating whole grains can benefit your brain. Do you ever notice that when you haven’t eaten carbohydrates in a while you have trouble concentrating? That’s because the brain relies on glucose, the simple form of sugar that circulates in the bloodstream, for energy. Since the brain can’t store glucose, it needs a steady supply of it to function at its best.
Whole grains, as well as other fiber-rich complex starches like beans, fruit and vegetables, digest more slowly than refined carbohydrates, providing a steady, gradual release of glucose. As a bonus, whole grains are also linked to reduced risk for heart disease.
Be sure to choose “whole grains” and read the label -- something can be “made with whole grains” but actually contain mostly refined grains. Multigrain can also be confusing; it means “made with lots of different grains” and doesn’t necessarily mean they are all whole grains.
1 AnswerBerries are not just a delicious summer treat, they can also benefit your brain by helping to keep your mind sharp. Berries contain flavonoids, which are compounds produced by plants that are associated with antioxidant properties and a number of health benefits.
Flavonoids, including anthocyanin found in red, purple and blue fruits, have been linked to better memory and delay of age-related brain decline. A study involving more than 16,000 people found that intake of blueberries and strawberries could delay cognitive decline by as much as a two and a half years. Animal studies have also shown that the flavonoids found in fruit can boost memory.
In addition to flavonoids, blueberries are also a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber.
1 AnswerDr. Maoshing Ni, PhD, LAc , Geriatric Medicine, answeredTo nourish your eyes, follow Popeye’s lead. Spinach (like other green foods) is full of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that protect your retina from the macular degeneration that comes with age. Lutein has also been found to help reduce risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. A good rule of thumb: The darker the vegetable's color, the higher the lutein content.
Don’t forget: Fat increases lutein absorption, so remember to sauté your spinach and other greens in a little olive oil. Other lutein and zeaxanthin vegetables include kale, turnip greens, collards, mustard greens, squash, green peas and broccoli.
This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.
2 AnswersHealthCorps answeredIn an effort to cut down on unhealthy saturated fats, most food experts suggest limiting red meat consumption and choosing the leanest cuts when possible. Even white meats, such as turkey and chicken, have saturated fat, especially if you eat the skin. If you're interested in adding more plant-based proteins to your diet in place of meat, you have plenty of choices. Along with nuts, seeds, legumes and beans, here are a few to consider:
- Peas: one cup of peas contains about 9 grams of protein.
- Hemp seeds: one ounce has about 10 grams of protein. It pairs well with Greek yogurt, which is also protein-packed.
- Broccoli: one cup, cooked, has about 7 grams of protein.
- Lentils: one cup cooked has 18 grams of protein
- Quinoa: one cup cooked has 9 grams of protein
1 AnswerEnvironmental Working Group (EWG) answeredAmerican children and adults alike enjoy snack bars, which are often advertised as “health” or “quick burst of energy” foods. Snack and energy bars are a surprising source of added nutrients that can be excessive for children younger than age 8, for pregnant women and for older adults, particularly post-menopausal women. A review of 1,025 snack and energy bars determined that 27 contained 50% or more of the adult daily value of preformed vitamin A, zinc and/or niacin in a single serving
1 AnswerDr. Pina LoGiudice, LAc, ND , Naturopathic Medicine, answered