Nutrients in foods support the body's repair, growth, and wellness. Nutrients we all need include vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and even a small amount of fat. A deficiency in any of these nutrients lead to our bodies not working at full capacity -- and can even cause illness.
Fill Your Plate With Essential Antioxidants
Damaging molecules called free radicals are produced in our bodies during normal body functions -- and these free radicals contribute to aging and dysfunction. Antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E combat the effects of free radicals. Antioxidants have been shown to tie up these free radicals and take away their destructive power.
Studies show that the brain is particularly at risk for free radical damage. Although there's no way to stop free radicals completely, we can reduce their destructive effect on the body by eating foods rich in antioxidants as part of a healthy diet, including:
- Sources of beta-carotene: apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, collards, peaches, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato.
- Sources of vitamin C: blueberries, broccoli, grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, tomato.
- Sources of vitamin E: margarine, nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, wheat germ.
- Good sources of healthy proteins: beans and peas, whole grains, lean beef, fish, enriched nut milk, poultry, soy products.