The top ten Best Foods are avocado, coconut and coconut oil, blueberries, onions, kale, spinach, lentils, almonds (nut/milk/butter), fresh vegetable and fruit juice and turmeric.
The saturated fat in avocados is harmless being from a natural whole food (Bowden, 2007, p.98).
Avocados are rich in
An avocado contains a few hundred calories, is filling, delicious and hardly affects blood sugar (Bowden, 2007, p.98).
Coconut and its oil have been found to be one of the healthiest foods (Bowden, 2007, p.107).
The saturated fats in coconut are mainly medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easier to metabolize unlike their long-chain counterpart, and used for energy rather than stored as fat (Bowden, 2007, p.107).
Lauric acid, comprising fifty percent of the fat in coconut oil, is antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial and vital to immune health (Bowden, 2007, p.108). It prevents digestive disorders and supports gut ecology by killing the bad bacteria and fungi, leaving the friendly bacteria unharmed (Bowden, 2007, p.301). Capric acid, about seven percent of the fat in coconut oil, also has antiviral properties (Bowden, 2007, p.108).
MCTs may be useful in some cancers and boosting immunity (Bowden, 2007, p.108).
Experts believe that coconut oil has a neutral effect on blood cholesterol (Bowden, 2007, p.301).
Coconut is beneficial for everyone (Bowden, 2007, p.109). Being stable in high temperatures, coconut oil can be used for cooking (Bowden, 2007, p.245).
Blueberries have been found to be one of the least pesticide-ridden fruits (Bowden, 2007, p.72).
Blueberries are rich in the anti-inflammatory antioxidant anthocyanin, making it useful in preventing degenerative diseases, including cancer. It also improves vision and brain function, and prevents macular degeneration (Bowden, 2007, p.164).
Blueberries may help neurons in the brain communicate more effectively (Bowden, 2007, p.101)
Blueberries contain polyphenols, shown to improve memory. Studies demonstrate that daily consumption significantly reduces age-related impairments in motor coordination and memory. Furthermore, they may help lower blood cholesterol and promote urinary health (Bowden, 2007, p.102).
Blueberries also contain other antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which help prevent cardiovascular disease, and pterostilbene, shown to also lower cholesterol (Bowden, 2007, p.102).
Half a cup a day of blueberries will provide these benefits (Bowden, 2007, p.102).
Blueberries have been tested to have one of the highest ORAC (a measure of antioxidant capacity) values of any food (Bowden, 2007, p.102).
The Environment Working Group's 2003 list shows onions as one of the foods least contaminated with pesticides (Bowden, 2007, p.53).
Research has confirmed that the allium vegetable family, which includes onions, has cancer-fighting properties (Bowden, 2007, p.52).
It is hypothesized that diallyl sulfide in onions increases the body's production of glutathione-S-transferase, a cancer-fighting enzyme (Bowden, 2007, p.53).
Studies have shown onions importance in building strong bones (Bowden, 2007, p.53).
Onions may also reduce coronary heart disease mortality with other foods, including broccoli, tea and apples (Bowden, 2007, p.53).
Being powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiviral, onions have been shown to be beneficial to allergy and asthma sufferers. They contain many important flavonoids, especially quercetin, an anti-inflammatory which supports the immune system and improves prostate health (Bowden, 2007, p.53).
They also contain a host of sulfides, which may lower blood lipids and blood pressure (Bowden, 2007, p.53).
Onions contain a whole range of health-promoting compounds, including the smelly sulfur compounds; the stronger-tasting onions being superior (Bowden, 2007, p.53).
Kale has antioxidant power; it contains powerful phytochemicals like cancer-fighting indoles which have been found to prevent breast, cervical, and colon cancer (Bowden, 2007, p.46).
It contains sulforaphane, which help boost the body's detoxification enzymes and may also help fight cancer (Bowden, 2007, p.46).
Kale contains seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli and ten times as much eye-protecting carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin (Bowden, 2007, p.46).
Kale is rich in vitamin K which is important for building strong bones (Bowden, 2007, p.60).
Kale can be used in salads or lightly tossed in olive oil (Bowden, 2007, p.47).
Kale has been tested to have the highest ORAC values among the vegetables (Bowden, 2007, p.46).
Lentils are loaded with fiber, especially soluble fiber, making it a low glycemic food useful for better weight management. The fiber helps reduce cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar (Bowden, 2007, p.88).
Lentils are moderate in protein, making them a great meat alternative (Bowden, 2007, p.88).
It is a good source for manganese, an important trace mineral essential for growth, reproduction, wound healing, peak brain function, and proper metabolism of sugars, insulin and cholesterol (Bowden, 2007, p.88).
Lentils are a great source of folate and at least seven minerals (Bowden, 2007, p.88).
The Environment Working Group's 2003 list shows spinach as one of the foods most contaminated with pesticides, so buying organic is recommended (Bowden, 2007, p.61).
Spinach is packed with
Spinach has been tested to have the second highest ORAC values, after kale, among the vegetables (Bowden, 2007, p.46.
Almonds are a good source of protein, essential fatty acids, fiber, and magnesium. Its fat and protein content are highly satiating, and moderate consumption may promote weight loss (Bowden, 2007, p.147).
Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats, which have heart-health benefits beyond the reduction of cholesterol (Bowden, 2007, p.147). Studies have shown its association with lower levels of heart disease and cancer, and longer life spans (Bowden, 2007, p.148).
Almonds are rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin E (Bowden, 2007, p.148).
Almonds contain virtually no carbohydrates, making them a perfect food for diabetics. It can be taken as is or as nut butter with pieces of fruit or a few sticks of celery for great nutrient-dense snack (Bowden, 2007, p.148).
Juicing is an excellent way to maximize the benefits of fruits and vegetables, with the benefits of live enzymes contained in them, but without the fiber (Bowden, 2007, p.255). The ability to absorb hundreds of nutrients, phytochemicals, phenols, antioxidants, and enzymes is enhanced (Bowden, 2007, p.256).
Homemade freshly squeezed juices are vitamin powerhouses. By using more low-sugar vegetables together with some carefully chosen fruits for flavor and additional nutrients, the natural sugar content can be lowered (Bowden, 2007, p.256).
One to two tablespoon of omega-3-rich fish oil or a whole egg can be added to the freshly made juice to make the nutrition more complete and absorbable, with a lower "glycemic load" (Bowden, 2007, p.256).
Use unpeeled fruits, like lemons, limes and oranges, as there are hundreds of valuable phytochemicals in their peels (Bowden, 2007, p.257).
Turmeric, a kind of ginger, has an encyclopedic list of health benefits (Bowden, 2007, p.292).
Turmeric is known for its phenomenal anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties due to the presence of curcumin (Bowden, 2007, p.292).
Benefits of Curcumin
Turmeric has many uses besides cooking. At the first sign of sore throat, Deepak Chopra recommends mixing turmeric powder with some honey and coating the throat with it. Turmeric can also be mixed into a paste with water and applied directly to irritated skin (including pimples) before bedtime (Bowden, 2007, p.293).
Turmeric has traditional purifying effects useful in a detoxification program according to Deepak Chopra (Bowden, 2007, p.293).