One cup of chopped cabbage has just 22 calories, and it’s loaded with valuable nutrients. At the top of the list is sulforaphane, a chemical that increases your body’s production of enzymes that disarm cell-damaging free radicals and reduce your risk of cancer. In fact, Stanford University scientists determined that sulforaphane boosts your levels of these cancer-fighting enzymes higher than any other plant chemical.
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This superfood gives you protein and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, as well as about twice as much iron as other legumes. And lentils are higher in most B vitamins and folate, which is especially important for women of childbearing age because folate reduces the risk of birth defects. Plus, U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers discovered that the pigment in Beluga black lentils acts like an antioxidant and helps protect against heart disease, cancer, and the aging process in general.
5. Swiss Chard!
Swiss chard stands second only to spinach among the list of World’s Healthiest Vegetables. Earthy and salty in taste, Swiss chard is packed with vitamins, phytochemicals and minerals. This vegetable also boasts high protein and high fiber. And with the low amount of calories, Swiss chard provides an excellent source of antioxidants and fiber.
Coriander has so many benefits that a book can be written on them. It has eleven components of essential oils, six types of acids (including ascorbic acid, better known as vitamin-C), minerals and vitamins, each having a number of beneficial properties.
Walnuts and fish are excellent sources of omega-3s, but so are flaxseeds. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of omega-3s is 1.1 grams a day, and one tablespoon of flaxseed offers 1.8 grams.
The omega-3s in flaxseed can help reduce the inflammation that leads to conditions such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, and osteoporosis.
Rich in vitamins and minerals – such as selenium, boron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, E and amino acids – it’s a great natural source of trace minerals. And due to its naturally salty taste, many people use it as a salt substitute.
Kelp is also rich in iodine, which is an essential element for body functions. Iodine specifically helps your thyroid – which controls metabolism, energy and growth – function properly. The thyroid absorbs iodide and releases hormones back into your body. If your body is deficient in iodine, it reduces your metabolism, slowing it down as much as 50 percent. This may be a major factor in being overweight or obese. Kelp helps supplement your iodine intake, which will increase thyroid function and thus metabolism. And the natural iodine found in kelp is safer and often more effective than chemical iodine.
A study done by the USDA found that artichokes have more antioxidants than any other vegetable and they ranked seventh in a study of the antioxidant levels of 1,000 different foods. Some of the powerful antioxidants in artichokes are quercertin, rutin, anthocyanins, cynarin, luteolin, and silymarin.
Thanks to cynarin and another antioxidant, silymarin, artichokes are very beneficial to the liver. Studies have found they may even regenerate liver tissue. Artichokes have long been used in folk and alternative medicine as a treatment for liver ailments and the scientific studies are now proving them to be correct.
Artichokes help the digestive system. They are a natural diuretic, they aid digestion, improve gallbladder function and, as mentioned above, they are of great benefit to the liver.