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Foods that help your body meet certain criteria. They are good sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other essential nutrients. These foods can reduce your risk of heart disease and other health problems. They are low in calories and easily available. These foods are also high in antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin E and beta carotene, which help your body fight off disease naturally. The foods in this list meet at least three of these criteria.
Almonds contain many nutrients, including magnesium, iron, fiber, calcium and riboflavin. They have more calcium than any other nut. One serving of almonds provides you half of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin E as set forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Almonds are also an excellent source of protein. The fat contained in almonds can help lower your blood cholesterol levels.
Apples are an excellent source of pectin: a type of fiber that can lower your blood cholesterol. Pectin can also lower your glucose (sugar) levels, thereby decreasing your risk for developing diabetes. Fresh apples are a good source of vitamin C, which helps keep your blood vessels healthy and allows your body to absorb iron.
Blueberries contain a rich source of phytonutrients that might help prevent you from getting a urinary tract infection. According to Mayo Clinic, blueberries can possibly also improve your short-term memory and help you age in a healthier manner.
Broccoli is a good source of nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium and calcium. It also contains phytonutrients that, according to Mayo Clinic, might help prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases and some forms of cancer. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C, which protect your body's cells from becoming damaged.
Red beans (including dark red kidney beans and small red beans) are good sources of nutrients including potassium, copper, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorous and iron. Red beans are also an excellent source of dietary fiber and protein. Red beans contain phytonutrients that, according to Mayo Clinic, may prevent chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Salmon is an excellent source of a type of fat that helps prevent your blood from forming clots that can cause heart attacks. This type of fat is called omega-3 fatty acids (also called omega-3s). According to Mayo Clinic, omega-3s might also protect your body from irregular heartbeats that can cause sudden death by heart attack. They thought to lower your blood pressure and risk of developing stroke.
Spinach is a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamins a and C and riboflavin. According to Mayo Clinic, the plant compounds contained in spinach might enhance your immune system and help keep your skin and hair healthy.