7 Foods With Special Health Perks

Potatoes for lower blood pressure?  Sauerkraut for a healthy stomach?  What’s surprisingly good for you?  Coconut water, chia seeds, acai berry—there seems to be a new exotic or hard-to-find “super food” every month. So you might be surprised to hear that some items you keep stocked in your refrigerator or kitchen pantry also pack some phenomenal health benefits. Here are seven examples, plus tips on how to incorporate them into your diet deliciously.

  1. A RED BELL PEPPER contains more vitamin C than an orange.  Most people associate immunity-boosting vitamin C with citrus fruit.  But 1 cup of chopped red bell pepper has more than twice the amount of vitamin C of a medium-sized orange.  
  1. POTATOES can lower blood pressure. Those starchy veggies get a bad rap because of their high carbohydrate content. But purple and white potatoes, rich in the minerals magnesium and potassium, can help to lower the risk of hypertension, according to a 2013 review in the Annals of Medicine.
  1. PEAS are a good source of protein. You may have added tofu or beans to your diet as sources of protein. But green peas are also a great source of the nutrient, which builds muscle. One cup has 8 grams of protein, 2 grams more than you’ll find in a large egg.
  1. PARSLEY has a lot of vitamin K.  A quarter-cup of this chopped garnish packs 246 micrograms of bone-building vitamin K, almost three times the amount you need in a day.
  1. POPCORN is a whole grain. This snack food is one of the most nutritious ones around, because it’s a fiber-rich, heart disease-preventing whole grain. Just be careful what you put on it. Loads of butter or movie theater “buttery topping” can pile on empty calories.
  1. SAUERKRAUT is probiotic-packed.  You probably think of yogurt as the go-to source for healthy bacteria to keep your gut in balance. But pickled foods such as kimchee and sauerkraut can also be rich in probiotics.

RASPBERRIES have more fiber than most other fruit.  A cup of raspberries has 8 grams of digestion-aiding, fill-you-up fiber. A cup of apple slices has only about 3 grams.

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