There are many super foods that never see the inside of a shopping cart. Some you’ve never heard of, and others you’ve simply forgotten about. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best of the bunch. Make a place for them on your table and you’ll instantly upgrade your health—without a prescription.
Cabbage:Absent from most American kitchens, this cruciferous vegetable is a major player in European and Asian diets.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.
Beets:These grungy-looking roots are naturally sweeter than any other vegetable, which means they pack tons of flavor underneath their rugged exterior.Think of beets as red spinach. Just like Popeye’s power food this crimson vegetable is one of the best sources of both folate and betaine. These two nutrients work together to lower your blood levels of homocysteine, an inflammatory compound that can damage your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease. Plus, the natural pigments—called betacyanins—that give beets their color have been proved to be potent cancer fighters in laboratory mice.
Guava:Guava is an obscure tropical fruit that’s subtly acidic, with sweetness that intensifies as you eat your way to the center.Guava has a higher concentration of lycopene—an antioxidant that fights prostate cancer—than any other plant food, including tomatoes and watermelon. In addition, 1 cup of the stuff provides 688 milligrams (mg) of potassium, which is 63 percent more than you’ll find in a medium banana. And guava may be the ultimate high-fiber food: There’s almost 9 grams (g) of fiber in every cup.
Pomegranate Juice:A popular drink for decades in the Middle East, pomegranate juice has become widely available only recently in the United States.Israeli scientists discovered that men who downed just 2 ounces of pomegranate juice daily for a year decreased their systolic (top number) blood pressure by 21 percent and significantly improved blood flow to their hearts. What’s more, 4 ounces provides 50 percent of your daily vitamin C needs.