In Search of the Perfect Food
We eat to nourish our bodies and stay healthy and strong. But which food is best? That is, if you could survive on eating only one thing for the rest of your life, what would that perfect food be?
Here are the top contenders (in no particular order):
Blueberries — packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals, they are delicious. Widely available year-round fresh or frozen, they may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and colon cancer, plus they improve nighttime visual acuity and help fight aging by reducing wrinkles.
Avocadoes — provide more than 25 essential nutrients, including potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid. One serving (about one-fifth of a medium avocado) contains 55 calories, most of which come from monounsaturated fat, thought to help maintain heart health. They are also a great source of fiber.
Sweet potato — naturally sweet, low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with vitamins and minerals (including beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese, copper, vitamin B6, potassium, and iron), the sweet potato is king. Note that the moist, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are NOT to be confused with yams, which are not related to sweet potatoes, and not usually found in local grocery stores.
Yogurt — has live cultures (probiotics), calcium, and B vitamins, which work together to help mitigate lactose intolerance, allergies, colon and breast cancer, diarrhea, and urinary tract infections. In addition, the calcium in yogurt helps reduce the chance of osteoporosis and keep our teeth strong. The protein helps our muscles to get stronger.
Salmon — a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids (more highly concentrated in the wild kind), salmon reduces inflammation and improves cholesterol levels, thereby reducing risk of heart attack and stroke.
Eggs — high in quality protein and essential fatty acids, they offer many ingredients needed to build and maintain strong health. Eggs also provide significant amounts of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, riboflavin, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Soybeans — found in foods like soy milk, soy sauce, miso (soybean paste), tempeh (which is kind of like a soy cake), and tofu, soy products provide a good source of protein (and healthy meat alternative), as well as iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, and fiber.
Whole grains — contain valuable antioxidants not found in fruits and vegetables. They also contain B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, and fiber. Their main benefits include heart disease and stroke risk reduction, and type 2 diabetes risk reduction.
Broccoli — packed with vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and phytonutrients, it is filling, high in fiber, and low in calories. It also contains many cancer-fighting antioxidants and can help prevent cataracts, heart disease, and arthritis.
Bananas — a sweet source of potassium (an electrolyte necessary for maintaining many functions in the body), vitamin C, and several amino acids, bananas make a wonderful addition to any meal of the day for all age groups.
Chocolate — perhaps most delicious of all, chocolate contains heart-healthy antioxidants called flavonoids, which may reduce damage to arteries by preventing the oxidation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. About one-third of the fat is monounsaturated, which can even slightly lower cholesterol. Additionally, it appears that cocoa (chocolate without the fat) has an aspirin-like effect, helping to prevent blood clots known to cause heart attacks. Also, new studies have shown cocoa may lower blood pressure and improve the body’s processing of sugar.
And the Winner is …
So, which food is most perfect? None of them! That’s right. Because our bodies cannot function without all essential nutrients, and no food exists that provides every single one, we could not possibly live on any one food.
- Modern Menus
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