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					                                                        These antioxidant-rich items have the power
                                                                    to change your life
                                                                                                  By Jill Wendholt Silva
BEANS                                                                                          Knight Ridder News Service
Why? Beans can help lower
cholesterol and LDL lev els, scav enge                                                                                                                                   TOMATOES
f ree radicals, moderate insulin lev els,                                                                                                                                Why? Tomatoes contain ly copene plus benef icial
and reduce cancer risk.                                     Blueberries are brain food.                                                                                  phy tochemicals that protect against heart attack,
                                                                                                                                                                         cancers, and age-related macular degeneration.
How much? Eat a ½-cup serv ing a
day of cooked or canned beans.                               If there’s one good-for-you food that has cut through the din                                               Cooked tomatoes contain more ly copene than raw
                                                                                                                                                                         tomatoes.
                                                     of conflicting and controversial diet headlines, it’s the tiny indigo                                               How much? Eat one serv ing a day with a little bit
                                                                                                                                                                         of healthy f at, such as oliv e oil, to help absorb the
                                                     berry native to North America, which scientists have discovered                                                     ly copene. Serv ing sizes are one medium raw
                                                                                                                                                                         tomato, about 1 cup cherry tomatoes, or 6 ounces
                                                     contains powerful disease-fighters that may improve memory,                                                         juice.

                                                     intelligence, and coordination.
                                                             But blueberries aren’t the only food with bragging rights.                                                                                  WALNUTS
                                                             Pomegranates, kiwifruit, and, yes, even dark chocolate are                                                                             Why? Walnuts
                                                                                                                                                                                                    are one of the f ew
                                                     the latest buzz, joining such everyday foods as broccoli, spinach,                                                                             plant sources high
                                                                                                                                                                                                    in omega-3 f atty
                                                     wild salmon, sweet potatoes, soy, oats, walnuts, and tomatoes.                                                                                 acids, and the only
                                                                                                                                                                                                    nuts that contain
 BLUEBERRIES
                                                     Together these nutrient-dense foods containing health-promoting                                                                                ellagic acid, a
 Why? A true nutritional powerhouse,
 blueberries prov ide more antioxidants
                                                     phytonutrients are being dubbed “super foods.”                                                                                                 cancer-f ighting
                                                                                                                                                                                                    antioxidant. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                    amino acid
 than any other f ruit or v egetable and can                 Super foods are widely available foods that contribute to good                                                                         arginine can
 f ight cancer, heart disease, and age-
 related memory loss.                                health.                                                                                                                                        reduce the risk of
                                                                                                                                                                                                    heart attack.
 How much? If possible, eat ½-cup of
 f resh or f rozen or ¼-cup of dried                         Cruise the aisles of any supermarket in America, and broccoli                                                  How much? Eat 1½ ounces of nuts per day .
                                                                                                                                                                            One ounce equals 14 walnut halv es.
 blueberries ev ery day . Eat any ty pe of
 berry at least three times a week.                  is ubiquitous for three reasons: it’s easy to buy, it’s inexpensive,
                                                     and it’s easy to cook. It’s also one of the most studied foods, which
                                                     is how we know it’s one of the most nutritious items on the planet.
                                                             Beyond the traditional vitamins and minerals Mother told us
                                                     about, scientists have discovered broccoli is also a good source of
                                                     lutein, an antioxidant that helps prevent macular degeneration, a
                                                     condition that can cause blindness in older adults.
                                                             But not all super foods are as obvious. Nutrition experts
                                                     agree we’ve only begun to scratch the surface in our efforts to
                                                     discover how foods prevent disease in the body.
 BROCCOLI                                                    Naked Juice, a California company, is already marketing                                                       WILD SALMON
                                                                                                                                                                           Why? Wild salmon contains large amounts of
 Why? Crucif erous v egetables are loaded
 with antioxidants. Broccoli contains                grab-and-go bottles of juice made from the obscure Brazilian berry                                                    omega-3, a f atty acid that reduces the risk of
 cancer-f ighting substances that promote                                                                                                                                  heart disease and heart attack by lowering
 ey e health and ward of f macular                   known as acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee), which is touted to have 10                                                     blood pressure and cholesterol. Omega-3s
 degeneration.                                                                                                                                                             also reduce inf lammation that triggers arthritis
 How much? Eat ½-cup of raw or 1 cup of
                                                     times the antioxidants of red grapes.                                                                                 and autoimmune diseases.
                                                                                                                                                                           How much? A serv ing is just 3 ounces,
 cooked broccoli ev ery day .                                But typically Brazilians pour an avalanche of sugar on acai to                                                roughly the size of a deck of cards, or ¼ cup
                                                                                                                                                                           canned. Eat 12 ounces a week.
                                                     tame its tartness. Naked Juice chose to combine the tart berry
                                                     juice with sweeter apple, banana, and white grape juices.
                                                             In 12 Best Foods Cookbook (Rodale, 2004, $21.95), Dana
                                                                                                                                                                                                         EXTRA-VIRGIN
                                                     Jacobi highlights foods that are not only loaded with phytonutrients                                                                                OLIVE OIL

                                                     but also that have what she calls a certain “voluptuousness.” After                                                                                 Why? The
                                                                                                                                                                                                         monounsaturated
                                                     all, if a food doesn’t taste good, most of us won’t eat it no matter                                                                                f ats of oliv e oil are
                                                                                                                                                                                                         considered “good”
                                                     how good it is for us.                                                                                                                              f ats that reduce
                                                                                                                                                                                                         cardiov ascular
                                                             “I tried to look at foods beyond what its headline fame might                                                                               disease, lower
                                                                                                                                                                                                         blood pressure,
                                                     be,” says Jacobi, a New York-based food writer and chef who                                                                                         and prev ent some
                                                                                                                                                                                                         ty pes of cancer.
                                                     developed the recipes for her book. “These 12 foods cover the                                                                                       How much? Eat 1

OATS                                                 whole range of what a balanced diet is and include variety.”                                                                                        tablespoon most
                                                                                                                                                                                                         day s.
Why? Oatmeal’s already mighty nutrition prof ile
is well documented.                                          “What I hope (readers) take from the book is the things that
How much? Eat at least three serv ings of
whole grains a day . A serv ing equals 1 cup of
                                                     are good for them and have a good time with them. Not to have
cooked oatmeal, ½-cup of uncooked rolled oats
or ½-cup of steel-cut oats.
                                                     them feel like this is a duty or a sacrifice,” Jacobi says.
                                                             Food, after all, should taste better than a spoonful of
                                                     medicine.



                                                                                                                                          SWEET POTATOES
                                                                                                                                          Why? Loaded with beta-
                                                                                                                                           carotene, sweet potatoes
                                                                                                                                           boost the immune             DARK CHOCOLATE
                                                                                                                                           sy stem, reduce              Why? Dark chocolate has the highest antioxidant
SOY                                                                                                                                        cholesterol buildup in the   content of any f ood. The darker the chocolate, the
Why? Soy contains isof lav ones, an estrogen-like                                                                                          arteries, and help f ight    higher the count.
substance that protects and maintains bone strength, plus                                                                                  age-related macular          How much? Eat a 1-ounce serv ing daily . Also, try
                                                            SPINACH                                           degeneration and a v ariety of cancers.
omega-3 f atty acids, which promote heart health.                                                                                                                       grapes, red wine, and green tea, which are high in
                                                            Why? Spinach is packed with carotenoids           How much? Eat at least one ½-cup serv ing of sweet
How much? Eat one serv ing of soy f oods a day . Try                                                                                                                    poly phenols that boost good cholesterol.
                                                            such as beta-carotene and lutein f or ey e        potatoes or other beta-carotene-rich produce (carrots,
edamame f or snacking out of hand.
                                                            health, as well as iron.                          butternut squash, pumpkin, and orange bell peppers) a
                                                            How much? Eat at least 1 cup cooked               day .
                                                            spinach or dark leaf y green v egetable a day .

				
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