I betcha didn't know that these little berries are the ultimate memory fruit! A little unknown fact about these little powerhouses is that they have the ability to help the neurons in the brain communicate more effectively with each other. This is due to the amount of polyphenols contained within that help to "turn on" the signals for more effective communication. They also have compounds that are anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, which both help in the fight against age-related diseases. They also help to lower cholesterol and promote urinary health. How to get these benefits? Add just 1/2 cup of wild blueberries, fresh or frozen to your daily diet.
They are loaded with anti-inflammatory, antiaging, and anticancer compounds. Contained in the cherry is the flavonoid called quercetin, which is an anticancer agent providing anti-inflammatory activity, making it a favorable supplement for allergy and asthma sufferers. Cherries also contain ellagic acid, which is a naturally occurring phenolic known to be both anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic. Ellagic acid has been shown in studies to inhibit the growth of certain tumors. Not bad for a little red cherry!
They contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins C and K, vitamin A, beta-carotene, and potassium to name a few. Plus they have a little bit of anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. They also have a low glycemic index which means they won't run up your blood sugar levels like some other fruits will. And when in season, they're downright delicious! Like wake you up in the middle of the night, you gotta have one, delicious.
Tomatoes (actually a fruit!)
They're coming into season and they're one of my favorites! Fresh, locally farmed are the best since they're picked at their peak (not like your store-bought versions which many are picked when green, and then ripened by ethylene gas while in transport.) Fresh tomatoes are a good source of vitamins C, A and B complex, potassium and phosphorus. They're also a good source of the compound lutein, which is important for eye health.
Research suggests they provide a significant reduction in prostate cancer due to the presence of the carotenoid lycopene. But that's not the only cancer it helps reduce. There is strong evidence that it also helps reduce the occurrence of lung and stomach cancer, and it may protect against pancreatic, colorectal, and breast cancers. Best way to eat it? Add a little healthy fat, either olive oil, avocado or nuts since the carotenoid is a fat-soluble nutrient.
Rainbow Swiss Chard
Natural powerhouse! 1 cup gives you 4g of fiber. It also provides calcium, potassium, vitamins C and A, beta-carotene, and lutein and zeaxanthin (part of the carotenoid family that helps protect the eyes from aging and vision problems.) This is all in 1 cup. When in season, it's a no-brainer to stock up this veggie! Easy on the cooking though, its quite like spinach and if you overcook it, you'll lose a bit of the nutritional benefits.
Those are my top 5 for this month, all super delicious, and all packing a nutritional punch! Adding 1/2 cup to 1 cup of these a day will go a long way in keeping your mind and body healthy and strong!
Interested in learning what are the healthiest foods to eat and why? Pick up 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D, C.N.S. (I got all this info and more from his amazing book!)