6 Powerful Health-Boosting Foods

The South Beach Diet encourages you to get your nutrients from whole foods rather than supplements. That’s why we recommend eating a wide variety of delicious fresh foods in a rainbow of colors to get the maximum antioxidants and other disease-fighting nutrients. Start incorporating these top nutrient-packed foods into your Meal Plans today:

  1. Tomatoes (Phase 1): Studies show that eating tomato products may reduce prostate cancer risk, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now allows tomatoes and tomato-based products, like tomato sauce, to carry that health claim. The key ingredient: a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, also found in pink and red grapefruit (Phase 2) and guava (Phase 3).

     

  2. Spinach and other dark leafy greens (Phase 1): Research shows that eating dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard (which are technically cruciferous vegetables), may help maintain good health by reducing the risk of heart disease, some cancers, and several other illnesses. Dark leafy greens are rich in beta-carotene, folate, and vitamins C, E, and K, which help protect against free radicals (unstable molecules that can damage cells). Regularly eating dark leafy greens may help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and promote normal eyesight.

     

  3. Walnuts (Phase 1): Like all nuts, walnuts are a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Unlike other nuts, however, walnuts are high in alpha- linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat that has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and to help keep triglycerides, the bad fat associated with prediabetes, under control. Enjoy up to 15 walnuts a day as part of your nuts/seeds allowance.

     

  4. Blueberries (Phase 2): Studies show that a number of antioxidant compounds in blueberries, including pigment-producing anthocyanins, are powerful in helping to prevent cancer. These anthocyanins may also protect against hypertension (high blood pressure). In addition, consuming blueberries may help prevent cataracts and the short-term memory loss associated with aging.

     

  5. Pomegranates (Phase 2): These fruits are high in flavonoids, antioxidants also found in red wine (Phase 2) and cocoa powder (Phase 1, unsweetened). Recent studies show that pomegranate juice (Phase 3) may help protect against heart disease.

     

  6. Sweet potatoes (Phase 2): An outstanding source of carotenoids (including beta-carotene), as well as vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, sweet potatoes can help reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, lower high blood pressure, fight cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, and boost your resistance to colds and infections. Other good sources of beta-carotene are carrots and apricots (both also Phase 2).

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