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The Top Five Healthiest Foods (Part Two)

Aug 18, 2007
As we continue in the Oscar ceremonies for healthiest foods, we have two awards for Best Supporting Actor: Berries and Whole Grains.

Berries are in a big category. They include strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blueberries and blackberries. Berries are some of the most nutritious of all fruits. They are full of vitamin C, fiber, folate and phytonutrients.

Berries are excellent cancer fighting agents because they are full of antioxidants. Blueberries for example are believed to be higher in their antioxidant properties than are strawberries. Blueberries are useful in helping people as they age; short-term memory loss is lessened thanks to their healthy benefits.

Berries are very simple fruits to prepare. All you need to do is wash them thoroughly and either cut them up or eat them raw. Berries do not require peeling like other fruits, such as oranges and peaches.

Whole grains are full of B vitamins, as well as vitamin E, fiber, magnesium and iron. Whole grains are also very rich in antioxidants and contain some that are not found in fruits or vegetables.

According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Americans should eat plenty of grains on a daily basis. Half of all grains eaten should be whole grains, which works out to be three to five servings of whole grains on a daily basis. Always use whole-wheat flour when you bake as opposed to white flour. White flour is refined and is very bad for the body. When you buy such foods as breads, pasta, biscuits and cereal always look for the word "whole" on the packaging. Another way to add whole grains to your diet is to eat more brown rice, wild rice, barley or quinoa. Try experimenting with different ways to add these whole grain products to recipes, such as adding barley or quinoa to soups and casseroles.

Apples got the Oscar nomination, but not the Oscar itself. They nevertheless turn in an excellent performance and should be counted in the top ten. Apples are rich in vitamin C, which helps the body to absorb other types of nutrients such as folate and iron. Apples contain a substance called pectin, which is used in jams and jellies and as a thickener for sauces. Pectin is similar to fiber in that it helps to decrease cholesterol and moderate the level of glucose in the blood.

Wheat germ is the "heart of the wheat seed" and it is filled with nutrients. Wheat does not have much taste, so you might want to sprinkle it on cereal, porridge or yogurt. Wheat germ can also be added to batter when you are baking cookies, muffins, biscuits or pancakes. Wheat germ is rich in folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, thiamine and zinc. Two tablespoons a day is enough to optimize its health benefits. Thiamine is particularly beneficial for the proper functioning of the nerves while phosphorous encourages the development of strong teeth and bones. Iron, folate magnesium and zinc are all minerals that support healing in the body and are essential fro the growth of children.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Food Cures.
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