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Sometimes it seems that we're constantly hearing about what we should and shouldn't eat. One day we hear that a food cuts our risk of heart problems, the next that it increases the risk of a stroke. It can be hard to know what we should be eating - we all know that on the whole, we need to eat more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and fat but what about other foods? What foods should be in your diet but aren't? Read on to find out.
Due to containing high levels of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (a type of Omega 3 fat), walnuts are thought to help boost your mood and keep your heart healthy. A study has shown that those who eat a diet high in Alpha-Linolenic Acid have a significantly reduced risk of suffering a fatal heart attack and other studies suggest it may reduce high blood pressure. Omega 3 fats reduce inflammation and are thought to help prevent diseases such as arthritis and heart disease.
These small fish contain vitamin D and 'good' Omega 3 fats. Vitamin D is essential as it helps keep our teeth and bones healthy. Most of the vitamin D we need comes from sunlight so in the darker days of winter, it's important to keep your vitamin D levels up.
Not a food most people regularly eat, Kale is a leafy green vegetable which is packed full of vitamins A and C, along with plenty of fibre. Vitamin A keeps your skin healthy and helps you see better when the light is bad as well as helping you to fight off infection. Vitamin C, on the other hand, protects your cells and helps wounds to heal faster.
Unloved Parts of Fruit and Vegetables
We eat plenty of fruits and vegetables only once they've been peeled - kiwi fruit, bananas, and avocados, for example. However, many of these skins are perfectly edible and can, in fact, be better for you than the rest of it. Studies have shown that the hairy skin of a kiwi fruit can help fight off bugs including E-Coli and contains levels of antioxidants three times higher than the fruit itself. The stalks of broccoli have more vitamin C and calcium than the florets themselves, and the antioxidants in citrus peel can reduce your 'bad cholesterol' levels.
Eating the seeds of this tasty fruit was the mistake which kept Persephone in the underworld for six months of the year, according to Greek mythology, but it's actually a very healthy fruit. It's full of antioxidants, which are thought to get rid of free radicals and thereby protect you against diseases including Alzheimer's Disease and cancers.
These vegetables contain lots of vitamin A, along with other nutrients and vitamins including potassium, which helps control your fluid levels and may lower blood pressure, as well as manganese.
Seaweed, perhaps surprisingly, is full of protein and contain high levels of vitamins.
Plenty of food for thought there, so get shopping and dig out your recipe books!
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