Fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, some cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and obesity, says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, author of Eating in Color.
Beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, and chickpeas contain fibre and plant-based protein to stabilise blood sugar and curb cravings. They aid in microbiome health.
While eggs are high in cholesterol, they don't affect blood cholesterol like saturated fats do. One meta-analysis found that people with a high egg intake (about seven a week) had a 13% lower risk of stroke than those with a low egg intake (less than two a week).
Folate is essential for cell growth and red blood cell formation. Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are rich in folate. Carotenes (antioxidant pigments) help maintain healthy vision, bones, teeth, and skin.
Cruciferous vegetables support the body's natural detoxification processes. “We have 'detox' enzymes in our cells (especially in the liver), and cruciferous vegetables boost their activity,” says Dixon.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is more than just delicious. Dixon says it lowers inflammation, blood pressure, and insulin sensitivity.
Eat wild salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines weekly. “Hundreds of studies support the use of small fatty fish for brain health because they contain omega-3 fatty acids and DHA,” says Susan Schenck, LAc, MOTM, author of The Live Food Factor.