Eat your way to better health. Our list of superfoods can help ward off cancer and heart disease, improve your memory, lower cholesterol levels, and more.
Feeling a bit forgetful? Try adding blueberries to your diet: Studies show that this fruit may help combat short-term memory loss -- plus, it's full of disease-fighting antioxidants.
Recommended Serving Size: 1/2 cup, 40 calories
An excellent source of free-radical scavenging antioxidants like vitamins C and E, cranberries can help reduce your risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Another bonus: This tart fruit can combat urinary infections.
Recommended Serving Size: 1/4 cup (golf-ball size) from the canned version (which packs in the high fructose corn syrup), 110 calories; or 1/4 cup fresh cranberries, 11 calories
According to studies, the lycopene in this juicy topical fruit may help prevent macular degeneration, a common cause of vision loss, especially in older people. Mangoes also have high amount of disease-fighting antioxidants, fiber, and potassium.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 fruit, 135 calories
Another fruit that can help keep your eyesight sharp and ward off macular degeneration: kiwis, thanks to their high dose of lutein. They're also packed with vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 kiwi fruit, 50 calories
You won't find another food with more beta-carotene than carrots. The compound is a form of vitamin A that's full of antioxidant properties and is responsible for the vegetable's bright orange color.
Recommended Serving Size: 1/2 cup steamed carrots, about 27 calories
Broccoli packs a healthy dose of disease-fighting antioxidants and vitamins A and C. It's also filled with good-for-you nutrients like calcium, potassium, and fiber.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 cup of raw fresh florets, 44 milligrams of calcium, 66 calories
Looking for an easy way to relieve stress? Try crunching on unsalted almonds to get some aggression out. The nuts are a good source of vitamin B2 and E, as well as magnesium and zinc. Like vitamin C, vitamin E has been shown to fight the free radicals that can cause heart disease.
Recommended Serving Size: Shelled almonds, 1/3 cup, 306 calories
The ultimate superfood, tomatoes contain lycopene, a proven heart disease fighter, and they're a good source of vitamins A, C, and E.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 cup sliced tomatoes, about 32 calories; or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, about 27 calories
Spinach, kale, and mustard greens work as a triple threat, loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and iron. Add flavor to these veggies without losing their nutritional value by steaming them.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 cup raw, 1/2 cup cooked, 20 calories
Beans are an ideal source of protein, fiber, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron. They're also high in folic acid, which can significantly reduce the risk of birth defects. Consume dried beans instead of the canned varieties, which often contain high amounts of sodium and fat.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 cup cooked, approximately 225 calories
Research has shown that antioxidant-loaded green tea may lower your risk of heart disease and cancer -- and boost your metabolism. Choose an organic brand over bottled iced green tea, which can be high in high fructose corn syrup.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 cup brewed, 0 calories; or 1 cup pre-packaged brand, 17 calories
Your morning cup of java gets you going in the morning -- and it may also protect you from type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. But coffee is no replacement for fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, so drink it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Recommended Serving Size: Freshly ground black, scant 1 cup, 4 calories
For a boost of fiber, start your day off with steel-cut oats mixed with raisins and apples. Oatmeal has a low glycemic index, which will help you feel energized all day long and keep hunger at bay. Avoid instant oatmeal -- it's typically loaded with sugar.
Recommended serving size: Raw, 1/3 cup, 113 calories. Made with water, heaping 3/4 cup, 98 calories
Your body's bone mass peaks when you're in your late 20s, meaning calcium-rich foods such as skim milk are essential to your diet. Skim milk is a great source of calcium because it's low in fat and contains vitamin D, which can help your body absorb calcium. Getting 1,000 to 1,200mg of calcium per day can help prevent osteoporosis.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 cup, 300mg calcium, 90 calories
If you're craving something sweet, skip the cookies and grab a handful of strawberries or raspberries instead. (In winter, frozen berries make a tasty and equally healthy alternative.) These nutrient-rich fruits are loaded with fiber and vitamin C.
Recommended Serving Size: 1/2 cup, 60 calories
This green veggie is high in folic acid, which can help stabilize your mood and prevent birth defects (if you're pregnant or trying to conceive). Plus, asparagus is both a natural diuretic and an excellent source of potassium.
Recommended Serving Size: 7 spears, 1/2 inch thick, cooked, 25 calories
Apples have a low glycemic index, which can help curb hunger, and they're packed with vitamin C. They're also an excellent source of soluble fiber, which can lower your cholesterol and glucose levels.
Recommended serving size: 1 apple, 47 calories
Avocados contain vitamin E, which can help keep your eyesight sharp. The monounsaturated fat in avocados has also been shown to improve the overall health of your hair and skin.
Recommended Serving Size: 1/2 cup, 80 calories
These green veggies are an ample source of fiber. Stay away from canned peas, which are loaded with sodium.
Recommended Serving Size: 1/2 cup cooked or frozen peas, 30 calories