All berries are great sources of fiber which promotes weight loss. The same amount of blueberries has half the fiber (4 grams), but is packed with anthocyanins, antioxidants that may help keep memory sharp as you age. A cup of strawberries contains 3 grams of fiber, but more than a full day’s recommended dose of skin-firming vitamin C.
A source of high-quality protein, eggs might give your meal more staying power too.
Beans are a good plant-based source of iron (up to 13 mg per 3/4 cup), a mineral that transports oxygen from your lungs to the cells in your body. Because your body can’t absorb the form of iron in plant-based foods as well as it can the form found in beef and poultry, pair beans with a vitamin C-rich food.
Nuts are rich sources of heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Studies of Seventh-Day Adventists (a religious denomination that emphasizes healthy living and a vegetarian diet) show that those who eat nuts add, on average, an extra two and a half years to their lives. Walnuts may be the spotlight-stealers, though, with their high level of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that’s been linked to heart health and improved mood.
An excellent source of vitamin C, just one large orange (or a cup of OJ) contains a full day’s dose. Vitamin C is critical for producing white blood cells and antibodies that fight off infections; it’s also a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from free-radical damage and plays a key role in producing skin-firming collagen.
Sweet potatoes are so brilliantly orange thanks to their alpha and beta carotene. One medium sweet potato—or about 1/2 cup—provides nearly four times the recommended daily value of vitamin A, plus some vitamin C and B6, potassium, manganese and lutein and zeaxanthin, prompting the Center for Science in the Public Interest to call it one of the most nutritious vegetables in the land.
This green powerhouse packs vitamins C, A and K (which helps with bone health) and A, as well as folate.
Excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium. It is a good source of niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus, and vitamin B6. It is also a good source of choline, pantothenic acid, biotin, and potassium.
Spinach is teeming with important nutrients: vitamins A, C and K—as well as some fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin E. One cup has 15 percent of the daily serving value.
Rich in calcium and helps fight off osteoporosis. Just 1 cup of yogurt provides nearly half the recommended daily value of calcium and is rich in phosphorus, potassium, zinc, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and protein.