Pinterest is an online pinboard site. My account has many different themed recovery boards. The board titles are on subjects like, addiction, eating disorders, alcoholism, gambling….. etc. So, I am always surprised when I look at the analytics and the top two pins (out of over 800) are usually (1) the benefits of doing a sauna detox from drugs and alcohol and (2) the 25 most ridiculously healthy foods.
Maybe after being sober for 19 years I am taking my health for granted. In the first few months of getting clean, my body and mind were a mess. In fact, I have some large memory gaps during that first month. One strange health related thing that happened; I craved large amounts of raw shredded cabbage doused in balsamic vinegar. I could not eat enough. Later, when I mentioned this to my doctor, he said those are both natural detoxifying foods. Wow, my body was actually craving something it needed.
So, for anyone just getting sober, or anyone just wanting to feel better here are the 25 foods that was originally published in prevention magazine.
1. Eggs – Egg yolks are home to tons of essential but hard-to-get nutrients, like choline, and antioxidants that may help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.
2. Greek Yogurt – Yogurt is a great way to get calcium, and it’s also rich in immune-boosting bacteria. The Greek kind has twice the protein.
3. Fat-Free Milk – Calcium isn’t just a bone booster but a fat fighter too. Vitamin D not only allows your body to absorb calcium, it’s also a super nutrient in its own right. It can even help prevent depression.
4. Salmon – Salmon is a rich source of vitamin D and one of the best sources of omega-3s you can find. Health benefits like preventing heart disease to smoothing your skin and aiding weight loss to boosting your mood and minimizing the effects of arthritis.
5. Lean Beef – Lean beef is one of the best-absorbed sources of iron there is. Adding as little as 1 ounce of beef per day can make a big difference in the body’s ability to absorb iron from other sources. Beef also packs plenty of zinc and B vitamins, which help your body turn food into energy.
6. Beans – One cooked cupful can provide as much as 17 g fiber. They’re also loaded with protein and dozens of key nutrients. Studies tie beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers.
7. Nuts – In a nutshell: USDA researchers say that eating 1½ ounces of tree nuts daily can reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
8. Edamame and Tofu – Soy contains heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, a good amount of fiber, and some important vitamins.
9. Oatmeal – Fiber-rich oats are even healthier than the FDA thought when it first stamped them with a heart disease–reducing seal 10 years ago. According to new research, they can also cut your risk of type 2 diabetes.
10. Flaxseed – Flaxseed is the most potent plant source of omega-3 fats. Studies indicate that adding flaxseed to your diet can reduce the development of heart disease by 46%—it helps keep red blood cells from clumping together and forming clots that can block arteries.
11. Olive Oil – Olive oil is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol. It’s rich in antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, like Alzheimer’s.
12. Avocado – These smooth, buttery fruits are a great source of not only MUFAs but other key nutrients as well. Avocados are packed with heart-protective compounds, such as soluble fiber, vitamin E, folate, and potassium.
13. Broccoli – Pick any life-threatening disease—cancer, heart disease, you name it—and eating more broccoli and its cruciferous cousins may help you beat it, Johns Hopkins research suggests. Averaging just four weekly servings of veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower slashed the risk of dying from any disease by 26% among 6,100 people studied for 28 years.
14. Spinach – For one thing, it contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in egg yolks. Aside from guarding against age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness, lutein may prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of cholesterol. Spinach is also rich in iron, which helps deliver oxygen to your cells for energy, and folate, a B vitamin that prevents birth defects.
15. Tomatoes – Tomatoes are our most common source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may protect against heart disease and breast cancer.
16. Sweet Potatoes – One of the best ways to get vitamin A—an essential nutrient that protects and maintains eyes, skin, and the linings of our respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts—is from foods containing beta-carotene, which your body converts into the vitamin.
17. Garlic – The onion relative contains more than 70 active phytochemicals, including allicin, which studies show may decrease high blood pressure by as much as 30 points. 18. Red Peppers – Citrus fruits get all the credit for vitamin C, but red peppers are actually the best source. Vitamin C may be best known for skin and immunity benefits. Vitamin C has other important credentials too. Australian scientists recently discovered that the antioxidant reduces knee pain by protecting your knees against arthritis.
19. Figs – When you think of potassium-rich produce, figs probably don’t come to mind, but you may be surprised to learn that six fresh figs have 891 mg of the blood pressure-lowering mineral, nearly 20% of your daily need—and about double what you’d find in one large banana. Figs are one of the best fruit sources of calcium, with nearly as much per serving (six figs) as 1/2 cup of fat-free milk.
20. Blueberries – Blueberries may very well be the most potent age-defying food—they’re jam-packed with antioxidants. Research shows a diet rich in blueberries can help with memory loss, prevent urinary tract infections, and relieve eyestrain.
21. Asian Pears – One large Asian pear has a whopping 10 g of cholesterol-lowering fiber, about 40% of your daily need.
22. Lychee – A French study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that lychee has the second-highest level of heart-healthy polyphenols of all fruits tested—nearly 15% more than the amount found in grapes (cited by many as polyphenol powerhouses). The compounds may also play an important role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer.
23. Apples – One of the healthiest fruits you should be eating is one you probably already are: the apple. Other massive studies have found the fruit to lower risk of lung cancer and type 2 diabetes.
24. Guava – Native to South America, this tropical fruit is an excellent source of skin-healing vitamin C, with 250% of your RDA per serving. One cup of guava has nearly 5 times as much C as a medium orange (377 mg versus 83 mg)—that’s more than 5 times your daily need.
25. Dark Chocolate – Thank you, dark chocolate, for making us feel good—not guilty—about dessert. Dark chocolate is filled with flavonoid antioxidants (more than 3 times the amount in milk chocolate) that keep blood platelets from sticking together and may even unclog your arteries.