What are Power Foods?

Power foods are vegetables, fruits, and other edible substances that are known to yield immense health benefits. These foods may contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals, help boost metabolism and energy, or provide other health and beauty enhancement. Power foods can also often help ward off or treat illness.

There is no set group of power foods. Instead, new power foods are continually discovered and studied as their effects on humans are determined. A variety of power foods in the diet can help provide weight management, disease prevention, immune system health, and many other benefits. Most power foods are also considered heart-healthy foods.

Peanut butter is considered a power food. A tablespoon (15 milliliters) of peanut butter or peanuts eaten daily can help lower one's risk of heart disease and diabetes. They may also be useful in controlling blood pressure. Whole grain products, such as breads and cereals, are considered power foods. They provide fiber and a plethora of other ingredients, helping the body combat cancer, heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure.

Almonds are another nutty power food. A serving of 48 almonds provides an abundance of heart-healthy nutrients, including magnesium, fiber, vitamin E, and monounsaturated fat. People who eat almonds daily may also lower their cholesterol and risk of colon cancer and heart disease. Avocados are especially good for heart health, and are filled with folate, fiber, and vitamins B6 and C.

Chili peppers are used as a power food to help burn calories. They also provide several other health benefits, including sinus relief and antioxidant protection. Another food that is rich in protective antioxidants is the blueberry. The low-calorie, low-fat fruits are also high in many nutrients.

Salmon is one of few animal-based super foods. Along with herring, sardines, and mackerel, salmon is filled with heart, prostate, and general health-boosting benefits. Eating these fish on a weekly basis may also help prevent Alzheimer's disease. Another animal-based food, the egg, is considered a power food due to its ability to lower cholesterol and protect the eyes when eaten in moderation.

Though many people believe that tomatoes are the best source of lycopene, a prostate cancer-fighting compound, watermelon actually contains much more. Watermelon may also help fight other cancers, prevent heart attack, and other ailments. Another fruit, the apple, can help protect the lungs, lower one's risk of osteoporosis, and lower cholesterol. Other super food fruits include red grapes, mangoes, cherries, cranberries, and papaya.

Many other power foods are continually discovered. Nearly every food group contains super foods; even the fats and oils group contains olive oil, which contains several health benefits. Herbs such as garlic and turmeric, vegetables like kale and broccoli, and a large variety of other foods, such as sesame seeds, yogurt, tempeh, green tea, and mushrooms, all contain powerful health benefits. Eating a wide variety of these foods can help one maintain excellent health.


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