A lot of people work for You, Inc. There’s your doctor (Chief Operations Officer); your dentist (Vice President of Hardware Maintenance); the trainer at the gym (Director of Development); and, of course, you have Eat This, Not That! as your 24/7 on-call consultants.
But as the saying goes, if you want a job done right, do it yourself. To take the reins of You, Inc. and drive it to optimal long-term health—start with your primary source of good health: your food. Every trip to the grocery store is an opportunity to hire smartly—to bring in the right resources based on your individual needs. Here, the team at Eat This, Not That! magazine has done the groundwork for you, sourcing the very best foods for every health issue. Deploy these superstars as you see fit—and watch your health profits grow. And get a toned tummy in time for Summer with the essential 14 Ways to Lose Your Belly in 14 Days!
Best Brain Booster: Coffee
Beyond boosting alertness for up to 90 minutes, that morning cup is the number-one source of antioxidants in the American diet, and can help decrease your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 60 percent.
Best Blood Sugar Stabilizer: Raspberries
Raspberries contain anthocyanins, which boost insulin production and lower blood sugar levels, providing a strong defense against diabetes.
Best Skin Saver: Carrots
National Cancer Institute researchers found that people with the highest intakes of carotenoids—pigments that occur naturally in carrots—were six times less likely to develop skin cancer than those with the lowest intakes.
Best Heart Protector: Salmon
A diet of heart-healthy fats, like those found in salmon and olive oil, raises good HDL cholesterol levels. And salmon contains a huge dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which can ward off heart disease.
Best Breast Cancer Beater: Whole-grain Cereal
Women getting at least 30 grams of fiber daily are half as likely to develop breast cancer, according to research. A bowl of Fiber One® with blueberries will get you halfway there.
Best Colon Cancer Guard: Green or White Tea
Drinking just one cup of tea a day may cut your risk of colon cancer in half. Antioxidants in the tea, called catechins, inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Best Bone Protector: Shrimp
Shrimp is high in vitamin B12, which aids bone density and is crucial in the generation of new cells. It is also a good source of vitamin D, an essential ingredient for bone strength.
Best Vision Defender: Spinach or Romaine Lettuce
The National Institutes of Health found that people who consume the most lutein—found in leafy greens— are 43 percent less likely to develop macular degeneration.
Best Anti-Aging Elixir: Red Wine
Oxidative stress plays a major role in aging, and an antioxidant in red wine called resveratrol may help extend life by neutralizing disease-causing free radicals. Pop a Pinot Noir: It packs the most resveratrol per glass.
Best Cavity Killer: Monterey Jack Cheese
Researchers found that eating less than a quarter ounce of Jack, Cheddar, Gouda, or mozzarella cheese will boost pH levels to protect your pearly whites from cavities.
Best Blood Pressure Reducer: Baked Potato
Increasing the amount of potassium in your diet (a baked potato will boost your intake by about 400 mg, but be sure to eat the skin!) will significantly lower your blood pressure.
Best Hair Rejuvenator: Beef
Iron in the meat stimulates hair turnover and replenishment. Beef is also rich in zinc, which helps guard against hair loss.
Best Prostate Protector: Garlic
Compounds in garlic have been shown to reduce risk of prostate cancer by up to 50 percent.
Best Lung Cancer Fighter: Grapefruit
A grapefruit a day can reduce your risk of developing lung cancer by up to 50 percent. Grapefruit contains naringin, which may help lower levels of cancer-causing enzymes.
Best Cholesterol Reducer: Olive Oil
Antioxidants found in olives have been shown both to raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, making olive oil a doubly potent protector against cardiovascular disease.