You may have noticed a lot of hype recently around exotic fruits and veggies like acai and kale, but that’s no reason to focus entirely on them and stop consuming the old standards.
In fact, researchers are discovering new reasons to get excited about produce, including these old standbys -
- Celery - based on new research data, celery is back on the must-eat list as a potential cancer fighter thanks to its content of a flavonoid called apigenin. When pancreatic cancer cells were treated with apigenin, 44 percent of them were killed. Apparently apigenin activates a chemical reaction inside pancreatic cancer cells, causing them to self-destruct. While eating celery won't cure pancreatic cancer (because you can never eat enough), over time a diet containing apigenin-rich foods may help to prevent this disease - not to mention other cancers.
- Grapes - the skins of these nutritious fruits are bursting with resveratrol, the same powerful antioxidant that makes red wine good for your heart. Now a new study shows that resveratrol may also boost immunity by increasing levels of a molecule that kills bacteria and viruses. In fact, the study authors believe that adding more grapes to your diet may prevent you from getting infections in the first place.
- Mushrooms - fungi have always been believed to be heart healthy and immune boosting. Now research data shows that they may also help to prevent breast cancer by lowering estrogen levels. When postmenopausal women consumed 13 grams of mushroom powder (equivalent to 1 and 1/3 cups of white button mushrooms) every day for three months, their estrogen production dropped by an astonishing 27 percent, with profound implications for their breast cancer risk.
- Bell peppers - health experts have long known that smokers have a lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease, in which brain cells that make the neurotransmitter dopamine are lost. Bell peppers are a much safer source of nicotine - and a recent study has shown that eating bell peppers (and spicier varieties as well) twice a week or more was associated with a 30 percent reduced risk of Parkinson's disease.
Given the many health benefits of adding these nutritional powerhouses to your diet - why not start doing so today, if you aren’t doing so already?