You spend a lot of time eating right and exercising so that you’ll live a long and healthy life. I wouldn’t call these “shortcuts,” but if you’re looking to reduce your risk of disease, increase your vitamin intake or get more fiber in your diet, read up on these four little foods with a big impact!
Supercharge your vitamin intake.
HOW: Drink pomegranate juice instead instead of orange juice. Pomegranate juice has a greater disease-preventing capacity because of its off-the-charts antioxidant content. Also pomegranates have the ability to reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, including breast cancer.
Drinking 100 percent juice may actually be better than eating a pomegranate, because the juice is squeezed from the whole fruit, so you get the nutrients from the seeds as well as from the peel, which is packed with phytochemicals. If you find pomegranate juice too sweet or too tart, mix it with sparkling water or add a twist of lime for freshness.
Tips on longevity.
HOW: Goji berries: These raisin-sized fruits are chewy and taste like a cross between a cranberry and a cherry. The nickname ”Longevity Fruit” comes from the fact that in Northern China, where the availability and consumption of this fruit is high, there are over 16 times the number of people over 100 years old as compared to other countries. Recent studies have found that the sugars that make goji berries sweet reduce insulin resistance – a risk factor of diabetes. Eat goji berries mixed/dried or fresh with a cup of plain yogurt, sprinkle them on your oatmeal or cold cereal, or enjoy a handful by themselves.
Stay trim and ward off diabetes.
HOW: Eat red lentils instead of mashed potatoes. Despite their diminutive size, red lentils out-punch potatoes in three key nutritional ways: they’re packed with much more protein and fiber; they can reduce the risk of developin metabolic syndrome, hypertension, obesity, and even diabetes. Eating high-glycemic carbohydrates, such as potatoes, can lead to a spike and then drop in blood sugar. Lentils however, are absorbed much more slowly and have less of an impact on blood sugar.
Concentrate on a diet high in lycopene and fiber.
HOW: Guava is an obscure tropical fruit that’s subtly acidic, with sweetness that intensifies as you eat your way to the center. Guava has a higher concentration of lycopene- an antioxidant that fights ovarian cancer- than any other plant food, including tomatoes and watermelon.
In addition, 1 cup of guava provides 688 mgs of potassium, which is 63 percent more than you’ll find in a medium banana. And guava may be the ultimate high-fiber food: There’s almost 9 grams of fiber in every cup. You can eat the entire fruit, from the rind to the seeds. It’s all edible-and nutritious. The rind alone has more vitamin C than you’d find in the flesh of an orange. You can score guava in the produce section of higher-end supermarkets or in Latin grocery stores.