Most of us know about the importance of incorporating fruits and vegetables into our daily diets, but not many people are aware about the fact that some plant-based foods offer better value than others. These not only include foods that contain low amounts of calories, but also some that can help you prevent a wide range of illnesses. The following is a list of 14 fruits and vegetables that contain low amounts of calories and unique properties that support good heath..
Apricots – contains Vitamin A, fiber, beta-carotene and potassium. They are also an excellent source of beta-cryptoxanthinm, a compound that may help prevent both lung and colon cancer.
Arugula – at only 5 calories per cup, a must have for dieters. This vegetable also contains plenty of folate, lutein, zeaxanthin and Vitamin A.
Asparagus – only 40 calories per cup, yet provides folate, Vitamin K, fiber and potassium.
Bok Choy – contains potassium, beta-carotene, calcium, and Vitamin A. Bok Choy also contains indoles – compounds known to lower the risk of developing cancer. A single cup of this vegetable only contains 9 calories.
Cherries – known for it´s anti-inflammatory properties. This low calorie fruit also contains a host of cancer fighting agents that include quercetin, ellagic acid, perillyl alcohol.
Cranberries – a single cup of cranberries only contains 44 calories. In addition, these fruits have been long known for their capacity to prevent urinary tract infections. Recent studies also indicate that cranberries can also reduce the ability of bacteria to stick to teeth and the lining of the stomach.
Grapefruit – this fruit has long been known as a dietary aid, cancer fighter, cholesterol reducer and valuable source of calcium, phytosterols, magnesium and Vitamins A and C. Pink grapefruits have the added cancer fighting benefits associated with lycopene, as well as increased amounts of Vitamin A and Beta Carotene.
Honeydew – these delicious melons offer high fiber, few calories and high water content.
Peaches – a low glycemic index (good for weight loss) fruit that contain phosphorus, calcium, Vitamin A, C, K, magnesium, beta-carotene, potassium, lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin.
Peppers – low in calories, delicious and can be added to almost any dish.
Pumpkin – Only 49 calories per cup. A good source of potassium, beta-carotene and Vitamin A.
Rasberries – a single cup only contains 64 calories. They contain high amount of fiber.
Spinach – a vital source of Vitamin K, A, C, manganese, calcium, iron, folic acid, and quercetin. Some refer to spinach as an ideal replacement for milk and other dairy products.
Strawberries – contains only 50 calories per cup. They also contain fiber, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and Vitamin C. Some studies also indicate that strawberry and blueberry extracts may help prevent both cervical and breast cancer. Other studies indicate that these delicious berries may also provide benefits for memory and other brain functions.