No longer just another of those leafy, spinach-like greens in the vegetable aisle, kale is now often touted as a true superfood. Eat a cup raw and you’ll get more Vitamin K than from any other leafy green; it’s also high in beta-carotene. Kale and Brussel sprouts are both cruciferous vegetables; others include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards and turnips and all come with their share of vitamins and minerals.
Containing Vitamin C, manganese, potassium and calcium (depending on where the fruits originate from), persimmons must be eaten when fully ripe to enjoy their sweetness (and to avoid a mouthful of a very chalky fruit that will make your mouth pucker). When I first tried a persimmon from my aunt’s Sacramento backyard, I thought they tasted better than pudding. You can also mix them into an actual pudding, a pie and bread (as my aunt used to do).
Bypass those bottles of pomegranate juice and go for the real thing. Slice open one of the fruits to find the arils, the ruby red seed packs that contain antioxidants and also tannins, which have been shown to lower “bad” cholesterol and to be beneficial for your heart.
It’s impossible not to mention pumpkins, which have many uses besides carving (if you celebrate Halloween). Half a cup of pumpkin contains vitamin A in the form of beta carotene and about 10 percent of your daily dose of potassium. Pumpkin seeds also contain their share of healthy fats and oils. Don’t forget other dark orange vegetables including butternut squash, carrots and sweet potatoes — their deep orange color says fall like nothing else.
10. Red Wine
Consumed in moderation, red wine has been linked to keeping your heart healthy by increasing levels of “good” cholesterol and preventing artery damage. Scientists aren’t sure why but suspect that antioxidants — flavonoids or a substance called resveratrol — may play a part. If you’d prefer to avoid alcohol, purple grape juice and non-alcoholic red wine have also been shown to have some of red wine’s benefits.
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