We recently shared the “49 Days of Superfoods”  in a daily campaign on Facebook. Did you miss it or skip a day? Not to worry!

Here you can find our full listing of all 49 Superfoods, including great tips and easy recipes to try.
(Psst, they are all 100% vegetarian-friendly too!)

You don’t have to go on a ‘diet’ to eat better and feel great.
Simply, start by making better choices.

1. Almonds

almonds

Almonds are a nutrition packed nut. Like others nuts, it is high in fibre, monounsaturated fats and antioxidants like vitamin E. Almonds contain high amounts of magnesium important for circulation of oxygen in the blood which is crucial to optimum cardiovascular performance.They are also high in potassium which is important for heart function to increase endurance, as well as for muscle contraction, to promote strength and assist in a speedy recovery.

2. Amaranth

amaranth

A great grain for physically active individuals – 5 grams of high quality protein in only 1/2 cup! It’s high in iron & vitamin C (helps oxygenate the muscles to fuel your cardiovascular workouts & reduce fatigue), also rich in magnesium (helps to relax blood flow & aid in post-workout recovery). Amaranth contains zinc, calcium, potassium and phosphorous to support a strong immune system, healthy blood pressure and strong bones – and, it’s gluten-free!

I remember discovering this gem in Costa Rica when I was there for Yoga Teacher Training, the climate there is ideal for this grain! But you can also find it locally in your grocery store.

3. Apples

apples

Apples are filled with vitamins A and C (anti-oxidants, reduce the incidence of free radical damage, heart disease and tumorous cancer growths), potassium and copper. They contain both soluble and insoluble fibre (promotes heart and digestive health), and the skin of an apple also contains a special flavonoid called quercetin (reduces the risk of cancer).

It’s true, an apple a day keeps the doctor away! Go take a bite.

4. Artichoke

artichoke

Artichokes are a disease fighting food: combating diabetes, heart disease and cancer all at once – source of inulin, known to help stabilize blood sugar levels (important for the prevention of diabetes). They have high choleretic activity, meaning they promote bile secretion; bile binds cholesterol, decreasing the formation of arterial plaque, decreasing your risk of heart disease and stroke! The heart of an artichoke provides a group of flavonoids called silymarin (potent anti-inflammatories, help to ward off cancer)

5. Asparagus

asparagus

A great vegetable for people who are physically active – supplies almost 66% of the daily recommended intake of folate (crucial for red blood cell synthesis & preventing iron deficiency anemia.Asparagus is high in vitamin K content (important for working with calcium to help build strong bones & prevent osteoporosis). It contains a special kind of carbohydrate called inulin that promotes the formation of a health-friendly bacteria in our large intestine.

6. Avocados

avocado

2/3 of the 31 grams of fat per avocado is monounsaturated, which has been shown to help lower total cholesterol. Avocados also pack powerful phytochemicals, that fight against cancer and heart disease.

Because of their high healthy fat content, avocados can help quickly satiate hunger which assists in weight loss. Watch your portion size though as avocados are quite calorie dense (you can have too much of a good thing!)

7. Bananas

bananas

Bananas are an excellent source of energizing carbohydrate and potassium. This makes bananas a great post-exercise food choice for replenishing muscle and liver glycogen which can aid in the prevention of muscle cramps.

They also provide vitamin B6 and other phytochemicals including Vitamin C and folate that help fight cancer and heart disease. Bananas contain a unique form of fiber to help provide good bacteria in your gut and colon.

Bananas are my go-to snack 60 minutes pre-exercise that give me superpower like energy before my workouts, try it!

8. Beans

beans

Contain 3 grams of fibre per cup which can help promote weight loss.Waxed beans are high in iron & vitamin C, crucial to promoting oxygenation of the muscle during workouts. The beta-carotene and folate content also boost immune function to help keep you healthy during stressful times.Waxed beans also contain magnesium, beta-carotene, folate and thiamine which work together to help to fight off common diseases cancer and heart disease.

9. Beets & Beet Greens

beets

Beets are a great disease fighter. Their red betacyanin pigment is known to be a potent cancer fighter. They also contain the nutrient betaine which works with folate to lower inflammatory compounds known to damage your arteries and increase your risk for heart disease.

Red beets are also a great source of salicylic acid, a close relative of aspirin.Beet greens are a great treat for vegetarians as they have a high iron and calcium content rarely found in vegetables, yet so crucial to preventing anemia and osteoporosis. They are also loaded with vitamin C, fibre, potassium and magnesium, all important to maintain good health.

10. Bell Peppers

bellpeppers

One of the top 10 foods for supplying beta-carotene and vitamin C! Bell peppers are an antioxidant powerhouse! These antioxidants aid in post workout muscle recovery.The red and yellow have at least twice as much vitamin C and nine times the concentration of beta carotene than a green pepper. Their antioxidant properties help to lower cholesterol build up on the arteries and fight the formation of nitrosamines, a cancer causing agent.

Also supply potassium and folate, which protects the heart to keep it in tip top condition.

11. Berries

berries

Berries are nutritional powerhouses.Blueberries rank at the top in antioxidant activity compared with all other fruits and veggies. The blue color (anythocyanin) is the antioxidant responsible for helping reduce build up of bad cholesterol, decreasing the risk for heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.

Strawberries and raspberries contain ellagic acid, which is responsible for improving heart health, blood pressure and preventing certain types of cancers.

Andrea’s tip! Try them in low or no-fat cottage cheese (or dry cheese curd!) for a great protein packed snack, yum!

12. Bok Choy

bokchoy

Great for people who do not eat dairy products!Nutrition powerhouse with numerous disease fighting phytochemicals.  These leafy greens which are high calcium and vitamin K content, help build strong bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.Bok choy is a great source of iron necessary for muscle oxygenation and prevention of anemia.

This veggie is also known for a phytochemical that produces an antioxidant named glutathione, which can help reduce the oxidative stress load of intense training.

13. Broccoli

broccoli

Famous for its cancer fighting contents including flavonoids, terpenes, and phenolics. Sulforaphane, one of the cancer-preventing isothiocyanates, boosts the body’s defense against tumours and protects against many different types of cancers. Broccoli is also a heart-friendly food: the beta-carotene, potassium and folate all promote a healthy heart function and are known to reduce the risk of heart disease.

This veggie contents a special compound luetin, especially potent in reducing heart disease by eating away at plaque build up on artery walls. Broccoli is another bone building vegetable containing over 100% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin K and 200% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C!

14. Brussel Sprouts 

brusselsprouts

Though not everyone’s favourite side dish, these vegetable have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis.These sprouts contain high levels of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which help reduce the risk for developing cancer. Their potassium content lowers blood pressure, the soluble fibre lowers cholesterol, and the folate lowers homocysteine (which causes plaque to build on artery walls)Brussel sprouts are a source of calcium and vitamin K, which helps to build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.

Not a fan? Try thinly slicing your brussel sprouts instead of eating them whole! Quick recipe: brown some butter or warm olive oil (healthier option!) in a sauce pan, add sliced brussel sprouts and some lemon juice and black pepper, saute for 1-3 minutes – bon appetit! 

15. Bulgar

bulgar

Looking for a way to boost your immune system and regain energy? Bulgar would be a great choice.Combine it with a vitamin C-rich fruit or veggie and bulgur’s iron supply will help strengthen the immune system and beat fatigue.With a whopping 5 grams of insoluble fibre per cup, bulgur reduces the risk for irritable bowel syndrome, fights colon cancer and supports weight loss. It is also low in fat and rich in B vitamins, iron, phosphorous and manganese making it one of the most nutritious grains.

16. Carrots

carrots

One medium carrot contains your daily requirements for a type of Vitamin A called beta-carotene, which has numerous health benefits including its powerful antioxidants which boost the immune system, helping to ward off infections.>/p>Carrots have been shown to be very powerful disease fighters: a specific compound found in carrots called teroedniod has both anti-bacterial and anti-tumour properties. The caroteniods in the carrots have also been proven to dramatically lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

17. Cauliflower

cauliflower

 

Many assume that all white vegetables have little nutritional value but with cauliflower, it’s a disease fighting powerhouse!Packed with vitamin C, folate, potassium and fibre which team up to prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure, bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol and homocysteine levels. Caulfilower provides pigments isothiocyanates and indoles that battle cancer by reducing tumour growth.

18. Cherries

cherries

Red cherries have tons of antioxidants being rich in vitamin A and C as well as in its deep red anthocyanin pigments. These powerful anti-oxidants reduce the oxidative stress from a strenuous workout aiding in muscle recovery. Cherries are also full of fibre and potassium, which paired together, reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure.The red pigments in cherries specially fights heart disease and stroke by blocking the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, reducing the inflammation that contributes to the build-up of plaque.

Cherries also contain specific flavonoid called terpenoid that research shows is at the forefront of fighting cancer through reducing tumour growth.

19. Citrus Fruits

citrusfruits

Oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit, kumkuat and clementine’s are not only good sources of Vitamin C but they contain many other nutrients such as fiber, potassium, folate, Vitamin B-6, magnesium, thiamine, niacin and other phytonutrients. These naturally occurring compounds have been found to protect against many diseases.

Consuming Vitamin C as part of diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with lower rates of disease.

20. Cranberries

cranberries

Cranberries are best known for their ability to ward off urinary tract infections. Large molecules called A-linked condensed tannins act as a coating to prevent bacteria from adhering to bladder walls, reducing incidence of infection. This same polyphenol prevent ulcers by inhibiting Helicobacter pylori from adhering to stomach lining and prevent dental plaque by keeping bacteria in the mouth from sticking to teeth.

The rich red colour of cranberries helps fight heart disease by retarding the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, thining the blood and reducing blood clots.

21. Eggs

eggs

Eggs make a great pre and post exercise meal. Each egg contains about 7 grams of complete and readily absorbable protein, perfect for aerobic metabolism and assisting in speedy recoveries.Eggs also have a high amount of easily absorbed iron which helps prevent iron deficiency anemia and oxygenate the muscles during workouts.

Eggs also pack a potent anti-oxidant mix including selenium, vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin, that aid in muscle recovery. Additionally, eggs contain vitamin D which promotes bone health as well as vitamin B-12 which assists iron in maintaining blood cell health.

For weight loss, try just the egg white which contains the most protein without the fat; however, you do lose much of the nutrient content like vitamins which are in the yolk.

22. Flaxseed

flaxseed

Flaxseed is the answer for a vegetarian alternative of omega 3 fatty acids!Flaxseed has been shown in many studies to offer heart-healthy benefits by lowering total cholesterol and Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) levels. Flaxseed also helps lower triglycerides and blood pressure, reducing the risk of a heart attack.Flaxseed oil pills provide a concentrated source of alpha-linolenic acids. However, it does not contain other beneficial ingredients such as fiber and lignin found in the actual flaxseed. Lignin is a type of antioxidant phytoestrogen proving to protect against cancer.

Make sure you purchase your flaxseed from the refrigerated section and store it at home in a cool, dark place like the fridge.

23. Garlic

garlic

Packed with powerful phytochemicals (Allicin and Diallyl Sulfides), which have been linked to lowering blood cholesterol, reducing the risk of stomach and colon cancers. These phytochemicals are released when the garlic is crushed, chopped to cooked.

Did you know? Studies have shown that eating 2-3 cloves/day can significantly lower risk of colon cancer and provide heart health benefits! (and prevent unwanted vampire attention)

24. Herbs

herbs

Many herbs contain numerous phytochemicals, including antioxidants, to support health and fight diseases like cancer and heart disease:– Rosemary leaves contains carnosic acid which has long-lasting abilities to quench free radicals, fighting against cancer and heart disease.– Thyme also contains a number of familiar cancer-fighting polyphenols, including p-coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid and anti-bacterial terpenoids.– Basil supplies the cancer fighting terpenoid geraniol and heart healthy quercetin.

Herbs can aid in replacing the flavour additives in high fat and sugar sauces.Therefore, by switching to seasoning foods with herbs you are further reducing your risk for diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, as well as promoting weight loss by the removal of additional empty calories.

Try sprinkling your salad with basil or rosemary and other herbs for added flavour and use half your usual amount of salad dressing (or maybe even none at all!)

25. Kiwi Fruit

kiwi

A tropical treasure! Its potassium content is greater than a banana, making it a great a post workout snack to help replace the potassium lost from sweat.Kiwi packs more vitamin C than an orange, which is important for keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Plus, this little fruit is high in fibre and low in calories – a great filling snack for those looking to manage their weight!

26. Lentils & Legumes

legumes

A vegetarian super food! Did you know the protein content in 1/4 cup of these meat alternatives = 1oz of meat?Beyond the protein content, this vegetarian alternative is high in both soluble and insoluble fibre (about 15g per cup), important for keeping your cholesterol levels in check and promoting great digestive health.

An additional benefit is their high anti-oxidant power (it’s actually one of the 20 foods with the highest antioxidant content!) Antioxidants have been known to enhance the immune system preventing infections and illness as well as to aid in muscle recovery.

27. Mango

mango

Mango is the second tropical treat on the list. Like the kiwi, it is high in the cancer fighting phytochemical phytoene which protects our body against oxidative stress, decreasing our risk of cancer.Similar to the carrot, it is also high in beta-carotene which promotes a healthy immune system. Its vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium and folate content work in conjunction to keep the cardiovascular system strong. The insoluble fibre in this fruit helps to maintain healthy blood pressure levels as well as a healthy weight, which further reduces your risk for heart disease.

Andrea’s tip! Try a super simple fresh mango salsa, mixing some mango pieces with red onions and drizzle with lime juice – yum! Use it to top your protein serving for a great low-fat, low-calorie alternative to sauce.

28. Nuts

nuts

One of best sources of plant protein! A perfect post workout snack.Rich in magnesium, niacin, copper and manganese, vitamin E and other antioxidants. For active individuals, the magnesium content helps to relax blood flow which reduces cardiovascular stress that occurs after strenuous workouts aiding in the recovery process.Additionally, these antioxidants also aid in recovery of muscles through the reduction of oxidative damage.Nuts are also high in plant sterols, fibers and “good fats” that are shown to protect against chronic diseases.

Did you know? A study revealed that people who eat nuts 5 or more times per week reduce their risk of developing heart disease and diabetes by more than 20%.Try this! Many people may tend to avoid nuts because yes, they are calorie-dense. But, by adding a 1/4 cup of nuts along with a carbohydrate source, such as dry cereal and dried fruit mixtures, it will keep you fuller longer which could help manage a healthy weight.

29. Oats

oats

Oatmeal is an excellent pre-activity food choice as it is stacked with complex carbohydrates, considered the most vital source of glycogen to stock up on before you exercise.It is also high in fiber which helps you feel satisfied longer after meals and maintain your energy for a long period of time during workouts.

Oats also have many disease fighting compounds such as tocotrienols, which have heart healthy benefits similar to those of vitamin E. They also supply B vitamins such as folate which promotes a healthy heart, along with phosphorous and magnesium which contributes to healthy strong bones.

30. Olive Oil

oliveoil

Olive oil is a great choice when preparing food because of its high mono-unsaturated fat content. This healthy fat helps raise ‘healthy’ HDL cholesterol fighting off heart disease. Additionally, this oil contains an abundance of beneficial plant compounds such as flavonoids, phenols and lignin’s, which act as potent antioxidants in the body.

They also fight heart disease by reducing the build-up of plaque on artery walls. These potent phytochemicals also inhibit the development and spread of cancerous cells, especially for breast and colon cancer.

31. Peanut Butter

peanutbutter

This protein powerhouse is a versatile source of protein and it provides a good dose of carbohydrates for energy. Although peanut butter is high in fat, with most of the fat is of the monounsaturated variety which help lower bad (LDL) cholesterol.

Andrea’s tip! Avoid the added sugar plus get more protein with natural peanut (4g/tbsp) vs. the same amount of calories in processed peanut butter (1g/tbsp). Go for organic too if you can!

32. Pears

pears

A great snack! The fruit with the highest fibre content.Fibre slows release of carbohydrate providing longer lasting energy to the whole body during workouts. For general health, its high fibre content also regulates your digestive track and reduces the symptoms of intestinal diseases such as IBS, Chrons and Colitis as well as colon cancer. The fibre also works alongside potassium to help reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.High vitamin C and beta-carotene antioxidants, further promote cancer and heart disease prevention, all the while boosting immune system function. — These antioxidants also benefit you while training, as they reduce the oxidative stress on your body, aiding in muscle recovery.

Andrea’s tip! Try a pear and brie lettuce wrap (yum!) Ingredients: 1 pear cut into pieces with skin on, 30g serving of brie, trimmed (100 calories), 3-4 leaves, Romaine lettuce heart, light mayo. Directions: Spread the brie inside the lettuce leaves, dizzle 1 line of mayo per wrap, and add the pear.

33. Peas

peas

Peas are important in lowering your risk of intestinal diseases, heart disease cancer and anemia. They contain a hefty amount of fibre, which is known to reduce the risk of developing intestinal diseases.When it comes to the heart, the potassium and folate content in this little green vegetable helps to maintain healthy blood pressure, as well as reduce LDL cholesterol that causes plaque via its phytosterol content.

The potent antioxidant vitamin C and A also provide protection against free radical formation and cancer development.Lastly, the iron and vitamin C in this vegetable work together to help prevent iron deficiency anemia as well as boost immunity and prevents fatigue, headaches and lack of stamina.

34. Pumpkin

pumpkin        

One cup of cooked pumpkin has only 50 calories and nearly three grams of fiber, making it the perfect healthful addition to your meal. Pumpkins are packed with beta carotene, an antioxidant that helps improve immune function and reduce the risk for chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Even better, while the flesh of the pumpkin packs nutritious power on its own, there’s a good reason not to toss the seeds. Promising research suggests that the oil from pumpkin seeds can inhibit benign prostate growth.

35. Quinoa

quinoa

Pronounced “KEEN-wah”, this is a power packed grain, amazing for workout recovery!The seeds of the quinoa grain are rich in whole grains and protein, ideal for people looking for a new source of complete protein to build muscle and restore their bodies after workouts. The magnesium contained in the grain also helps to relax blood flow, which can aid in post-workout recovery and reduction in cardiovascular stress after strenuous workouts.

Quinoa also features antioxidants which can help aid in muscle recovery and high fibre content which helps keep you fuller longer aiding in weight maintenance.

36. Raisins

raisins

Raisins are a great snack for those individuals needing more calorie-dense nutrition packed foods to fuel their strenuous workouts (just watch portion size if you’re trying to lose weight). Grapes contain a significant amount of antioxidant power aiding in muscle recovery. They also contain a hefty dose of B-vitamins needed to keep the heart healthy and iron needed for blood oxygenation to deliver fuel to keep your muscles going.

Raisins also contain cholesterol lowering quercetin, artery expanding flavonoids and tumour-fighting tannins. During the drying process, raisins also create a fibrous carbohydrate; inulin, which ferments in the gut creating multiple healthy bacteria which help prevent and manage intestinal diseases.

37. Red Cabbage

redcabbage

Red cabbage offers powerful protection against many diseases such as cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis. Its strong team of antioxidants (including glutathione, flavonoids, indoles, phenolic acid, plant sterols, sulforaphane and anthocyanin) are all proven to inhibit cancerous cell growth at every stage of development.

Red cabbage also supplies a healthy dose of calcium, magnesium and phosphorous to support strong bones to prevent osteoporosis.The combination of vitamin C, folate and magnesium in cabbage also helps to cut the risk of heart disease through lowering blood cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy heart. The magnesium and vitamin C in this vegetable also aid in recovery through reducing cardiovascular stress and oxidative stress to muscles after a workout.

38. Soy

soy

Soy is one of the few complete plant-based proteins! Because it is a complete protein, it has all dispensable amino acids needed for protein synthesis in the muscles to promote repair and growth. Soy protein contains a higher level of the essential amino acids, arginine known to promote anabolic activity of muscle that results in growth.It also has a higher concentration of glutamine that buffers lactic acid-build up in the muscle, which may reduce fatigue in the body during and after exercise.

Beyond its protein content, soy is loaded with B-vitamins and phosphorus which assist in muscle contraction during exercise. Additionally, soy is high in calcium and magnesium important for bone health as well as iron which oxygenates the muscles and helps prevent anemia.

39. Soy Bean

soybean

Soy beans should be on the grocery list of every active individual, as one cup of cooked soy beans provides the similar protein content to a 3 ounce chicken breast and more iron than a 3 ounce steak!Both of these nutrients are crucial for building muscle and oxygenation of the muscle during strenuous exercise.Additionally, the soy bean has almost as much calcium as one cup of milk which is a great way to keep bones strong, especially for vegetarians.

This bean also boasts 8g fibre in one cup, a perfect way to help keep your digestive track healthy and satiate hunger. Overall, this meat alternative has the same high quality protein found in meat, but it is much lower in fat, assisting in weight maintenance or loss.

40. Spinach

spinach

Pound for pound, spinach provides more nutrients than any other food. The nutrients in this leafy green include vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6.When it comes to cardiovascular conditioning its high magnesium and iron content increase circulation of oxygen in the blood, which is crucial for optimal performance. Spinach also boasts antioxidants vitamin A and C which can counter balance the oxidative stress of a strenuous workout.

Andrea’s tip! Popeye had it right. Spinach is great for any meal – try it in an egg white omelette for breakfast, spinach salad for and sauteed with olive oil and garlic for dinner – and as always, choose organic if you can – enjoy!

41. Squashsquash

Let’s celebrate squash (and it’s 40 varieties!)

Did you know? The darker the squash, the more nutrients it typically contains. For example, winter squash contains a hefty amount of cancer-fighting beta-carotene, immune boosting vitamin C, blood pressure lowering potassium, heart healthy folate and bone-strengthening manganese. Winter squash also delivers a rich source of soluble and insoluble fibre to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, promote digestive health and maintain a healthy body weight.

42. Sunflower Seedssunflowerseeds

Sunflower seeds are the richest source of the antioxidant vitamin E, supplying 76% of your daily intake in a one ounce serving. Also contain other potent antioxidants selenium and copper, which along with the vitamin E content, are sure to aid in muscle recovery after workouts as well as fight off numerous diseases such as cancer and heart disease.These seeds are also high in iron which is needed for the constant supply of oxygen to the muscles, as well as thiamine involved in converting carbohydrates into fuel for your workouts.

Additionally, their high zinc content helps support a strong immune system and beat fatigue, ensuring optimum health during performance.Andrea’s tip: Yes they’re filled with good fats, but just like our other superfoods nuts and avocado, they are calorie dense so watch your portion size for unwanted weight gain (1oz serving of sunflower seeds is good!)

43. Sweet Potatoessweetpotatoes

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of iron, which is conducive to oxygenation of the muscles to fuel your workouts. Also a source of vitamin C and E and beta-carotene, which both have antioxidant properties that assist in muscle recovery.A sweet potato’s folate, iron, copper, calcium and fibre help to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and homocysteine levels. These nutrients also boost the immune system, fight cancer, support strong bones and combat intestinal disease.

Andrea’s tip: Love your creamy mashed potatoes? Try mashed sweet potatoes instead with a bit of brown sugar or no added sugar maple syrup, yum!

44. Swiss Chard swisschard

One of the lesser known dark leafy green vegetables; however, it is just as nutritious as spinach and should find its place in your fridge. It’s full of the antioxidants antiphytochemicals, lutein and zeaxanthin which strike a blow against cancer and heart disease. The green chlorophyll pigments of this plant along with its beta-carotene and carotenoids also aid in combating cancerous growths. The high potassium and vitamin B levels also aid in reducing heart disease through regulating blood pressure levels and reducing the formation of plaque in the arteries.

Specifically for active individuals, this rich potassium source is a great addition to a post-exercise meal to aid in replacing the electrolyte lost in sweat during workouts. Magnesium offers recovery benefits by relaxing blood flow, reducing cardiovascular stress felt after a strenuous workout.Additionally, the magnesium, along with phosphorous, calcium and vitamin K help to promote strong bones, reducing the likelihood of activity-related injury.

45. Tea

tea

Tea has long been considered a super drink due to its polyphenol content, a known anti-oxidant. It is these polyphenols that researchers have shown to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke. A Japanese study has shown these compounds reduce the oxidation of the bad LDL cholesterol, which decreases plaque build up on artery walls. Tea has also been found to reduce tumour growth in multiple cancers such as gastric, skin and ovarian.Did you know? It doesn’t matter which tea, but which not (and what not to add!) To get tea’s natural health benefits, the type of tea does not matter – as long as it’s not decaffeinated, as polyphenols may be removed during the process. More importantly, it’s what you put into your tea. Adding high fat cream or simple sugars reduces the nutritional value and adds empty calories.

Andrea’s tip: If you are looking for weight loss though, green tea is the way to go! (Psst, remember tea does contain 40mg of caffeine per cup, which can be harmful to the body if consumed in quantities over the daily limit of 400mg)

46. Tomatoes

tomatoes

Tomatoes have long been known as a super food and much of this rep comes from their high lycopene (red pigment) content. Research has shown this compound is a powerful antioxidant which protects against prostate, colorectal, breast, lung, endometrial, pancreatic, bladder, cervical and skin cancers.Tomatoes are also rich sources of vitamin C, vitamin A, B vitamins including niacin and riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorous, and calcium. The vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, and folate found in abundance in tomatoes are potent protectors against heart disease. Niacin also lowers cholesterol levels and potassium has been shown to lower high blood pressure which reduces the risk of heart disease.

Andrea’s tip: Whether you say ‘toMAYto’ or toMAHto’, eat up! Toss ‘em in a salad, or you could even eat one like an apple if you’re game for a new experience. 

47. Watermelon

watermelon

Watermelon is yet another fruit packed with potent antioxidant power due to its red pigment lycopene. The antioxidant power in this pigment, along with this fruit’s high concentration of vitamin and beta carotene is sure to reduce oxidative stress from intense workouts, helping aid in muscle recovery. For general health, lycopene is known for protecting against heart disease and fighting various cancers.Watermelon also stimulates the production of glutathione, the body’s own protective anti-oxidant which boosts the immune system to fight numerous chronic diseases by reducing inflammation and detoxifying carcinogens.

Andrea’s tip! Try fresh watermelon salad (inspired by SoHo district in New York) – cube watermelon and toss with some olive oil, crumbled feta and some fresh cut mint – one of my favourites!

48. Wheat Bran & Germ (Whole Grain Wheat)

wheatbran

Wheat bran and wheat germ are both components of the whole grain (surprise!), which contain many beneficial vitamins and minerals. Its high iron content supports oxygenation of the muscle, while its zinc content supports a healthy immune system to keep you feeling your best. These grains also supply calcium, magnesium and phosphorous crucial to promoting bone mass and reducing the incidence of osteoporosis. Both the bran and germ layers of wheat also supply a source of selenium, a potent antioxidant beneficial to reducing the oxidative stress placed on the body after a strenuous workout. And! The antioxidant power of these grain components is shown to fight against cancer by reducing free radical formation, as well as reduce the bad LDL cholesterol to make your heart healthier.

Numerous studies have shown that simply switching from refined grain products to whole grain products reduces your risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke. It is the whole grains phytochemicals including phenolic acids, phytic acid and lignins that combat to fight against cancer and heart disease. Fibre-rich whole grain wheat and its many nutrients further reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering the bad LDL cholesterol and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Lastly, whole grain wheat provides slow-releasing carbohydrates that stabilize blood sugars to prevent and manage diabetes.

Andrea’s tip! Go for whole grain, and check the ingredients to make sure it includes the bran and germ. For weight loss, limit your grain intake in the evenings.

49. Yogurt

yogurt

Yogurt is a fantastic post workout food! Containing 8 g of protein in a 1 cup serving, eating yogurt after your workout will help repair muscle breakdown and promote tissue repair. But the health benefits go way beyond that. The active cultures in yogurt help maintain the good gut bacteria in your intestinal tract.Enjoy yogurt as substitute for many high fat foods like mayonnaise, sour cream, oils in baking. Add it to smoothies, salad dressings, dips or as a dessert topping.

Andrea’s tip! Choose low-fat organic greek yogurt for the greatest protein content and smooth (not runny) taste and texture.