Should I Be Eating… ?

food-index-165Choose from hundreds of foods, from almonds to zucchini, and find out their effects on your health.

Find out the hidden health benefits in your favorite foods. Browse the index from A to Z and discover the powerful nutrients, vitamins, and minerals each food contains — plus the medical conditions and concerns these foods can help treat.

  • Garlic
    Garlic contains allicin, a naturally occurring antioxidant that may help improve heart health. Compounds in garlic also act as powerful antioxidants. There is some evidence that garlic may lower blood pressure and LDL-cholesterol levels — as well as decrease levels of homocysteine — a by-product of protein breakdown that causes inflammation and damages blood vessels. Although most of the studies that support the health benefits of garlic are done with garlic supplements, they certainly encourage the continued use of garlic as a delicious flavor enhancer in everyday food. Because garlic can act as a blood thinne...
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  • Garlic Powder
    While it doesn't have the exact same flavor as garlic, garlic powder comes from dehydrated garlic cloves and lasts longer than fresh garlic. It also goes a long way in cooking — 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder is equivalent to one clove of fresh garlic. Like other spices, garlic powder is a good substitute for salt when adding flavor to food. Just make sure not to confuse it with garlic salt, which is high in sodium and can increase the risk of high blood pressure.
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  • Gin
    Gin is a hard alcohol that is often combined with high-calorie, sugary mixers like fruit juice or soda. Drinking gin and mixed gin drinks can pack on the pounds, increase already high triglycerides, and interfere with sleep. It is best to limit gin and other alcoholic beverages, especially if you are trying to lose weight, have type 2 diabetes or gout, or experience irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). That said, drinking moderate amounts of alcohol has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke and boost HDL (good) cholesterol. If you don't already drink, don't start, and if you do, limit your intake to one ...
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  • Ginger
    Ginger is a spice that has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body, which can help prevent and manage arthritis. Some studies have also shown ginger to be an effective solution for nausea. Ginger can be found fresh in the produce section and ground, and it is commonly used in Asian cooking and baked goods. Ground ginger has a very different flavor than fresh ginger and is typically not a good substitute for fresh in recipes.
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  • Goat Cheese
    Like other cheeses, goat cheese is a good source of protein and calcium, but it is also high in fat, especially saturated fat, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and memory loss, not to mention impede your weight-loss efforts if eaten in excess. To keep calories in check, enjoy goat cheese in moderation — limit yourself to a one to two ounce portion per meal. (Note: Since most cheeses are high in sodium, people with high blood pressure should eat only moderate amounts and factor the sodium content into their daily totals.) If you get migraine headaches, it’s importa...
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  • Grapefruit
    Grapefruit is a citrus fruit with a high water content and a good amount of fiber, making it a great choice for people who are trying to lose weight or prevent or manage heart disease or type 2 diabetes. All grapefruits are a good source of vitamin C, and red and pink grapefruits also offer up a high dose of beta-carotene. Vitamin C and beta-carotene are antioxidants found in many fruits that help prevent arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration as well as help maintain healthy hair and skin. Because grapefruit and other citrus fruits are possible triggers for IBS and migraine headaches avoid them if they are pr...
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  • Grapefruit Juice
    Grapefruit juice is a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps prevent and manage arthritis, cataracts, macular degeneration, and maintains healthy hair and skin. If you have type 2 diabetes, though, it is best to avoid grapefruit juice and other fruit juices because of the high sugar concentration. Because grapefruit juice and other citrus juices are possible triggers for IBSand migraine headaches, avoid them if they are problematic for you. Note: Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can affect how some medications (most commonly cardiac meds) are absorbed and metabolized, so always speak with your pharmacist a...
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  • Grapes
    There are many varieties of grapes. Red, purple, and black grapes contain quercetin and anthocyanins, antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties and may prevent and manage arthritis and slow memory decline. If you suffer from migraines, be aware that dark-skinned grapes contain tyramine, a possible migraine trigger.
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  • Green Beans
    Like other nonstarchy vegetables, green beans are low in calories and have a high water and fiber content, making them a great choice for people who are trying to lose weight or prevent or manage heart disease or type 2 diabetes. Green beans are a good source of quercetin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that research suggests may help prevent arthritis and memory loss, and lutein and zeaxanthin, a pair of antioxidants that may help protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS are sensitive to raw vegetables and experience discomfort after eating them.
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  • Green Peas
    Green peas are starchy vegetables that are rich in fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes, and keeps you feeling full, thereby helping with weight loss. Green peas are also a good source of folate, a B vitamin that may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and slow age-related memory decline. Peas also supply vitamin C, which helps keep skin, hair, and eyes healthy, and vitamin K, which some research suggests may help preserve bone health. IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS are sensitive to fiber-rich vegetables like peas and experience discomfort after eating th...
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  • Ground Beef, Lean
    Lean ground beef (at least 90 percent lean) is a healthier way to enjoy red meat. Lean beef is lower in saturated fat than ground chuck or high-fat marbled steaks, making it a smarter beef choice for all individuals, but especially people with heart disease, type 2 diabetes and arthritis. Lean beef is also a good source of protein, which is a key part of any weight-loss plan (that’s because protein helps to fill you up when included as part of meals and snacks). Beef is a good source of iron, zinc, and riboflavin, vitamins and minerals that maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin and may help to combat migraines. Note...
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  • Ground Flaxseed
    Flaxseeds are dark amber-brown seeds that are a terrific source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber, nutrients that can improve cardiovascular health and mood, manage type 2 diabetes, prevent and manage arthritis, and maintain healthy eyes and skin. Omega-3s may even reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Flaxseeds also contain magnesium, which may help to improve PMS symptoms. To get the most nutrients from flaxseeds, grind them before use. Ground flaxseeds should be refrigerated or frozen to maintain freshness.
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  • Ground Psyllium Seeds
    Ground psyllium seeds are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which reduces cholesteroland may help to manage type 2 diabetes. The soluble fiber in psyllium may also reduce symptoms of IBS by promoting regularity; however, it is important to add it to your diet slowly to avoid bloating and discomfort. Psyllium is most often found in the pharmacy as an over-the-counter supplement. Talk to your doctor before taking psyllium fiber supplements to make sure they don't interfere with any medications.
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  • Guacamole
    Guacamole is made of avocados, a great source of monounsaturated fats, which are good for heart health. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, which may help decrease PMS symptoms, and vitamin E, an antioxidant that can protect and maintain healthy skin.
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  • Guava
    Guava, a type of tropical fruit, is one of the absolute best sources of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps prevent and manage arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration, as well as maintain healthy hair and skin. Like most fruit, guava provides high-quality carbohydrates and is made up of mostly water, making this fruit a good addition to a weight-loss plan.
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