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.

  • Macadamia Nuts
    Macadamia nuts have a very high amount of monounsaturated fat, a heart-healthy fat that can reduce the risk of heart diseaseand help manage type 2 diabetes. Like other nuts, macadamias should be eaten in moderation since they're calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.
    Read more about nuts and seeds
  • Mackerel
    The fish oil in mackerel contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce inflammation, decrease triglycerides, and may help to lower high blood pressure and raise good cholesterol. Omega-3s may even reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Mackerel is one of the best food sources of vitamin D, a key nutrient that helps maintain strong bones and may reduce your risk of hypertension. Just steer clear of king mackerel, which is high in mercury.
    Read more about omega-3 fatty acids
  • Mandarin Oranges
    Mandarin oranges are smaller than navel oranges and often hard to find fresh. They are commonly found canned in syrup and used in salads. Because the syrup adds calories and sugar, look for mandarin oranges packed in juice and drain them well. If you have type 2 diabetes, you’re better off choosing fresh, whole fruit with no added sugar or juice. Because mandarin oranges and other citrus fruits are possible triggers for IBS and migraine headaches, avoid them if they are problematic for you.
    Read more about fruits
  • Mangoes
    Mangoes, a type of tropical fruit, are a good source of vitamin C and beta-carotene, antioxidants that help prevent arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration, as well as maintain healthy hair and skin. IBSsufferers take note: You’ll want to go easy on mangoes if you suffer from diarrhea-predominant IBS.
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  • Matzo
    Matzo is unleavened bread that has the consistency of a cracker and is most commonly used by Jewish people during Passover. Because matzo is typically made with white flour, it is a simple, refined carbohydrate and should be limited, especially if you have type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high triglycerides, or arthritis. Whenever possible, purchase whole-wheat matzo, which contains more fiber and nutrients than standard matzo. Matzo does not contain yeast, so it is a good bread substitute if you suffer from migraine headaches and have identified yeast as a personal trigger.
    Read more about refined grains
  • Millet
    Millet is a high-quality carbohydrate, making it a good grain choice, particularly if you are trying to lose weight or have heart disease or type 2 diabetes. Millet is a gluten-free whole grain, so it’s safe for individuals with celiac disease. Millet is very high in magnesium, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, migraine headaches, and PMS symptoms. Millet can be cooked like other grains and served as a side dish or as a hot breakfast cereal.
    Read more about whole grains
  • Mint
    Mint is an herb that comes in many varieties (e.g., peppermint, spearmint) and is best used in fresh form. Mint leaves are often added to beverages, lamb dishes, and Middle Eastern dishes and used as garnish for desserts. Adding crushed fresh mint leaves to unsweetened iced tea or water is a terrific way to create a delicious, refreshing drink with no added calories or sugar. Some people also find mint to be soothing to the stomach.
    Read more about herbs and spices
  • Miso Soup
    Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup made from miso paste and other ingredients including seaweed, tofu, and scallions. Miso is a seasoning made from fermented soybeans and is generally very high in salt; therefore, if you have high blood pressure it is best to limit consumption of miso soup. If you experience migraine headaches, be aware that miso is a trigger for some people. IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS are sensitive to soy foods and experience discomfort after consuming them.
    Read more about soy foods
  • Mozzarella Cheese
    Mozzarella cheese is a good source of protein and calcium, but it is also calorie-dense and high in 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. Choosing reduced-fat ("part-skim") or fat-free mozzarella cheese is a great way to take advantage of its nutritional benefits while minimizing unhealthy extras. The calcium in mozzarella cheese helps maintain healthy blood pressure. (Note: Since most cheeses are high in sodium, people with high blood pressure should eat only moderate amounts, choose low-sodiu...
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  • Mushrooms
    Mushrooms are fleshy, water-filled vegetables that are very low in calories, making them a great choice for people who are trying to lose weight. The potassium in mushrooms helps lower blood pressure and preserve bone health. Mushrooms are also rich in riboflavin and niacin, B vitamins that may help prevent cataracts and migraine headaches, as well as selenium, a mineral with antioxidant properties that may help protect your joints. Mushrooms treated with UV light, which are starting to become available in US supermarkets, are an excellent source of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb and use calcium and has be...
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  • Mustard
    There are many different types of mustards, including spicy mustard and Dijon, and most have only nine to 15 calories per tablespoon. Mustard can be used on its own as a low-calorie but highly flavorful condiment; it can also be used as an ingredient in sauces, marinades, and dressings. Swapping out high-calorie condiments for mustard can help you lose weight; however, mustard is high in sodium, so go easy if you have high blood pressure. Keep in mind that spicy mustard may be a trigger food for people with IBS. If you experience discomfort after eating spicy mustard, eliminate it from your diet. If you have celiac di...
    Read more about condiments, sauces, and flavorings
  • Mustard Greens
    Mustard greens are a leafy green vegetable that come from the mustard plant and have a pungent, peppery flavor. They are a good source of antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which help prevent arthritis and maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. Mustard greens also contain folate, a B vitamin that may help reduce the risk of heart disease, enhance memory, and improve mood, as well as vitamin K, which may prevent bone fractures.
    Read more about leafy green vegetables