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Nutrients In Vegetables

Various vegetables contain nutrients in different proportions to protect from the top three killer diseases - heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

Apples are one of the best sources of pectin, a soluble fiber. It's the kind that helps prevent heart disease and stroke by keeping cholesterol levels low and also prevents wide swings in blood sugar levels, which can help keep diabetes under control.

A single avocado is quite possibly the most potent source of potassium you can find, making it the champion in the battle against high blood pressure. Unfortunately, its high calorie content can work against you, so consider it an occasional treat. Actually, a majority of the fat is unsaturated, the type that has been found to be good for your health, mainly because of its ability to lower cholesterol.

Two small bananas provide as much fiber as a slice of whole wheat bread plus a hefty dose of blood pressure-lowering potassium. Low in fat and sodium, with a dash of vitamins A and C, bananas belong in every diet that purports to fight cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

It would be hard to find a bean that isn't good for you. They're pink, red, white, or brown, these legumes are so packed full of soluble fiber that a diet that includes a single, daily, 4-ounce serving has the ability to drop high cholesterol levels significantly. They're also a terrific source of potassium and a good source of calcium. Beans are also high in protein and contain very little fat.

These sweet treats from the berry patch have a hefty amount of fiber, a healthy amount of potassium, almost no salt, and only a smidgen of fat, making them a class act against high blood pressure and obesity.

Broccoli is called the number one anti-cancer vegetable because a single cup is brimming with carotene, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. All those nutrients, plus its low-fat, low-sodium content, put broccoli on duty against a squadron of diseases - high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Green leaf cabbage is one of those premier vegetables that seem to inspire good health on every level. A single cup of shredded raw leaves has a nice amount of calcium, potassium, and vitamin A. It has virtually no sodium or fat, ample fiber, and it contains various compounds that fight the effects of cancer-causing agents. In fact, studies indicate that people who don't eat cabbage are three times more likely to develop colon cancer than those who munch on it at least once a week. It's perfect in preventing high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Carrots are champion disease fighters on every level. They're the most widely available source of cancer-preventing carotene. There are over 500 carotene minerals in one carrot; beta carotene is just one of them. So taking a vitamin A supplement (beta carotene) doesn't even come close to eating the real thing. Carrots are rich enough in potassium and fiber to effectively help fight stroke and high blood pressure. They contain the kind of soluble fiber that is so important in controlling diabetes.

Those crunchy green stalks are the mainstay of dieters everywhere. It is a good source of cancer-fighting vitamin A and blood pressure-controlling potassium. It also contains a modest amount of bone-building calcium.

Sweet cherries are nature's gift to those with a sweet tooth - and they contain virtually no sugar and fat. But they do contain as much vitamin A as many vegetables, putting them up front in the fight against cancer. They're a good source of potassium, which helps prevent stroke and control blood pressure. Cherries are an excellent cure for gout and help relieve the pain of arthritis. All it takes is adding six cherries a day to your diet.

Deep green mangoes are a gift from the tropics. They're packed with vitamin A, stuffed with potassium and a dash of fiber. They belong in anyone's diet whose aim is preventing cancer and holding down blood pressure.

Potatoes are one of the best sources of potassium there is, putting them up front in the battle against stroke and high blood pressure. Here's a tip:
To keep potassium in potatoes, don't boil them; bake or steam instead. And don't forget to eat the skin.

Strawberries add a special measure of cancer protection because they contain ellagic acid, a compound that seems to block the effects of some of the carcinogens found in the air.


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