1. Red bell pepper
Red bell peppers are one of the richest sources of Vitamin C. One medium-sized red bell pepper provides 141% (127mg) of the recommended daily intake (90mg).
Vitamin C is essential for the development and maintenance of connective tissues. It plays an important role in bone formation, wound healing and the maintenance of healthy gums. It is an antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage. It protects the immune system, reduces the severity of allergic reactions and helps to fight off infections. (1)
Increased production of free radicals in the body results in oxidative stress that can lead to DNA damage. The rich phytochemistry of ginger includes components that scavenge free radicals, thus strengthening the body’s defenses. In a 2015 study of 41 participants with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of ginger powder per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 12%. Ginger is also very effective against the oral bacteria linked to periodontitis. Fresh ginger has antiviral effects against human respiratory syncytial virus, a common cause of respiratory infections. (2, 3, 4, 5)
Spinach is an extremely nutrient-rich vegetable. It packs high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, iron, and calcium.
Vitamin C protects the immune system, reduces the severity of allergic reactions and helps to fight off infections. Iron helps create hemoglobin, which brings oxygen to your body’s tissues. Calcium is essential for bone health, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion. Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and healthy bones. The body needs folate to make DNA and other genetic material. It also needs folate for cells to divide. (6, 7, 8, 9)
4. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of several nutrients, including vitamin E and selenium. Vitamin E and selenium function as antioxidants to protect your body’s cells against free radical damage, which plays a role in several chronic diseases. (10, 11)
Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence. It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in your brain. It can lower the risk of heart disease and it may help prevent some cancers. Studies have also shown that curcumin has benefits against depression. (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
Wondering how you can incorporate these foods into your diet? Check out these ideas:
- Dip red bell pepper slices in hummus for a delicious snack.
- This smoothie includes spinach, ginger, sunflower seeds, and turmeric. Make one for breakfast everyday!
- Make this Golden latté at home. No espresso machine, or other fancy gadget required.
- Stock your pantry with Golden bars. These bars are the ultimate pre- and post-workout fuel. They are great for travel or any time you need an energy boost.