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Ten foods for optimal health

Here is a list of functional foods that keep all the parts of your body in optimal health.

health and fitness Updated: Jul 03, 2010 01:03 IST

It is a challenge to keep up with diet trends and health studies, between what is good for you and not being recalled because of a salmonella outbreak. Here is a list of functional foods that keep all the parts of your body in optimal health.

According to various health and wellness sites (Eat This, Not That, a section of the publication Men’s Health, AskTheTrainer, Shine, Delish), there are certain foods you should eat every day that include:

Spinach (promotes blood flow, keeps bones strong, healthy eyes)
Alternatives:Kale, bok choy, romaine

Blueberries (antioxidant, great for brain and wards off cancer, diabetes)
Alternatives:acai berries, purple grapes, prunes, raisins, strawberries

Walnuts (omega-3, helps libido and brain)
Alternatives: sesame seeds, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts

Oats (fibre helps the heart and digestive tract)
Alternatives: quinoa, flaxseed, wild rice

Apples (Red apples keep your heart functioning well)

Eggs (lutein keeps eyes fit plus iron-rich yolks, makes hair healthy and strong)

Black beans (brain food, improves memory, function and power)
Alternatives: peas, fava, lima, pinto and kidney beans

Yogurt (probiotics help keep your belly flat and healthy)
Alternatives: Hard or semi-hard cheeses, kefir

Carrots (vitamin A, good for your skin)
Alternatives:sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, yellow bell pepper, mango

Tomatoes (rich in lycopene, helps avoid skin, bladder, lung cancers and heart disease)
Alternatives: Watermelon, pink grapefruit, persimmon, papaya, guava

If you’re worried about getting bored with these limited options, try elevating your experience with fresh herbs and spices (turmeric, cinnamon). You may also want to consider incorporating a small amount of protein into your diet in the form of lean free-range red meat, chicken, turkey, and fatty fish (salmon).