This sweet root veggie has a lot going for it. “The earthy vegetable can boost your energy, brain power, heart health, and more,” says dietitian Patricia Bannan. “Beets are full of nitrates that can increase blood flow to the brain, which can help combat dementia.” The nitrates can also help keep blood pressure in check. “They’re converted to nitric oxide in the body and can help lower blood pressure by dilating blood vessels,” says Bannan. Try roasting beets in the oven to eat as a side dish or in a sweet taco.
Who doesn’t want to keep their skin looking young? “A review study suggests that eating a combination of vitamin E and vitamin C can help protect the skin from UV damage,” says dietitian Natalie Rizzo. “Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, and they pair nicely with a spinach salad. Spinach offers vitamin C.”
They’re not just for pralines and pecan pie, “People over age 50 may worry about heart disease,” says dietitian, Toby Amidor. “The unique mix of unsaturated fats, plant sterols, fibre, and flavonoids in pecans all add up to make pecans a heart-healthy nut. Research indicates that eating a serving of pecans each day may help reduce the risk of heart disease.”