Here and now, I’ve got a list of the best and worst foods for your health, according to Prevention magazine:
- First, to protect your heart: Eat pinto beans. They contain a type of fiber that binds with bad cholesterol and removes it from the body. In one study, people who ate a half cup of pinto beans daily saw their “bad” LDL cholesterol number drop 13 points in two months! On the flip side, the worst thing for your heart is energy drinks. The combination of caffeine and other stimulants will raise your blood pressure, and wear out your heart faster.
- Next, for the health of your lungs: Eat pears. A new Dutch study found that people who regularly ate pears saw a dramatic boost in lung function, compared to people who ate other fruits. That’s because pears contain powerful flavanoids that are known to protect lung cells. However, another study found the worst thing for your lungs is soft drinks. That’s because many carbonated sodas contain sodium benzoate, a chemical known to worsen asthma symptoms.
- If you want a food to make your skin smoother: Eat more canned tuna. It’s packed with selenium, an antioxidant that protects skin cells against sun damage. In fact, an Australian study found that people with high levels of selenium in their blood had a 57% lower risk of developing skin cancer. However, the worst food for your skin is alcohol. One recent Harvard study found that people who drank more than two alcoholic beverages per day had the highest risk of developing skin cancer.
- Finally, to protect your bones: Eat lean sirloin. Sirloin beef is a great source of zinc, and new research shows that low levels of zinc are associated with brittle bones. So, aim to eat a 4-ounce serving of lean sirloin once a week. Whatever you do, avoid adding salt to any food you eat. A new British study found that excess sodium leaches calcium out of your body. So, over time, all that extra salt could lead to significant bone loss.