Keep the Doctor Away
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Blueberries, oranges, bananas, apples, kiwis, grapes, strawberries, and papayas -- take your pick and take a bite, because these fruits are superfoods for your health.
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Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which help fight cancer and prevent macular degeneration. Like cranberries, they contain compounds that can protect against urinary tract infections.
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A single orange gives you almost a full day's vitamin C, plus potassium. The opaque membrane around each wedge has hesperidin, which may lower cholesterol. Even the scent is calming, according to research.
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Eat the skin for a high dose of fiber -- both soluble (the type that helps lower cholesterol) and insoluble (it keeps you regular). In addition to meeting 15 percent of your daily fiber needs, an apple is crammed with antioxidants.
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High in potassium and low in sodium, bananas help lower your risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Bonus: Protease inhibitors that can prevent stomach ulcers.
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Ounce for ounce, kiwis contain more than twice as much vitamin C as oranges, plus they may lower the risk of cataracts and could even protect DNA from damage.
Red & Purple Grapes
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Red wine isn't the only source of resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that could help fight heart disease. You get nearly as much resveratrol in a cup of dark-colored grapes as you do in a five-ounce glass of merlot.
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A daily handful helps control type 2 diabetes and stave off heart disease and inflammation. Strawberries are also an excellent source of vitamin C and other antioxidants.
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These contain papain, a substance that helps improve your digestion. Papayas also provide a lot of vitamin C and are a good source of folate.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, May 2009.