According to Dr. Hyman, this food group represents a vast array of vegetables that contains up to 25,000 compounds that are beneficial for the health. According to a study published in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, polyphenols found in these vegetables contain powerful antioxidant properties that help fight infection and protect the body from pathogen aggression and ultraviolet radiation. According to Dr. Hyman, our hunting and gathering ancestors consumed more than 800 varieties of plant foods. The world-recognized leader recommends that people follow a diverse diet with many fresh and colorful fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Hyman says every fruit and vegetable color identifies with certain types of healing properties. He suggests that people incorporate more colors in their diets.
- Red — Red-colored foods such as tomatoes contain the carotenoid lycopene that helps keep free radicals in check.
- Orange — Orange foods such as carrots, squash, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes are packed with the plant compound carotenoids. These compounds are converted to vitamin A, which is essential for eye health, bone growth, and cell regulation.
- Yellow — Yellow foods such as bananas and mangoes contain high levels of flavonoids, vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin A.
- Green — Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and watercress are rich in dietary fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, and folate.
- Blue and purple — This food group, which includes blueberries and blackberries, contain high levels of flavonoids which help fight a host of diseases including cancer, heart disease. and diabetes.
Mushrooms such as reishi, shiitake, and cordyceps have powerful healing properties that promote healthy hormone production and bolster the body’s immune system. Mushrooms also contain anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antiviral properties. These fungi are also packed with selenium that helps improve the body’s immune response to infection. Mushrooms keep certain conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity in check. Dr. Hyman recommends that people incorporate mushrooms in a variety of recipes, such as reishi tea or mushroom soup.
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According to Dr. Hyman, cell walls made from healthy fats appeared better at metabolizing insulin. This helps keep the body’s blood glucose levels in check. Eating the right types of fat may also facilitate fat metabolism. The doctor recommends consuming healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, and seeds as well as wild fatty fish, grass-fed meat, and extra-virgin olive oil.
Seeds are high in dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, according to Dr. Hyman. He suggests adding seeds — such as chia, hemp and flax seeds — to smoothies and baked goods to reap their benefits. Chia seeds in particular are touted for their high protein and omega-3 fatty acid content. Hemp seeds and flax seeds on the other hand contain huge amounts of essential minerals.