Power foods are packed with important vitamins that can help prevent and treat various illnesses. Not only are they nutritious and tasty, but also easy to prepare and enjoy on a regular basis. Find out what benefits these power foods offer and learn how to whip up an ultra-simple meal with each one.

1. Blackberries

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Blackberries are a tiny fruit that packs a surprisingly big punch. They were recently identified as a top cancer-fighting food, with huge amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids. This tiny berry is believed to reduce the effects of age-related diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Make a simple, 5-ingredient blackberry cobbler to introduce these berries into your diet.

2. Beets

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Like most vegetables with a vibrant color, beets are packed with nutrients. This root vegetable is high in vitamin C and fiber, and is known for its ability to support nerve and muscle functioning. One study found that drinking beet juice helped to lower blood pressure in only a few hours. Combine chia seeds, beet, carrot, and apple for a refreshing morning juice.

3. Wheatgrass

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Wheatgrass has a multitude of health benefits, like neutralizing toxins and cleansing body tissue. It also contains high levels of Vitamin A, C, and even protein. Purchase powdered wheatgrass to add to smoothies, or use fresh blades of wheatgrass in a citrus salad.

4. Avocado

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Avocado is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acid – a fat that won’t make you fat. Closest to the outer skin, it’s soft green layer contains the most nutrients. Avocados are a great source of vitamin K and E, and are believed to help lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Create a tofu and avocado rice bowl with chilies for flavor.

5. Walnuts

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Walnuts help to reduce bodily inflammation, and also contain important precursors for omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Walnuts are easy to toss into healthy snacks, like these granola bars. Simply combine dried fruits, walnuts, and seeds to make a bar that appeals to your taste buds.

6. Green Tea

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Green tea is a powerhouse of nutrients, helping to lower your cancer and heart disease risk, lessen arthritis pain, and fight infections. Green tea can be drank hot or cold. Mixed with honey and a citrus like grapefruit, green tea makes for a healthy and restorative beverage.

7. Salmon

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Salmon is rich in Vitamin D, a nutrient that many of us do not receive enough of. It also contains high levels of many essential nutrients, like selenium, potassium, biotin, and niacin. Add salmon to a quick kale salad to stay fuller longer and stabilize your blood sugar.

8. Pomegranate

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Pomegranates are a sweet and tangy fruit, high in flavonoids and polyphenols. These powerful antioxidants protect against free radicals in the body, thus lowering the chance of disease. A clever way to get your pomegranate fix is by stirring up a sauce – combine cranberries and pomegranates for a sweet and easy condiment.

9. Carob

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Carob is an excellent milk chocolate substitute, and is incredibly powerful in protecting the body. It contains antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, and analgesic properties. Carob can be used to make healthy, homemade freezer desserts like almond fudge.

10. Honey

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Honey is a versatile condiment to keep in your pantry. Much like the natural extract forskolin, honey is said to alleviate allergies. It can also suppress a persistent cough, and even improve memory. A staple recipe to add to your dinner collection is honey roasted carrots.

11. Oatmeal

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Whole grains have been shown to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Oatmeal is also a great source of iron and magnesium. In order to get the most out of oatmeal, stick to steal cut and avoid prepackaged flavors with heaps of additives. Add sunflower seed, agave, and berries for a quick morning oatmeal recipe.

12. Bananas

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Bananas are sometimes discouraged as a “high sugar” food. However, the carbohydrates in bananas are pure, and go directly to fueling the body in an efficient way. Banana is a satisfying dessert replacement. Make a peach banana smoothie with just 4 ingredients.

13. Ginger

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Ginger is useful as a digestive aids, and can also alleviate nausea and motion sickness. Ginger has also been shown to aid inflammation and respiratory problems in the body. An easy way to get your ginger is to include it in a zesty lime salsa.

14. Mustard

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Compared to mayo and ketchup, mustard is a superior choice as it doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup or unhealthy fats. Interestingly, it’s also been shown to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and contact dermatitis. Add mustard to a delicious and clean potato salad recipe.

15. Black Beans

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Black beans are a healthy carbohydrate containing fiber, folate, and vitamin B6. They help you to balance cholesterol levels and support heart functioning. Throw together some basic ingredients from your fridge to create this hearty black bean stew.

Featured photo credit: picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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