1 Bake with avocados instead of butter
Over 75 percent of the fat in the versatile “alligator pear” is the healthful kind, and it’ll add nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients to cookie, cake, and muffin recipes. Though the ratio may vary slightly by recipe, swap one cup of mashed avocado for one cup of butter.
2 Toss pink grapefruit segments into smoothies
Mixing this refreshing fruit in a blender breaks down its cell walls, which makes cancer-fighting lycopene more available for your body to absorb. Toss in some spinach too; the vitamin C from the grapefruit (or any citrus fruit) will help you absorb the iron in dark, leafy greens.
3 Pick the yellowest ears of corn
You’ll reap seven percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A from yellow corn versus none from white corn! Also, try adding a chili pepper to a corn dish: This simple indigestion remedy has been widely used for generations in Mexico, explains Luis Aguilar Puente, the chef at Tacombi, a restaurant in New York City. The combination enhances your ability to digest corn’s protein.
4 Cook carrots whole
Carrots retain 25 percent more falcarinol, a cancer-fighting compound, if they aren’t chopped before they are boiled. Slicer carrots have a larger surface area, which allows more of their nutrients to leach into the cooking water. But cooked carrots are more nutritious than raw ones: Heating them helps your body absorb more of their beta-carotene.
5 Tear your lettuce in advance
A study from the journal of agriculture and food chemistry found that cutting romaine and iceberg lettuce a few hours before serving it can double its antioxidant content.
6 Dice garlic and then let it rest
Maximize this aromatic bulb’s powerful medicinal qualities (cancer-fighting compounds, antioxidants, and vitamin C) by allowing it to sit on the cutting board for ten minutes after chopped, mashing, or pressing it. Heating garlic right away diminishes its anticancer properties.
7 Refrigerate cooked potatoes
Cook russet or red potatoes, and then chill them for about 24 hours before eating them. Consuming the potatoes after cooling lowers the body’s glycemic response to this vegetable by 30 to 37 percent; this helps keep blood sugar levels more stable (which curbs hunger). In one study, boiled and then chilled red potatoes dropped from high on the glucose scale to just above low. Eating the veggie cold appeared to decrease its glycemic index value.
8 Buy canned tomatoes instead of fresh
The most nutritious tomatoes aren’t in the produce aisle! Processed tomatoes, like tomato purée, are incredibly rich in lycopene – a carotenoid correlated with lowered incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration – because of their altered state.
9 Eat kumquats (but rub them first)
Studies show that limonene – an important essential oil present in these mini citrus bursts has anticancer properties. Eat about five of the little guys to get a good dose of vitamin C, carotenes, and lutein. To reap the maximum benefits of the fruits, rub them to release their oils, and eat them whole (peel and all).
10 Pick dark chocolate over other kinds
Numerous studies have shown that dark chocolate (more than 70 percent cacao) can lower bad cholesterol, decrease blood pressure, and aid in weight loss. In one study, volunteers who ate 3.5 ounces of it every day for a week raised their “good” (HDL) cholesterol by nine percent.