Blueberries have more antioxidants—those magical molecules that can help prevent a host of maladies—than 40 other common fruits and vegetables. The antioxidant plant pigments that make blueberries blue guard against heart disease, cancer, and age-related blindness and memory loss. They’re also tops when it comes to preventing urinary tract infections, thanks to antioxidant epicatechins, which keep bacteria from sticking to bladder walls. (Or try one of these home remedies for UTIs.) How much? A 1/2 cup of blueberries equals one fruit and vegetable serving per day. Tip: Sprinkle blueberries on your pancakes at the last minute—cooking blueberries destroys valuable vitamin C.
Garlic has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Most of its disease-fighting potential comes from its sulfur compounds, which act as antioxidants, providing many of its cardiovascular benefits. Just six or more cloves of garlic a week can slash your risk of colorectal, stomach, and prostate cancer in half compared to eating one clove a week or less. How much? Incorporate at least one garlic clove into your diet every day. Tip: Chop or crush your garlic, then let it stand for 10 minutes to fully release its healing potential. And try these tricks to banish garlic breath.
Press an olive and you get one of the healthiest fats in the world. The main benefit of olive oil is that it lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol and raises “good” HDL cholesterol, thanks to its monosaturated fats. Olive oil is also packed with antioxidants called phenols, which may protect artery walls from cholesterol buildup. How much? Include up to 1 tablespoon of olive oil in your diet every day. Tip: Look for “virgin,” “extra virgin,” or “cold-pressed” oils, which are extracted by pressing alone. Solvents and heat used to produce “light” or “extra-light” oils destroy antioxidants. Here’s how to use olive oil for healthier hair and skin.