by Megan Rhoades, RD, LD


Grocery shopping can decrease your risk of deadly diseases, burn fat and build your bones, if you add these power foods to your cart.

Eating these and other heart-healthy whole foods will boost your health while pleasing your palate.


are one of nature’s ultimate anti-aging foods with potent antioxidants that may help prevent memory loss, lower blood pressure, and improve your skin.  An additional bonus:  they have fewer carbohydrates than other fruit.


… whether fresh or cooked, can reduce the risk of bladder, stomach, prostate and colon cancers.


… can help lower cholesterol.  Rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, they can help control weight and keep you regular, too.


… is rich in vitamin C, a good source of vitamin A, and contains folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium and fiber.  Cooked or raw, broccoli delivers a burst of nutrition.


Walnuts, almonds and other nuts contain protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and Omega-3s.  A handful a day can help lower cholesterol, boost brain power, improve sleep, prevent heart disease, reduce stress, fight cancer and more.


have high amounts of potassium, magnesium, folic acid, protein, and vitamins B6, E, and K.  The heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados can actually help reduce belly fat, a risk factor for heart disease.


contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the risk of cardiac disease, boost mood, fight depression and may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.  Salmon is also a good source of Vitamin D and helps prevent osteoporosis.


are rich in antioxidants, protein, folic acid, minerals and fiber, boosting the body’s ability to burn fat, helping you to feel full, controlling blood sugars, and possibly helping reduce cancer risk.


is a good source of probiotics which helps boost immunity and can help ease irritable bowel syndrome.  Yogurt and other low-fat dairy products help build bone health and reduce body fat.

Sweet potatoes

are some of the most nutritious vegetables around.  Loaded with beta-carotene, vitamins A, C and E, and fiber, sweet potatoes may help prevent cancer and reduce the severity of asthma and arthritis.

Olive oil

has long been linked to heart health and longevity and may be good for your brain also, helping sharpen thinking and protecting against Alzheimer’s disease.

Dark chocolate

is rich in heart-protective antioxidants, reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease.  It may lower blood pressure and elevate mood.  Eat small amounts with at least 70% cocoa.


are reported to help arthritis.

This list is just a good start.  Most natural foods are healthy, and our bodies are made to digest and assimilate them in their natural form.  We are blessed with so much variety of foods, so let’s select healthy foods in reasonable portions.


Megan Rhoades, RD, LD is an Inpatient/Outpatient Dietitian at Texas Health Huguley Hospital, Fort Worth South.