8. Leafy Greens (Collards, Kale, Lettuces and Spinach)
Kale, collards, lettuces, watercress and other leafy greens are rich in vitamins, minerals and disease-preventing phytonutrients, including beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. They’re also among the lowest-calorie foods you can eat: Watercress has just four calories per cup, while spinach and most lettuces weigh in at less than 10 calories a cup. Dark-green vegetables are considered so important for disease prevention that the USDA recommends eating about a cup every day of dark-green, red or orange veggies — but national food surveys show we’re only eating about half of what’s recommended. Due to their high potassium content, leafy greens help manage blood pressure levels, and the lutein and zeaxanthin counts help protect your peepers from age-related macular degeneration. Some choices, like kale and collard greens, contain calcium too.