Should I Be Eating… ?

food-index-165Choose from hundreds of foods, from almonds to zucchini, and find out their effects on your health.

Find out the hidden health benefits in your favorite foods. Browse the index from A to Z and discover the powerful nutrients, vitamins, and minerals each food contains — plus the medical conditions and concerns these foods can help treat.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T V W Y Z
  • Pacific Oysters
    Pacific oysters contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce inflammation, decrease triglycerides, and may help to lower high blood pressure and raise good cholesterol. Omega-3s may even reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Oysters are a good source of vitamin D, a key nutrient that helps maintain strong bones and reduce the risk of hypertension. Oysters are also a good source of zinc and selenium, minerals involved in keeping your skin and hair healthy.
    Read more about omega-3 fatty acids
  • Pancake and Waffle Mix
    Pancakes and waffles are popular breakfast foods, but they are often made from mixes that contain refined flour — not whole grains — making them less nutritious options. When you want to enjoy pancakes or waffles for breakfast, it’s best to use mixes that are made with whole-grain flours, especially if you have type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high triglycerides, or arthritis. That’s because whole-grain mixes provide more fiber and healthful nutrients than those made with white, refined wheat flour. To keep them healthy, top your pancakes and waffles with fresh fruit, yogurt, or natural peanut butter instead of...
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  • Papaya
    Papaya is a tropical fruit that is a good source of vitamins C and E and beta-cryptoxanthin, antioxidants that help prevent arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration, as well as maintain healthy hair and skin. It also provides potassium, which helps lower blood pressure and the risk of osteoporosis, and folate, a B vitamin that may help slow memory decline. If you suffer from migraines be aware that papaya is a possible trigger.
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  • Paprika
    Paprika is a spice made from dried and ground red peppers. It can range from sweet and mild to spicy and hot, and is used in cooking to add flavor and color to dishes. Like other spices, paprika adds flavor to food without adding sodium, calories, and fat. IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS are sensitive to spicy foods and experience discomfort after eating them, so be careful how much and what type of paprika you use.
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  • Parmesan Cheese
    Parmesan cheese is a popular hard cheese used in salads and pasta dishes. Because of its intense flavor, a little bit of Parmesan can go a long way, making it easier to eat in moderation. If you get migraine headaches, it’s important to know that aged cheeses like Parmesan are a common trigger. (Note: Since most cheeses are high in sodium, people with high blood pressure should eat only moderate amounts and factor the sodium content into their daily totals.) IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS are sensitive to dairy and experience discomfort after eating it.
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  • Parsley
    Parsley is a common green leafy culinary herb. There are two types of parsley — flat leaf, which is typically used for cooking, and curly leaf, which is most often used for garnish. Like other herbs, it is great to use parsley to add flavor to recipes without adding sodium, calories, and fat.
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  • Parsnips
    Parsnips are root vegetables that look like white carrots and have a mild, slightly sweet flavor. They are a good source of fiber, which aids in weight management and decreases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Parsnips also provide folate, a B vitamin that helps maintain healthy hair and may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Parsnips can be prepared the same way as carrots and are commonly found in soups and roasted as a side dish.
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  • Pasta
    Regular pasta is generally made from refined (white) durum wheat flour. For overall health purposes, it’s best to limit white pasta and choose whole-grain pastas instead, especially if you have type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high triglycerides, or arthritis, it’s especially important to limit white rice and other refined grains. However, since white rice is very low in fiber, it can be a good option if you suffer from diarrhea-predominant IBS, and all rice is also a gluten-free grain that can be enjoyed if you have celiac disease.
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  • Pasta, Whole-Grain
    Whole-grain pasta is made from flours of different whole grains, such as whole wheat, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, and whole spelt, and is higher in natural fiber than traditional, refined white pasta. A high-fiber diet is beneficial for weight loss and reduces the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Whole-grain pasta is also a good source of folate, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease, and magnesium, which may help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and is helpful for individuals who experience migraines or PMS. Whole-grain pasta also contains the antioxidant selenium, which may help prevent arthr...
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  • Peaches
    Peaches are members of the stone-fruit family and are at their peak during the late summer. They have a high water content and a good amount of fiber, making them a great choice for people who are trying to lose weight or prevent or manage heart disease. They are also a good source of beta-cryptoxanthin and anthocyanins, antioxidants that help prevent and manage arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration, and may help slow memory decline.
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  • Peanut Butter
    Peanut butter is made from ground peanuts, and is a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and plant-based protein. Because peanut butter is low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy fat, it’s a great food for people with type 2 diabetes looking to manage their blood sugar. Peanut butter also provides vitamin E, which can help reduce risk of cataractsand macular degeneration and maintain healthy skin, as well as magnesium, which may help lower blood pressure and improve PMSsymptoms. Despite its health benefits, peanut butter is calorie-dense and should be enjoyed in moderation (stick to a two-tablespoon ser...
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  • Peanuts
    Peanuts are a good source of monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. They also provide vitamin E, which can help reduce risk of cataracts and macular degeneration and maintain healthy skin, as well as magnesium, which may help lower blood pressure and improve PMS symptoms. Like other nuts, peanuts should be eaten in moderation since they're calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.
    Read more about nuts and seeds
  • Pears
    Like many other fresh fruits, pears provide high-quality carbohydrates, a healthy amount of soluble fiber, and a lot of water, making them a good choice if you’re trying to lose weight or have high cholesterol. If you get migraine headaches be aware that red-skinned pears contain tannins, a possible trigger, but brown- and green-skinned varieties are a safe bet.
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  • Pecans
    Pecans are a good source of monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. Among nuts, pecans are one of the richest sources of antioxidants. They also provide zinc, a mineral that maintains healthy hair and skin and may help prevent and manage macular degeneration. The manganese in pecans may reduce PMS symptoms. Like other nuts, pecans should be eaten in moderation since they're calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.
    Read more about nuts and seeds
  • Persimmons
    Persimmons, a type of tropical fruit, are a good source of vitamin C, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that help prevent and manage arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration, and maintain healthy hair and skin.
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  • Pine Nuts
    Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pinecones and are a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, a nutrient that can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. Pine nuts also contain vitamin E and zinc, nutrients involved in maintaining the health of your eyes, skin, and hair. Like other nuts, pine nuts should be eaten in moderation since they're calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.
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  • Pineapple
    Pineapple is a type of tropical fruit that is a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps prevent and manage arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration, as well as maintain healthy hair and skin. It also contains manganese, which may reduce PMS symptoms. Like most fruit, pineapple provides high-quality carbohydrates and is made up of mostly water, making it a good addition to a weight-loss plan. Because pineapple is a possible trigger for IBS and migraine headaches avoid this fruit if it is problematic for you.
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  • Pistachio Nuts
    Pistachios are a good source of monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. Pistachios in the shell are a terrific nut choice for individuals who are trying to lose or manage their weight, since removing the shell on each nut will slow down your eating. Because all nuts are calorie-dense, you’ll want to keep portions in check (25 pistachios provides about 100 calories). Pistachio nuts are also an excellent source of vitamin B6, which may help improve PMSsymptoms. Nuts may trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.
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  • Pita Bread, Whole-Wheat
    Pita bread is common in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. It contains a "pocket" that can be filled for a sandwich, and it is often cut in pieces and used to scoop up dips and sauces. Whole-wheat pita bread is made with whole-wheat flour that contains the fiber and nutrients of the whole grain (unlike refined grains, which have been stripped of many of these nutrients). Like whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pita is a good source of B vitamins that help reduce the risk of heart disease and maintain positive mood and healthy hair, and magnesium, a mineral that may help reduce type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and PM...
    Read more about whole grains
  • Plums
    Plums are members of the stone-fruit family and are at their peak during the summer. They are good sources of anthocyanins, antioxidants that help prevent arthritis, memory loss, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Potassium in plums also helps lower blood pressure and the risk of osteoporosis. Like most fruit, plums provide high-quality carbohydrates and are made up of mostly water, making them a good addition to a weight-loss plan. If you get migraine headaches be aware that red- and purple-skinned plums contain tannins, a possible trigger.
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  • Pork Tenderloin
    Pork tenderloin is a leaner, healthier way to enjoy red meat. Pork tenderloin is low in saturated fat, making it the healthiest cut of pork for all individuals but especially people with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and arthritis. Pork tenderloin is also a good source of protein, which is a key part of any weight-loss plan (that’s because protein helps to fill you up when included as part of meals and snacks). It is also rich in niacin, vitamin B6, and zinc — nutrients that help maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin and may improve PMS symptoms.
    Read more about beef and pork
  • Prune Juice
    Prune juice is the juice of choice for alleviating constipation because it’s rich in the sugar alcohol sorbitol, which has a natural laxative effect. Prune juice is also a good source of potassium, a mineral that may help reduce blood pressure and the risk of osteoporosis. If you have type 2 diabetes, though, it is best to avoid prune juice and other fruit juices because of the high sugar concentration. And if you suffer from diarrhea-predominant IBS, it’s likely you’ll need to avoid prune juice because it’s a possible trigger
    Read more about fruit and vegetable juice
  • Prunes
    Prunes, aka dried plums, aren't just for your grandparents anymore — they’re good for people of all ages! They are a terrific source of soluble fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol and promote regularity. If you have type 2 diabetes or are trying to lose weight, it is best to limit your intake of prunes and other dried fruit because of the higher sugar and calorie concentration compared with fresh fruit. Potassium in prunes helps lower blood pressure and the risk of osteoporosis, and prunes rank high on the antioxidant scale, making them protective against cataracts and macular degeneration. If you suffer from ...
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  • Pumpkin
    Pumpkin is a member of the squash family, and like other orange-fleshed vegetables, it is an excellent source of beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, antioxidants that may help prevent arthritis and maintain skin, hair,and eye health. Pumpkin is also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, a pair of antioxidants that may protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. Pumpkin is a good source of potassium, a mineral involved in lowering blood pressure and preserving bone health. Pumpkin is a low-calorie vegetable that’s rich in fiber, making it a good choice for people who want to lose weight or prevent or manage heart ...
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  • Pumpkin Seeds
    Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that may help lower blood pressure promote bone health, and improve PMS symptoms. Pumpkin seeds also contain zinc and vitamin E, nutrients that help maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. Because pumpkin seeds are low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy fat, they make a healthy and delicious snack for people with type 2 diabetes looking to manage their blood sugar. Like other seeds, pumpkin seeds should be eaten in moderation since they're high in calories, and look for unsalted seeds to reduce sodium intake. Pumpkin seeds may trigger migraines and IBS in ...
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