How 11 Superfoods Will Improve Your Future Health

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istock

What you eat can affect how you feel the rest of the day, but it will also impact your overall health in the long term. Packed with nutrients to help you avoid chronic illness in the future, superfoods can help you live a longer, healthier life.

1. Avocados

These green fruits come to the rescue when you want a healthy substitute for cream or butter. Avocados are packed with folate (a B vitamin essential for body functions such as red blood cell production and DNA production and repair), vitamin K, and more potassium than a banana. So-called alligator pears are high in calories (300-400 calories each), but they’re packed with monounsaturated fats that have a positive effect on cholesterol.

2. Prunes

In an effort to shake off certain age-related stigmas, prunes are more often referred to as “dried plums.” Regardless of their name, these chewy snacks are extremely nutritious and available year-round. Studies show that prunes help improve iron absorption, possibly as a result of their large quantity of vitamin C. They are also packed with vitamin K and most B vitamins. The dried fruit is also helpful with weight loss and maintaining blood sugar levels.

3. Garlic

If you can tolerate the bad breath, you should up your garlic intake. The superfood has vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese (an essential nutrient that staves off anemia and bone diseases such as osteoporosis). If you’re trying to ward off a cold, garlic is chock full of antioxidants that help prevent the illness before it really takes hold. It has also been shown to significantly reduce high blood pressure to help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Thanks to a healthy quantity of allicin, garlic is also great for preventing hair loss; try rubbing some cloves on your scalp for an effective treatment (that might also ward off vampires).

4. Barley

Good news, beer drinkers! Two glasses of beer can contain 10 percent of your recommended daily fiber thanks to the barley. The grain decreases your risk of colon cancer and heart disease, and provides the body with intestinal protection. You can also thank this superfood for lower cholesterol and healthy bacteria production.

5. Olive Oil

This Mediterranean favorite is loaded with healthy fats, plus vitamins E and K. The oil also has anti-inflammatory benefits, similar to ibuprofen. This effect is great for combating diseases caused by chronic inflammation, like arthritis. Studies have shown that cooking with olive oil will significantly lower your chances of heart disease (especially when it’s used in place of other oils), so keep a bottle handy in your kitchen.

6. Cashews

Cashews contain iron, which helps deliver oxygen to your cells in order to prevent anemia, and zinc, which improves your immune system and vision. They are also great for the brain: The presence of magnesium may improve memory. It’s possible that eating cashews will help prevent memory loss associated with age.

7. Brazil Nuts

One serving of this nut gives you a full day’s worth of selenium, an important mineral that may protect against certain cancers. A healthy dose of selenium can inhibit cancerous cell growth, but don’t go overboard—more than a single serving can be harmful to your health.

8. Dark Chocolate

Before you go out and buy an entire heart-shaped box for yourself, keep in mind that this chocolate needs a high cacao content to be nutritious—look for some with more than 70 percent. High-quality dark chocolate is filled with flavonoids that help reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow. The healthy candy helps overall heart health, which is more than you can say about a pack of licorice.

9. Honey

Honey can do it all: It’s rich in antioxidants and helps the immune system, so it’s great for staying healthy inside and out. It works as an energy booster, antiseptic, and soothing agent. Thanks to its antibacterial nature, honey can help prevent tooth decay, despite its sweet taste.

If you are feeling under the weather, a dollop in your tea can also help relieve a headache, improve sleep, and soothe a sore throat by supplying nutrients necessary for warding off your worst symptoms.

10. Spinach

This leafy green is popular amongst parents everywhere, and it should be at the top of your grocery list as well. A great source of vitamin K, vitamin E, potassium, folate, copper, magnesium, and other important nutrients, this nutritional powerhouse is vital for staying healthy and disease-free. Eat a generous portion of spinach to lower blood pressure, prevent asthma, manage diabetes, and reduce the risk of cancer. The leafy greens can also prevent hair loss and weakened bones thanks to their high iron content.

11. Salmon

Oily fish like salmon are great for your heart. Eating two servings of fish a week can lower blood pressure and greatly decrease your chances of cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon can lower inflammation and slow plaque buildup inside blood vessels. It also stabilizes the heart and lowers the chance of abnormal heart rhythms. If you’re not a fan of seafood, you can also take omega-3 in capsule form.

When you’re young, setting goals for a healthy diet can also prime you for a healthy future. Whatever the goal, we all need our support group of family and friends to inspire and encourage us to keep aiming higher. At HSBC, we’d never claim to play a starring role in your successes, but can be part of your supporting cast. Together, We Advance.

To learn more about HSBC Advance, visit us.hsbc.com/advance.

HSBC is not responsible for the content of How 11 Superfoods Will Improve Your Future Health (And Help You Live Longer). HSBC does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information contained in How 11 Superfoods Will Improve Your Future Health (And Help You Live Longer); and does not endorse the views they express.

HSBC is not a healthcare professional or provider. How 11 Superfoods Will Improve Your Future Health (And Help You Live Longer) does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have read on How 11 Superfoods Will Improve Your Future Health (And Help You Live Longer). The use of any information provided in How 11 Superfoods Will Improve Your Future Health (And Help You Live Longer) is solely at your own risk. How 11 Superfoods Will Improve Your Future Health (And Help You Live Longer) is not meant to replace or be used in addition to the advice of healthcare professionals. If you have specific healthcare needs, please see a medical professional.

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

10 Facts About The Blue Lagoon On Its 40th Anniversary

Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields star in The Blue Lagoon (1980).
Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields star in The Blue Lagoon (1980).
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Brooke Shields was just 14 years old when she filmed The Blue Lagoon, the infamously sexy and slightly salacious island-set romance that capitalized on burgeoning hormones in a big way. The film was shocking when it debuted on July 5, 1980—but even 40 years later, it can still make jaws drop. Here’s a look at some of its more compelling tidbits, complete with undiscovered iguanas and a nifty trick to cover up nudity.

1. The Blue Lagoon is based on a trilogy of books by Henry De Vere Stacpoole.

Although the film closely follows the events of the first book in Henry De Vere Stacpoole’s series, also called The Blue Lagoon, the film’s sequel (1991’s Return to the Blue Lagoon) breaks with the storyline presented in the 1920s-era trilogy to essentially re-tell the original story (read: more tanned teens falling in love on a tropical island). Stacpoole’s books were far more concerned with the culture of the South Seas population, particularly as it was being further influenced by the arrival of European cultures.

2. The Blue Lagoon was adapted into a film twice before.

In 1923, director W. Bowden crafted a silent version of the story. More than a quarter-century later, British filmmaker Frank Launder made a very well-received version for the big screen in 1949, starring Jean Simmons and Donald Houston. The film was immensely popular, becoming the seventh-highest grossing domestic film at the U.K. box office that year.

3. The Blue Lagoon's costume team came up with a clever trick to keep Brooke Shields covered up.

Brooke Shields was just 14 years old when she filmed The Blue Lagoon, which led to some challenges for the production team, especially as Shields’s Emmeline is frequently topless. So the costume designers hatched an ingenious (and, really, just kind of obvious) way to keep her covered up at all times: they glued her long-haired wig to her body.

4. Brooke Shields’s age was an issue for a long time.

Even after The Blue Lagoon was long wrapped, completed, and released into theaters, issues related to Shields’s age at the time of filming still lingered. Years later, Shields testified before a U.S. Congressional inquiry that body doubles—of legal age—were used throughout filming.

5. The Blue Lagoon was nominated for an Oscar.

Cinematographer Néstor Almendros was nominated for his work on The Blue Lagoon. And while he lost out to Geoffrey Unsworth and Ghislain Cloquet for Tess, he already had one Oscar at home for his contributions to Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven (1978). The skilled DP, who passed away in 1992, was also nominated for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Sophie’s Choice (1982).

6. A new species of iguana was discovered when it appeared in The Blue Lagoon.

Parts of the film were lensed on a private island that is part of Fiji, one of the habitats of the now-critically endangered Fiji crested iguana. The iguana appeared throughout the film, and when herpetologist John Gibbons caught an early screening of the feature, he realized that the animal that kept popping up on the big screen wasn't a familiar one. So he traveled to Fiji (specifically, to the island of Nanuya Levu), where he discovered the Fiji crested iguana, an entirely new Fijian native.

7. The Blue Lagoon won a Razzie.

Despite its stellar source material and Oscar-nominated camerawork, The Blue Lagoon wasn’t beloved by everyone: The Razzies foisted a Worst Actress award on Shields. The actress won (lost? hard to tell?) over an extremely mixed bag of other nominees that somehow also included Shelley Duvall for The Shining. Come on, Razzies.

8. The Blue Lagoon director Randal Kleiser hatched a plan to get his stars to like each other.

Because the chemistry between the two leads was vital to the success of The Blue Lagoon, director Randal Kleiser (who also directed Grease) came up with the idea to get star Christopher Atkins feeling a little lovestruck with Shields by putting a picture of the young starlet over Atkins’s bed. Staring at Shields every night apparently did rouse some feelings in Atkins; the duo had a brief romance while filming. "Brooke and I had a little bit of a romantic, innocent sort of romance in the very beginning of the film," Atkins told HuffPost. “It was very nice—we were very, very close friends."

9. Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins's affection didn’t last for long.

Despite their early attachment, Shields and Atkins soon began bickering nonstop. “Brooke got tired of me,” Atkins told People in 1980. “She thought I took acting too seriously. I was always trying to get into a mood while she would be skipping off to joke with the crew.” Still, Kleiser even capitalized on that, using the tension to fuel the more frustrated scenes, lensing the tough stuff while his leads were tussling.

10. The Blue Lagoon's film shoot basically took place on a desert island.

Kleiser was desperate to capture authenticity for the film, going so far as to live like his characters while making it. "To shoot this kind of story, I wanted to get as close to nature as possible and have our crew live almost like the characters," Kleiser said. "We found an island in Fiji that had no roads, water, or electricity, but beautiful beaches. We built a village of tents for the crew to live in and had a small ship anchored in the lagoon for our camera equipment and supplies. This filming approach was quite unusual, but it just seemed right for this project."

This story has been updated for 2020.