We are currently living in an age where we are bombarded with information. It comes in all forms on a variety of subjects, none more so than our health and the kinds of food that we should and shouldn’t be eating. Extensively analyzing food labels and reading every healthy living article going is a big task and there is so much to digest. But, the chances are that you’re already eating certain fruits and vegetables which are doing you more good than you know!

Here are 10 Costa Rican superfoods that you can find in any market and maybe right in your own backyard:

1. Bananas

Bananas, as well as being known for their high energy content, are repeatedly slated for being too sugary. It’s true; they are one of the fruits with the highest content of natural sugars but along with that comes vitamins: anthoxanthin and allicin, which work to reduce blood pressure and the risk of stomach cancer. Try a banana as a mid-morning snack.

2. Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries (to name but a few) are all known for their antioxidant properties. Not only are antioxidants great for your skin, circulation, and reducing blood clots, but they are also your brain’s best friend since they have been proven to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease later on in life. Add these into your breakfast or snack on a handful at lunchtime.

3. Spinach/leafy greens

The rich color of green vegetables is known for its multiple health benefits. With kale and broccoli containing more vitamin C than an orange and loads of fiber, they are an essential in anyone’s diet, reducing constipation and poor bowel movement. They are also known for reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke due to high vitamin B levels, and preventing cancer since they break down toxic chemicals which cause cancer. Make sure you have a plate of these veggies with your dinner.

4. Mangoes

[quote_box_right]Want more? Get to know Costa Rica’s Tropical Fruit[/quote_box_right]Mangoes are a delicious fruit, perfect for almost any occasion but that’s not all they do well. Mangoes contain vitamins and minerals that boost immunity and reduce the risk of heart disease. As well as this, they are also notorious for preventing particular types of cancer, including lung, throat and stomach cancers. Try snacking on a mango when you have a sweet craving or try a handful of dried mango pieces over a bowl of cereal.

5. Apples

An apple a day really does keep the doctor away. A versatile ingredient in cultures all over the world, apples reduce the risk of certain cancers, diabetes, and asthma while being a strong antioxidant. But, be warned, fresh apples contain more benefits than guzzling endless cups of apple juice which contain lots of added sugars and very little fiber content. Pack an apple for your lunch and you’ll be on your way to better health!

6. Avocado

A firm favorite amongst dieters and gym goers, the avocado is praised for containing good fats, the kind that help decrease the effects of inflammatory conditions like arthritis and heart disease by to preventing the production of inflammatory chemicals. It also helps the body absorb other vitamins from different foods, such as vitamin E, D and K. Try making homemade guacamole with only a little salt, in order to reap the benefits of the avocado.

7. Pineapple

Pineapples are, perhaps, not that well known for their health benefits. They are often seen as just another sweet fruit but in terms of reducing stomach problems, pineapples are top. If you feel uncomfortable due to bloating after eating, grab a few slices of pineapple since they breakdown enzymes and are a natural cure for stomach upsets and gas.

8. Carrots

Like mangos, carrots are a rich orange color meaning that they have certain chemicals which are beneficial to your health. They prevent lung, throat and stomach cancers, increase immunity and reduce the risk of heart disease. Try a portion of these along with some leafy green vegetables at dinner or finely grate a carrot over your salad for a refreshing crunch.

9. Tomatoes

You might not be aware how powerful an antioxidant tomatoes are, but they are almost as strong as blueberries. And, they also reduce the chances of prostate cancer and provide good levels of vitamin C. Cut up tomatoes to finish off a salad or add them to a sandwich. There are endless possibilities!

10. Melon

Like the tomato, melons also reduce the risk of prostate cancer with certain melons being responsible for different health benefits. The cantaloupe for example, has high levels of vitamin A for younger and healthier looking skin.

So if you’re feeling a bit under the weather or want to kick-start your health, try a few of these super fruits and vegetables each day and you’ll soon be feeling the difference!