We're constantly learning about how various foods and nutrients prevent disease, ward off aging, and optimize health. Here are the impressive health benefits of five fruits and veggies.

1. Metabolism-boosting mushrooms. Vitamin D is the reigning nutrition rock star. Adequate levels improve muscle strength and help muscles work more efficiently, by boosting energy from within cells. Previous studies have linked vitamin D to lower rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.

2. Body fat-reducing mangoes. Mangoes are rich in immune supporting vitamins A and C, in addition to fiber and unique antioxidants, which have been shown to fight inflammation, a known trigger of aging and disease. Now new research shows that these delicious gems may also help reduce body fat, as well as lower cholesterol levels, and better blood sugar control.


3. Brain-protecting berries. The research about the benefits of berries seems almost too good to be true. They've been linked to warding off obesity, lowering insulin and triglyceride levels, and fighting heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Now a new study finds that berries may help to clear toxins from the brain, to protect it from aging and diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's.


4. Belly fat-fighting grapes. Technically, grapes are a member of the berry family. Numerous studies have found that their potent antioxidants, called flavonoids, slash the risk of heart disease by relaxing blood vessels to open up blood flow and boost circulation, inhibit blood clots, and prevent "bad" LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized, which triggers a domino effect that leads to hardened arteries and blockages. Scientists say that the effects may cut the risk of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that significantly up the chance of developing heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes.

5. Blood pressure-lowering beets. In addition to being vibrant and naturally sweet, they're rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and natural detoxers. Previous studies have found that beets may help slow the growth of cancer and improve athletic performance by boosting endurance. Now a new study found that people with high blood pressure who drank about eight ounces of beetroot juice experienced a 10 point drop in blood pressure.