Via MSN Healthy Living:

A recent list from MSN had us thinking of some of the healthiest foods a person can eat, and they tend to agree: Almost all of them are vegetarian. While salmon is a typical mainstay on these lists, it was replaced by turkey as the only non-vegetarian option on this list, meaning that of these 17 foods that fight disease, over 94 percent of them are vegetarian. In case you needed other reasons to maintain this diet, read on and we’ll fill you in!

1. Alfalfa sprouts – One cup contains less than 10 calories and they’re nearly fat free. They contain phytochemicals called saponins, which might protect against cancer and lower bad cholesterol. Read more.

2. Apples – The richest source of pectin, a fiber linked to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, decreased risk of colon and breast cancers, and may also lessen the severity of diabetes. Read More.

3. Avocados – Rich in fiber with a large amount of recommended daily folate, avocados are also cholesterol-free with lots of monounsaturated fats and potassium. They’re great for heart health. Read More.

4. Beets – Loaded with antioxidants, protective against cancer, heart disease, inflammation, naturally sweet, lots of fiber and vitamin C – why aren’t these little miracles more popular? Read More.

5. Cranberries – Known for protecting against and treating urinary tract infections, they also improve blood cholesterol and aid in stroke recovery. They also apparently make cancer drugs more potent. Read More.

6. Flaxseed – Lowers blood cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart attack. Lignan, a powerful antioxidant and ally against disease and certain cancers, is found in abundance here. Read more.

7. Oranges – One medium orange supplies all the daily vitamin C necessary, which boosts the immune system and fights cancer. Also a good source of fiber, potassium, calcium, folate, and other B vitamins. Read more.

8. Papayas – An even greater supplier of vitamin C, with a good dose of potassium, folate, and vitamins A and E, two antioxidants said to protect against heart disease and colon cancer. Read more.

9. Pumpkins – Not often thought of as a food other than in pie, it’s a fiber-rich beast with lots of beta-carotene, which reduces lung cancer risk. Good potassium levels help prevent high blood pressure. Read more

10. Quinoa – “The mother of all grains” is loaded with iron, copper, and all the essential amino acids – which means it’s a complete protein. Also a good source of magnesium, which relaxes blood vessels and reduces the frequency of migraines. Read more.

11. Raspberries – Once again, lots of fiber, vitamin C, and manganese along with antioxidants to super charge these little tart bad boys. Also a good source of antimicrobials. Read more.

12. Spinach – Lots of antioxidants prepared to fight a variety of cancers in this guy. Other research indicates that spinach reduces the decline in brain function and protects the heart from cardiovascular disease. Read more.

13. Sweet Potatoes – Tubers are underrated in many aspects, but provide a lot of nutrition. Four times the recommended daily amount of beta-carotene are found in these guys, along with potassium and vitamins C and B6. Read more.

14. Turkey – A 4-ounce serving has 50 percent of daily selenium, and contains niacin and vitamin B6. Obviously a non-vegetarian option, so take a look at these recipes instead.

15. Walnuts – Lots of omega-3 fatty acids in these guys. Just a quarter cup will supply you with almost all you need for the day, which improves cognitive function, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Read more.

16. Watercress – A good supplier of vitamin K, which helps prevent hardening of the arteries and is essential for strong bones; it’s also a good source of vitamin A, which may act as an antioxidant. Take a look at these recipes.

17. Yogurt – Many types of yogurt that are nonfat and packed with sugar aren’t all that great for you, but regular yogurts that contain live cultures act as probiotics (bacteria that live in the intestine), which aid digestion, boost immune system, and diminish bad breath. Check VegOnline for a search of more yogurt information!