Yes, oysters. These briny bivalves outmatch all other foods when it comes to zinc content. "Zinc plays a role in enzyme activity and protein synthesis and is key for immune heath," says Alicia Anskis, R.D., L.D.N., clinical dietitian, Massachusetts General Hospital. Plus, studies suggest a link between zinc deficiency and decreased testosterone. Oysters are also loaded with iron and vitamin B12, both of which support blood circulation and energy metabolism. Try to work oysters into your rotation of two to three servings of seafood a week.
Something Blue or Purple
Dr. Stephen Kopecky, M.D., cardiologist and professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic, came up with this one, and he's not talking about blue M&Ms. He means produce like blueberries, grapes, eggplant with the skin, and red cabbage. The pigmentation signals the presence of anthocyanins, a group of antioxidants that battle inflammation. Eat these to lower your risk of inflammation-related illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
We're talking whole eggs, not just whites. Yolks have compounds that keep your eyes, brain, and bones healthy. Research now confirms that they won't spike your cholesterol, says Anskis. Eggs also have the highest "biological value" of any protein source. Translation: Your body can absorb more of the protein for greater muscle building benefits.
"You primary fat should be olive oil," Dr. Kopecky says. Researchers credit a potent polyphenol called oleocanthal for fighting everything from Alzheimer's to some cancers. Consider your supplier too. "I only buy extra virgin olive oil and get it at box stores that have a high turnover," Dr. Kopecky says. "If it sits for a long time, it loses some of its benefits."
"All whole grains are good, but oats are probably the easiest to add to your diet since they're not hard to cook," Anskis says. Two cups of oatmeal has 8 grams of fiber; that's about half what the average person eats daily. That's not close to the 38 grams you need to drop your risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes, so eat fiber from produce too.
Two things in life are guaranteed to break your heart: high school crushes and not eating beans. In a 2014 study, people what ate two-thirds cups a day of legumes, such as peas, beans, and lentils, reduced their LDL bad cholesterol by 5 percent. Have a half-cup serving of beans at least three or four times a week. Black, white, red, pinto, navy your body doesn't care.
All nuts contain heart-healthy good fats, but three of our experts singled out walnuts as nutritional champs. They're packed with omega-3 fatty acids, says Jim White, R.D., spokesman, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which may also strengthen your sperm. In a Biology of Reproduction study, the swimmers of men who ate about a two-thirds cup of walnuts a day showed improved motility, vitality, and shape.