Disease Fighting Super Foods
2 May 2018
Disease Fighting Super Foods
Your diet reflects your health! The healthier your diet is, the less you will become sick. Good and healthy food choices provide a well-balanced mix of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds that help keep you healthy. Good and healthy food choices provide a well-balanced mix of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds that help keep you healthy. But as people are becoming busier in this fast-paced world, many have begun to rely on highly processed, inflammation-producing foods. This ultimately results in poor health. You can reverse many of the effects of a poor diet by eating healthy and including disease-fighting foods in your diet. Always remember that when it comes to taking care of your health, prevention is the key and it is never too late to take steps toward better health.
- Fatty Fish
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Sweet Potatoes
Reach for berries for a powerful dose of disease fighting antioxidants. According to research, blueberries top the list of antioxidant-rich fruits, followed by cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. The colour of berries comes from the pigment anthocyanin, an antioxidant that helps neutralize "free radicals" (cell-damaging molecules) that can help lead to chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Enjoy a cup of berries each day, as a snack; atop your cereal or yogurt; in muffins, salads, or smoothies; or as frozen treats.
Dairy foods are not only the best food source of dietary calcium, but also have plenty of protein, vitamins (including vitamin D), and minerals key to fighting the disease osteoporosis. Beyond strong bones, dairy may also help you lose weight. Research has shown that three daily servings of dairy as part of a calorie-controlled diet may help decrease belly fat and enhance weight loss. Low-fat dairy foods make excellent snacks because they contain both carbohydrates and protein. Whip up a smoothie with low-fat milk or yogurt, a splash of orange juice, and a handful of berries for an energizing meal substitute or anytime snack.
Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in fish like salmon and tuna, disease fighting foods that can help lower blood fats and prevent blood clots associated with heart disease. Eating a diet rich in fatty fish can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. There's another benefit to eating meals containing salmon or tuna: you'll reduce your potential intake of saturated fat from higher-fat entrees. Fire up the grill or put your fish under the broiler for a quick, tasty, and heart-healthy meal.
Dark Leafy Greens
One of the best disease fighting foods is dark, leafy greens, which include everything from spinach, kale, to dark lettuces. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, iron, magnesium, carotenoids, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. Research indicates that eating magnesium-rich foods such as spinach can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Make your next salad with assorted greens, including supernutritious spinach or other dark coloured greens for a meal that fights disease.
Wholegrains include the nutritional components that are typically stripped away from refined grains. They contain folic acid, selenium, and B vitamins, and are important to heart health, weight control, and reducing the risk of diabetes. Their fibre content helps keeps you feeling full between meals as well and promotes digestive health. Enjoy at least three servings a day of whole-grain goodness: whole wheat; barley; rye; millet; quinoa; brown rice; wild rice; and whole-grain pasta, breads, and cereals. The soluble fibre from oats helps to lower blood cholesterol.
One of the easiest ways to make a healthful dietary change is to think "sweet" instead of "white" potatoes. These luscious orange tubers are boasting a wealth of antioxidants; phytochemicals including beta-carotene; vitamins C and E; folate; calcium; copper; iron; and potassium. The fibre in sweet potatoes promotes a healthy digestive tract, and the antioxidants play a role in preventing heart disease and cancer. Its natural sweetness means a roasted sweet potato is delicious without any additional fats or flavor enhancers. Substitute sweet potatoes in recipes calling for white potatoes or apples to boost the nutrients.
These red-hot fruits of summer are bursting with flavor and lycopene an antioxidant that may help protect against some cancers. They also deliver an abundance of vitamins A and C, potassium, and phytochemicals. Enjoy tomatoes raw, cooked, sliced, chopped, or diced as part of any meal or snack. Stuff a tomato half with spinach and top with grated cheese for a fabulous and colorful side dish.
These nutritious foods are packed with phytochemicals; fat-free, high-quality protein; folic acid; fibre; iron; magnesium; and small amounts of calcium. Beans are an excellent and inexpensive protein source and a great alternative for low-calorie vegetarian meals. Eating beans and legumes regularly as part of a healthy eating plan can help reduce the risk of certain cancers; lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels; and stabilize blood sugar. Beans also play an important role in weight management by filling you up with lots of bulk and few calories. Think beans when making salads, soups, stews, or dips.
Nuts are full of fats. But they're the healthy, mono- and polyunsaturated kind, which can help lower cholesterol levels and help prevent heart disease. In addition, nuts are a good source of protein, fibre, selenium, vitamin E, and vitamin A. Small portions of nuts can boost energy and beat hunger, helping dieters stay on track. Still, nuts pack plenty of calories and it's easy to overeat these tasty treats. So enjoy nuts, but be mindful of your portion size. Try to limit yourself to an ounce a day. That's about 28 peanuts, 14 walnut halves, or just 7 Brazil nuts.
Their cholesterol content once led to bad press for the mighty egg, but research has redeemed it. It turns out that saturated fat (eggs have little) plays a bigger role than the cholesterol in food in elevating our blood cholesterol. Eggs are packed with economical, high-quality protein, and are an excellent source of the carotenoids lutein, choline, and xeanthin. In fact, eggs are one of the best sources of dietary choline, an essential nutrient especially for pregnant women. Eggs have been shown to supply nutrients that promote eye health and help prevent age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older people. Eggs are adaptable to every meal. Enjoy eggs for a quick meal, or pack a hard-boiled egg for a tasty, high protein snack.