“Eat your vegetables, they’re good for you.” Your Grandmother was right! Vegetables are packed with nutrients necessary for good health. There are actually many whole, natural foods available that help prevent cancer and heart disease, colds, flu, allergies, and a host of other ailments.
These disease-fighting and nutrient-dense foods contain healthy doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals and adding them to your diet may reduce your risk of chronic disease. Here are ten disease-fighting foods you should consider.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant not readily found in other foods. Recent studies suggest that lycopene could protect your skin from UV rays, prevent certain cancers, and lower your cholesterol. Tomatoes also contain high amounts of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.
Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries contain phytonutrients that neutralize free radicals and help prevent aging and cell damage. The antioxidants in berries may also protect against cancer and reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Kale contains a type of phytonutrient that appears to lessen the occurrence of a wide variety of cancers, including breast and ovarian. The phytonutrients in kale trigger the liver to produce enzymes that neutralize potential cancer-causing substances.
One cup of black beans contains 15 grams of protein, with none of the saturated fat found in meat. Plus beans are full of heart-healthy fiber, antioxidants, and iron.
5. Cruciferous Vegetables.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli contain phytonutrients that help suppress the growth of tumors and reduce cancer risk. One cup of broccoli will supply you with your daily dose of vitamin C and a large percentage of folic acid.
Oats are a rich source of fiber, magnesium, potassium, and phytonutrients. The fiber in oats helps lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Magnesium helps regulate blood-sugar levels, and recent research suggests that eating whole-grain oats may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
7. Salmon and Tuna.
Salmon and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which the body cannot produce by itself. Fatty acids reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and increase the ratio of good to bad cholesterol. Salmon and tuna are a rich source of selenium, which helps prevent cell damage.
Once mistakenly considered evil for their cholesterol content, eggs are packed with affordable, high-quality protein, and are an excellent source of lutein, choline, and xanthine. Eggs also supply nutrients that promote eye health and help prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness.
Nuts contain healthy, mono- and polyunsaturated fats which can help lower cholesterol and help prevent heart disease. Nuts are also a good source of protein, fiber, selenium, vitamin A, and vitamin E. A small serving of nuts can boost energy and are a healthy snack choice, but be careful, nuts pack plenty of calories so limit your intake.
More a spice than food, cinnamon has recently been shown to boost your immune system and to lower your blood sugar by as much as 13 to 23 percent. Cinnamon’s is loaded with antioxidants which activate insulin receptors in your cells. Another study shows that cinnamon may also suppress E. coli bacteria and may be useful in preventing urinary tract infections and vaginal yeast infections.
A diet low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes is your best bet for a healthy heart and your best defense against chronic diseases. Consider adding these ten disease-fighting foods to your healthy eating plan.
Do you have any other healthy food choices you would like to add to this list? Please use the comment section below.