News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Disease-Fighting Foods

“Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.” When Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, wrote those words more than 2,400 years ago, he was hundreds of years ahead of his time. Today, thousands of studies around the world confirm Hippocrates’ advice: What you eat has a powerful effect on your health.
Functional Foods
The buzz today is about “functional foods” that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Researchers say a diet high in fruits, vegetables, nuts and cold-water fish can make your immune system stronger and reduce your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and age-related vision and mental problems.
Supplements vs. Food
Studies say that taking supplements instead of eating whole foods doesn’t provide the same benefits and may actually increase your risk of disease. Researchers think that the combination of natural chemicals found in whole foods work together to promote health.
10 Important Disease-Fighting Foods

Enjoy the benefits of these top food choices, found on your grocery store’s shelves:
Spinach
May prevent age-related vision problems; provides folate, a vitamin critical for reducing birth defects; reduces blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that increases heart disease risk; may protect the brain from aging
Broccoli
High in sulforaphane, a naturally occurring compound that may help destroy tumor-causing chemicals; provides indole-3-carbinol, a phytochemical (nutrient that comes from plants) that may protect against estrogen-related cancers
Salmon
One of the best sources for omega-3 fatty acid, a type of fat that may reduce the risk of blood clots and cardiovascular disease; has anti-inflammatory effect; may reduce risk of diseases such as diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, some cancers and mental decline
Nuts
Loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin E; helps reduce total blood cholesterol
Tomatoes
Rich in lycopene, a phytochemical that seems to play a role in preventing certain cancers
Berries
High in cancer-fighting phytochemicals; appear to have brain-protective properties that may help prevent, and possibly reverse, age-related declines in memory and learning ability
Beans / Legumes
Excellent source of protein, heart-healthy fiber, folate and antioxidants; may help reduce cholesterol levels
Oats
Rich in a type of fiber that’s effective in reducing total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol; effective in regulating blood sugar levels
Purple Grape Juice, Red or Purple Grapes, Red Wine
High in a cancer-fighting compound that may also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
Coffee and Tea
Coffee: Appears to reduce risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and age-related cognitive decline
Black Tea: May reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
Green Tea: May prevent certain types of cancer

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