10 Amazing Disease Fighting Foods
Do your body a healthy world of good with these powerhouse disease fighting foods.
They are a dietitian's dream foods, the cream of the crop, nutritious and
delicious. They are disease fighting foods that should be in everyone's kitchen
because they contain such a wealth of disease fighting substances.
So put these 10 readily available disease fighting foods on your grocery
list today -- but do keep in mind that it takes more than 10 foods (even 10
terrific foods!) to make a healthy diet.
Experts are quick to point out that variety is the spice of life. And ideally,
these nutritious nibbles should replace other, less healthful, foods, helping
you to cut calories while boosting the nutrition in your diet.
"Super-foods are terrific, but what are more important to wellness are
healthy dietary patterns that include a wide variety of nutritious foods that
displace less nutritious foods," notes Alice Lichtenstein, DSc, professor
of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University.
Disease Fighting Food 1: Berries
Reach for berries for a powerful dose of disease fighting antioxidants.
According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture study, blueberries top the list
of antioxidant-rich fruits, followed by cranberries, blackberries, raspberries,
and strawberries. The color 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. Berries, particularly cranberries, may also help ward off urinary
Enjoy a cup of berries each day, as a snack; atop your cereal or yogurt; in
muffins, salads, or smoothies; or as frozen treats.
Disease Fighting Food 2: Dairy
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. The U.S. government's 2005 Dietary
Guidelines recommend having three daily servings of low-fat dairy products, as
well as doing weight-bearing exercise, to help keep bones strong. (If you can't
tolerate dairy, other calcium-containing foods include legumes; dark green
leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and collards; and calcium-fortified
soy products, juices, and grains.)
Beyond strong bones, dairy may also help you lose
weight. Research is ongoing, but a few studies have 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.
"Dairy foods are perfect snacks for diabetics and everyone else because
[they help] maintain blood sugar levels," says Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, a
spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
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