10 Amazing Disease Fighting Foods
Do your body a healthy world of good with these powerhouse disease fighting foods.
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
Disease Fighting Food 3: Fatty Fish
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.
The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of
fish (especially fatty fish) at least twice a week. "Eating a diet rich in
fatty fish can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease," says
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
Disease Fighting Food 4: Dark, Leafy Greens
One of the best disease fighting foods is dark, leafy greens, which include
everything from spinach, kale, and bok choy to dark lettuces. They are loaded
with vitamins, minerals, beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, iron, magnesium, carotenoids, phytochemicals, and
antioxidants. A Harvard study found that eating magnesium-rich foods such as
spinach can reduce the risk of developing type 2
Make your next salad with assorted greens, including supernutritious spinach
or other dark-colored greens for a meal that fights disease.