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10 Amazing Disease Fighting Foods

Do your body a healthy world of good with these powerhouse disease fighting foods.

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 Lichtenstein.

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.

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 diabetes.

Make your next salad with assorted greens, including supernutritious spinach or other dark-colored greens for a meal that fights disease.

Disease Fighting Food 5: Whole Grains

Grandma urged us to start the day with a bowl of oatmeal, but did she have any idea that the soluble fiber from oats helps to lower blood cholesterol levels?

Whole grains 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 fiber 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 daily recommendation for fiber is 21-38 grams, depending on your sex and age, according to the American Dietetic Association.

Disease Fighting Food 6: Sweet Potatoes

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 fiber 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.

Disease Fighting Food 7: Tomatoes

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.

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