Written by Page McNall
Unhealthy food combined with a lack of physical activity is the major risk factor for some of the most common lifestyle diseases of modern era. Incorporating certain healthy foods into your daily diet can impart surprising health benefits, as there are many foods out there with expected and unexpected healing properties. As Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine”. Appropriate foods can prevent, heal and possibly even help treat certain medical conditions.
According to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, oatmeal helps lower cholesterol, benefits cardiovascular health, prevents diabetes and strengthens the immune system. It helps you to maintain a healthy weight by feeling full longer. This helps prevent problems associated with excess weight, high blood pressure, and Type 2 Diabetes. It also prevents constipation, as it has a high amount of fiber.
All berries, including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, have many health benefits due to their antioxidants, which slows down age related deterioration of the brain, prevents hypertension, helps to maintain weight and even reduces the risk of colon cancer.Though blueberries are highly regarded, really all dark berries contain anthocynanins & phytonutrients (compounds that prevent cell damage). Simply put, the same process that gives berries it’s color, provides antioxidant rich nutrients to help protect against a number of diseases.
Garlic has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-oxidant properties. The health benefits of garlic stem from the sulphur compounds it contains, including allicin, ajoene and alliin. Allicin lowers blood pressure, detoxifies the body and promotes healing. Allicin is also found in onions, leeks, chives and shallots. Ajoene has anti-clotting effect; thus it helps prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries) and heart disease. Garlic is also known to fight allergies, lowers cholesterol, helps reduce high blood pressure, lowers risk of cancer and is an aphrodisiac. It increases the release of insulin in the body and helps in the management of diabetes. Garlic also reduces formation of fat cells and helps in weight loss.
7. Oily Fish
Oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, herring, tuna and salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Omega-3 is also credited with regulating heart rhythm and preventing blood clotting. Eating oily fish rich in omega 3 improves your chances of survival following a heart attack. Oily fish also contains vitamins A, D and some B vitamins, proteins, zinc and selenium.
This aromatic spice has many health benefits, such as helping the body to lower blood sugar in Diabetics, reducing cholesterol levels as well as having antiseptic properties. The scent of cinnamon is known to enhance brain function and there is some evidence that it may be helpful in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. It also has anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. Eating a spoonful of honey and cinnamon regularly is effective in relieving arthritic pain.
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice with a peppery, warm flavor used to make curry. This spice contains Curcumin, the active component, which has many health benefits. It is anti-inflammatory and can help treat irritable bowel syndrome and arthritic and joint problems. It is helps to improve digestion, relieve heartburn, bloating and liver and gallbladder disorders. Making turmeric part of your daily diet may help you fight against cancer, hypertension, stroke and infections.
4. Green Tea
Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins, which has the potential to fight cancer, atherosclerosis, heart disease and diabetes. There are a number of promising, although limited studies about green tea’s role in lowering cholesterol, burning fat, preventing diabetes, stroke and staving off dementia. Enthusiasts boast it’s many benefits from removing toxins from your body to removing bags from under your eyes.
This highly prized vegetable, full of antioxidants in the form of vitamin C and A (beta-carotene) that reduce the risk of cataracts, heart disease and cancer. Specifically, broccoli has been linked to a reduction in colon, prostate, cervical and breast cancer and also reduces the chances of stroke. Broccoli is an abundant source of folic acid, which is important for cell growth and regeneration and may prevent development of neural tube defects in the fetus when consumed during pregnancy. It has many other disease prevention properties, such as detoxification promoting a good healthy lifestyle.
2. Dark Chocolate
Eating a small quality of dark chocolate every week can present many health benefits. It is good for your heart, your brain and helps to control blood sugar and blood pressure. The active component phenylethylamine releases endorphins, which has a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. Yes, dark chocolate will make you feel happier. It is a good source of antioxidants to help repair damage to cells caused by aging.
Almost every type of nut has a lot of nutrition packed into a tiny package that reduces the risk for heart disease. Just 1½ ounces of tree nuts daily lowers cholesterol, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes. However, one of the healthiest nuts is the Walnut, which contains the highest level of antioxidant known to prevent premature cell death and aging. They are also loaded with alpha linoleic acid (ALA), which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid, which strengthens the bones. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients may decrease risk of certain cancers, including prostate and breast cancer. They are most effective when eaten raw. Eat a handful today.
This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This blog is for information purpose only. As always, please consult your healthcare provider if you have any health concerns and certainly before starting a treatment program.