Believe it or not, there are some foods that can ward off the threat of various diseases and help you to live longer. Listed below are some of these beneficial life giving foods-
- Nuts – Nuts either roasted or raw but preferably unsalted are rich in mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, omega-3 fats, vitamin E, B6 and magnesium. Nuts cut down the risk of cardiovascular diseases. They can also control the level of glucose and insulin in your body and reduce the risk of diabetes. So, around one ounce of nuts five times a week should be consumed in some way or the other.
- Baked Beans – Beans contain antioxidants that protect the cells in our body, minimize the effects of aging and reduce the chances of cancer and heart diseases. So a cup full of beans in a week can be of immense help.
- Red Wine – Taken in a right amount (not more than 2 drinks a day), the red wine works wonders for heart. Red wine contains resveratrol, a substance that reduces fat and cholesterol levels in the blood. Resveratrol is also found in red or purple grape juice and raisins that are artificially dried. Red wine also contains quercetin, a chemical known for its cancer fighting properties. Quercetin is even present in red grapes, red and yellow onions and yellow gourd.
- Garlic – Garlic prevents blood coagulation and thus reduces the risk of clots and heart diseases. Minimum of 6-10 grams of garlic is considered to be a boon for those suffering from heart ailments.
- Fish – Also known as ‘brain food’ fish is ideal to prevent cardiovascular ailments, blood pressure, skin disorders, arthritis and eye problems.
- Blueberries – One or two cups of blueberries a day is a great way to keep your skin, heart and brain fit. Blueberries contain fibre, folate, vitamin C and E, potassium, magnesium, iron, riboflavin and niacin. If blueberries are not available, you can eat raspberries, strawberries, cherries and purple grapes.
- Soya – Soyabeans contain the naturally occurring compound genstein that help in blocking the cancer causing genes. Genstein is also present in soyabean curd called tofu, soya milk, soya protein isolates and soya flour. Soya prevents heart problems and osteoporosis. It is a great relief from troubles due to menopausal and menstrual symptoms. Try to consume at least 15 grams of soya daily in some way or the other.
- Green tea – Green tea contains a chemical called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is a powerful antioxidant to prevent lung cancer. Besides, green tea is also effective in strengthening the immune system and preventing osteoporosis. At least 1 cup of green tea a day is good for health.
- Avocados – Avocados contain fiber and potassium in abundance. They are good to have a healthy skin, prevent blood pressure, heart diseases and colon cancer.
- Cruciferous vegetables – Vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, chard, kale, mustard greens, turnips and rutabagas are known as Cruciferous because of the cross shape arrangement of their flower petals. These vegetables are a great source of chemicals called indoles that are very effective in preventing cancer, especially breast cancer. The indoles break down the hormone oestrogen which is a risk factor for breast cancer.
- Citrus fruits – Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, lemon, orange etc. are not only rich in vitamin C but also contain several other chemicals that lower blood cholesterol and prevent heart diseases.
Besides these green vegetables, grains and legumes are great ingredients to good health.
If you are a health freak, do not stick to one kind of food. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and don’t forget the old saying ‘You are what you eat’.