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“Maeda, N., K. Matsubara, H. Yoshida, and Y. Mizushina. “Anti-cancer effect of spinach glycoglycerolipids as angiogenesis inhibitors based on the selective inhibition of DNA polymerase activity.” Mini reviews in medicinal chemistry 11, no. 1 (2011): 32-38.[/ref[ Research suggests that sp…”
It’s easy to be fooled by powerful pharmaceutical companies who convince us that curing any ailment is just one synthetic pill away. But as the old adage goes, prevention is always better than cure. And when it comes to staving off dangerous diseases that can throw you off the edge, eating right is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Of course, even the healthiest of bodies fall prey to nasty diseases. The following list of foods is not only going to help your body build the best defense mechanism against menacing infections but will also bolster your immunity should you be unfortunate enough to catch one.
Eating one cup of raw sliced avocado will give you more than 9 grams of fiber and about 118 milligrams of folate.[ref]Basic Report: 09037, Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties. United States Department of Agriculture.[/ref] Fiber is great for those with diabetes because it slows down the release of sugar into your bloodstream.[ref]Tabatabai, A., and S. Li. “Dietary fiber and type 2 diabetes.” Clinical excellence for nurse practitioners: the international journal of NPACE 4, no. 5 (2000): 272-276.[/ref] Folate, on the other hand, is essential, especially for mothers who are expecting as it lowers the risk of miscarriage and neural tube defects in the fetus.[ref]Pitkin, Roy M. “Folate and neural tube defects.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 85, no. 1 (2007): 285S-288S.[/ref] Avocados are also cholesterol-free and high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. All of this, paired with a healthy dose of potassium makes avocados the perfect food to eat for keeping your heart healthy.
How to enjoy: Mash avocados for a creamy sandwich spread, or dump a few chunks into your salads for added bulk. You can even put a few cubes into some salsa; it makes a fantastic dressing for grilled fish or chicken.
They may be tiny, but there’s no denying the fact that these are probably one of the healthiest foods available at a very cheap price. Beans are high in isoflavones, which offer protection against heart disease and boost bone and prostate health.[ref]Lee, Sang-Ah, Wanqing Wen, Yong-Bing Xiang, Stephen Barnes, Dake Liu, Qiuyin Cai, Wei Zheng, and Xiao Ou Shu. “Assessment of dietary isoflavone intake among middle-aged Chinese men.” The Journal of nutrition 137, no. 4 (2007): 1011-1016.[/ref] [ref]Messina, Virginia. “Nutritional and health benefits of dried beans.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 100, no. Supplement 1 (2014): 437S-442S.[/ref] Isoflavones, being phytoestrogens (plant-based compounds that mimics the chemical structure of estrogen, the female sex hormone) also make menopause a lot less of a nightmare by easing some symptoms.[ref]Lee, Sang-Ah, Wanqing Wen, Yong-Bing Xiang, Stephen Barnes, Dake Liu, Qiuyin Cai, Wei Zheng, and Xiao Ou Shu. “Assessment of dietary isoflavone intake among middle-aged Chinese men.” The Journal of nutrition 137, no. 4 (2007): 1011-1016.[/ref] Because they are low in fat, but high in protein, beans make the perfect healthy substitute for red meat. Nutritionally speaking, there’s not much of a difference between canned or dried beans, but try and avoid the former anyway as they may contain high levels of added salt.
How to enjoy: Add beans to dips, soups, and stews to make them more filling. Pureed white beans make an excellent substitute for high-fat Alfredo sauces.
A medium-sized orange, which is roughly about the size of a tennis ball gives you your entire daily dose of vitamin C which provides massive antioxidant protection. By neutralizing harmful free radicals and stopping oxidative damage, vitamin C is not just a huge immunity booster but also an excellent cancer-fighter.[ref]Padayatty, Sebastian J., Hugh D. Riordan, Stephen M. Hewitt, Arie Katz, L. John Hoffer, and Mark Levine. “Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 174, no. 7 (2006): 937-942.[/ref] [ref]Rech Franke, Silvia Isabel, Temenouga Nikolova Guecheva, João Antonio Pêgas Henriques, and Daniel Prá. “Orange juice and cancer chemoprevention.” Nutrition and cancer 65, no. 7 (2013): 943-953.[/ref] Besides, by eating oranges, you can get other nutrient benefits because it has fairly decent levels of calcium, potassium, folate and certain B vitamins.
How to enjoy: Oranges come with a signature tanginess that pairs really well with other strong flavors such as honey or ginger. Put them into your salads for a sweet twist, or use them in sauces and marinades to dress your meats.
4. Flax Seeds
Fiber-heavy flax seeds works wonders in bringing down your cholesterol levels by trapping it in the digestive system and preventing it from entering your blood.[ref]Kristensen, Mette, Morten G. Jensen, Julie Aarestrup, Kristina EN Petersen, Lise Søndergaard, Mette S. Mikkelsen, and Arne Astrup. “Flaxseed dietary fibers lower cholesterol and increase fecal fat excretion, but magnitude of effect depend on food type.” Nutrition & metabolism 9, no. 1 (2012): 8.[/ref] Being high in inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds help reduce blood clotting and blood pressure and reduce your risks of heart attacks and strokes.[ref]Rodriguez-Leyva, Delfin, Chantal MC Bassett, Richelle McCullough, and Grant N. Pierce. “The cardiovascular effects of flaxseed and its omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid.” Canadian Journal of Cardiology 26, no. 9 (2010): 489-496.[/ref] Flax seeds are also high in lignan, an antioxidant that serves as a powerful ally against certain types of cancers namely breast cancer.[ref]Goyal, Ankit, Vivek Sharma, Neelam Upadhyay, Sandeep Gill, and Manvesh Sihag. “Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food.” Journal of food science and technology 51, no. 9 (2014): 1633-1653.[/ref]
How to enjoy: Add ground flaxseed to bread, cakes, and cookies for a luscious nutty flavor or sprinkle it over your morning bowl of oats. You can also try blending it with yogurt and some fresh berries for a delicious smoothie.
Turkey gives your body a good dose of selenium, a trace mineral that plays an important role in supporting immunity and boosting antioxidant defense.[ref]Taylor, Rachel M., and Roger A. Sunde. “Selenoprotein transcript level and enzyme activity as biomarkers for selenium status and selenium requirements in the turkey (Meleagris gallopavo).” PloS one 11, no. 3 (2016): e0151665.[/ref] [ref]Hoffmann, Peter R., and Marla J. Berry. “The influence of selenium on immune responses.” Molecular nutrition & food research 52, no. 11 (2008): 1273-1280.[/ref] Turkey also contains fair amounts of vitamin B6 and niacin which help your body produce energy efficiently and also helps regulate blood sugar. Besides, eating turkey also gives your body arginine, an amino acid that your body can use to make new protein.
Turkey is a healthy option for meat lovers trying to lose weight. Since it is white meat, it has fewer calories and far less fat as compared to dark or red meat. A portion of skinless white turkey meat weighing about 3 ounces delivers a powerful protein-packed punch of 26 grams along with barely 2 grams of fat and under 1 gram of saturated fat.[ref]Turkey: a healthy base of holiday meals. Harvard Medical School.[/ref] For this reason, this meat is also a good choice for people with high cholesterol.
How to enjoy: When cooking turkey meat, always make sure to remove the skin, which is full of saturated fat. There is always the traditional roasted method to enjoy turkey of course, but you can also use lean turkey breasts to make yourself a delicious sandwich. Or you can also tear some meat into small pieces and add to some green peppers and white beans to make a batch of delicious turkey chili that will literally warm your soul this winter!
Spinach is high in powerful antioxidants that have been known to fight a wide range of cancers like breast, ovarian, and colon cancers.[ref]Maeda, N., K. Matsubara, H. Yoshida, and Y. Mizushina. “Anti-cancer effect of spinach glycoglycerolipids as angiogenesis inhibitors based on the selective inhibition of DNA polymerase activity.” Mini reviews in medicinal chemistry 11, no. 1 (2011): 32-38.[/ref[ Research suggests that spinach helps protect brain function by fighting age-related brain degeneration diseases.[ref]Jiraungkoorskul, Wannee. “Review of Neuro-nutrition Used as Anti-Alzheimer Plant, Spinach, Spinacia oleracea.” Pharmacognosy reviews 10, no. 20 (2016): 105.[/ref] Studies also indicate that spinach may offer protection against heart disease.[ref]Jovanovski, Elena, Laura Bosco, Kashif Khan, Fei Au-Yeung, Hoang Ho, Andreea Zurbau, Alexandra L. Jenkins, and Vladimir Vuksan. “Effect of spinach, a high dietary nitrate source, on arterial stiffness and related hemodynamic measures: a randomized, controlled trial in healthy adults.” Clinical nutrition research 4, no. 3 (2015): 160-167.[/ref] The high levels of iron and calcium in spinach may seem like a cause for concern, but the oxalate compounds present in this leafy green vegetable bind themselves to these minerals to reduce their absorption.
How to enjoy: Spinach makes for a fantastic addition to salads, sandwiches, and burritos. When slightly creamed or lightly sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, spinach can also make for a delicious side-dish.