Making small changes to your diet might be all it takes to beat diseases that plague so many Americans. One study found that eating more fruits and veggies can prevent or delay diabetes, while those who eat whole grains help prevent colorectal cancer.
Eating healthy helps prevent the onset of many diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. But eating healthy can be difficult, especially if you’re following a restrictive diet.
Healthy Foods to Beating Diseases
Eating the right foods—those that are high in antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, healthy fats, and lean protein—has been shown to lower the risk of many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. So, if you truly want to “beat” these diseases, start by getting enough of these foods in your diet. And not eating the wrong ones—those that are too high in sugar, sodium, and saturated fats, and those that are low in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats.
- Berries – Most of us have heard that berries are a healthy treat, but did you know that they can also help you fight off diseases? There are plenty of reasons to eat berries, including their low-calorie count, high fiber, and antioxidants. However, berries are also packed with another powerful nutrient known as anthocyanins, which have shown protective qualities against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Dairy – Good quality dairy foods are often recommended as a great source of calcium. Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and buttermilk, are nutrient-dense foods that also contain protein, vitamins, and minerals. While dairy foods provide a number of essential nutrients, they also provide health benefits beyond nutrition, such as aiding in weight management, lowering the risk of non-communicable disease, and reducing the risk of certain cancers.
- Fatty Fish – Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and trout are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to reduced risk of heart disease and other ailments. Omega-3 fatty acids are special fats (of which there are two types: eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) that scientists believe keep cells healthy, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of heart disease.
- Dark, Leafy Greens – Dark green leafy vegetables (DGLs) are an important part of a healthy diet, and with good reason—these vegetables contain important antioxidants and nutrients that protect the body against serious illnesses. In fact, dark leafy greens rank as one of the top 13 cancer-fighting foods. However, most people don’t eat enough of them, let alone get enough nutrients to reap all the health benefits.
- Whole Grains – Whole grains are a great source of complex carbohydrates, which are good for our bodies. Our body needs carbohydrates for energy, and whole grains are the best source of complex carbohydrates. Good sources of whole grains are brown rice, whole wheat, oatmeal, popcorn, and quinoa.
- Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are a healthy food that tastes great, is full of vitamins and nutrients, and also helps keep a person feeling full without filling them up with too many calories. Sweet potatoes are a starchy vegetable that comes from the yam family. The flesh of the sweet potato is white with dark brown skin. Most people think the sweet potato is a dessert, but it can also be eaten as a raw vegetable, steamed, boiled, baked, fried, mashed, or used in sweet dishes.
- Beans and Legumes – Beans and Legumes are a fantastic food group to include in your diet. They are loaded with protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Beans and legumes also boast more disease-fighting nutrients than any other food group. Eat beans every day to lower your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, gallstones, osteoporosis, and more.
Your health is your responsibility. To keep it, you need to eat healthy foods and stay away from unhealthy foods. Healthy foods are not the latest fad. They are foods that can be consumed regularly, and these foods are proven to do important things for your body.