Top 7 Foods That Help You Fight Diseases
Doctors across the world recommend certain foods as they are immensely beneficial for our body. These foods help in preventing and fighting diseases and thus act as natural defences of our body. These foods are naturally rich in vitamins, minerals and disease fighting nutrients.
Let us have a look at some of the foods that you must eat on a regular basis to build up the immune system of your body. <
Berries are generally considered to be very healthy due to the presence of antioxidants in them. Berries get their colour from a pigment called Anthocyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant. Blueberries are considered to be the richest in antioxidants among all the berries, followed by cranberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries.
The antioxidants help in neutralizing “free radicals” present in our body. These free radicals damage our body cells which, can lead to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer. It also helps in regulating blood glucose in our body and increases sensitivity to insulin. That is why, berries, especially blueberries, are recommended for people suffering from diabetes.
Blueberries also help in fighting old-age problems such as memory loss and loss of coordination and balance. They are also a rich source of fibre and help to flush out fat from our body.
Further, cranberries can help in preventing urinary tract infections.
Leafy greens such as kale, dark lettuce and spinach are known to be rich in antioxidants that can help fight a variety of cancers, including breast, ovarian and colon cancers. They are also an excellent source of beta-carotene, minerals, Vitamin C, folate, magnesium and iron. Further, leafy greens, especially kale, contain high amount of fibre, very low calories and almost nil fat.
According to researchers, the antioxidants present in leafy greens help in preventing decline in brain function that is caused due to ageing and protects against cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the fibre present in them aids in digestion and regulates the movement of bowels. Presence of magnesium makes them an excellent food for people suffering from Type-2 diabetes.
It is recommended the kale and spinach should be taken in salad, regularly for meals that can help in fighting against diseases.
Walnuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids (Alpha-Linolenic Acid or ALA) which makes
them anti-inflammatory and useful in improving cholesterol and blood pressure. Walnuts are also helpful in maintaining cognitive functions and prevent brain damage. They are also a good source of anti-oxidants, manganese and copper. The presence of antioxidants makes them useful in preventing cancer.
Walnuts are also an excellent source of unsaturated dietary fats. Unsaturated fats activate genes that reduce fat storage and improves insulin metabolism in the body. Insulin helps to keep the blood sugar in check and helps in suppressing the feeling of being hungry. Due to this reason, walnuts are also highly recommended for diabetics.
Apples are extraordinarily rich in important antioxidants, dietary fibre and flavonoids. The antioxidants and phytonutrients present in apples is helpful in reducing the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Apples are also a rich source of soluble fibre called pectin. The soluble fibre helps in lowering the blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. A regular diet of apples, whether raw or in the form of juice, can help in preventing Alzheimer’s and ageing of the brain. The high fibre content in apples is useful in avoiding diarrhoea and constipation.
Beetroot is a known superfood and one of the most environment-friendly crops because it requires very low pesticide treatment. It is an excellent source of iron and folate (folic acid). Apart from that, it is also rich in magnesium, antioxidants, nitrates, soluble fibre, protein, Vitamin A, B6 and C.
Beets have been found to protect against cancer, heart diseases and inflammation. The nitrates present in the beetroot juice gets converted to nitrites with aid from bacteria present in mouth. Nitrites help in dilating the blood vessels which increases blood flow. The increase in blood flow to the brain helps in preventing dementia in the elderly.
The iron present in beet helps in increasing haemoglobin in our blood. Reduction in haemoglobin can lead to sickle-celled anaemia, a diseases in which the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood is adversely affected.
Oranges are an extremely rich source of vitamin C. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, B vitamins, pantothenic acid and folate as well as vitamin A, calcium, copper and potassium. Researchers believe that Vitamin C should be taken in its natural form (i.e. orange eaten raw or taken in the form of juice rather than in the form of artificial drinks that are marketed as drinks containing Vitamin C). Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and protects the body against harmful free radicals by neutralizing them.
Oranges help in keeping the eyes healthy due to the presence of Vitamin A, which is available in the form of carotenoid compounds such as lutein, beta carotene and zeaxanthin. They are also a good source of soluble and insoluble fibre which helps in preventing problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. The insoluble fibre adds bulk to digest food and prevents constipation.
The tangy taste of oranges makes a great combination with other strong flavours, such as ginger and honey. It can be eaten in salads or used in marinades and sauces.
Yogurt is rich in probiotics, a bacteria that lives in the intestine and aids in digestion of food. According to studies, 80 percent of our immune system resides in our digestive tract. Thus, the presence of probiotic helps in boosting the immune system. Apart from this it prevents and treats urinary tract infections, manage and prevent eczema in children and fights food-borne illnesses.
There are many unproven benefits of probiotic as well, such as treating kidney stones, treating liver diseases, lower cholesterol, fighting ulcer-causing bacteria and weight-loss.
Eating yogurt regularly is beneficial for bones as it is rich in calcium. Our body needs Vitamin D to absorb calcium. Certain yogurts are rich in Vitamin D and thus help in absorption of calcium.