Perhaps the saying, “Live long and prosper” should be changed to “Eat right and live longer.” More and more scientific research is finding that what we put into our mouths every day has a profound effect on our longevity and ability to fight diseases.
In particular, many fruits and vegetables act as anti-inflammatory agents. Why is that important? Because inflammation can be a major cause of chronic diseases, among them arthritis and diabetes. When you fight inflammation, you can fight off those diseases, or at least possibly reduce any inflammatory pain. (See these easy ways to boost your immune system.)
To compile a list of 25 foods with disease-fighting properties, 24/7 Tempo consulted registered dietitians and nutritionists, reviewed several studies on so-called superfoods (often marketed as having numerous health benefits), and consulted online sources, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the Mayo Clinic.
In addition to their anti-inflammatory properties, the foods on our list also contain antioxidants. Antioxidants fight cell damage caused by free radicals roaming the body. Given the chance to invade our cells, free radicals can lead to cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease. For instance, one study found the phytochemicals and antioxidants in avocados protected against neuron damage to the brain, a sign of Alzheimer’s.
You can lower your risk of heart disease and hypertension with your diet, too. High-fiber fruits, grains, and vegetables – like kiwis, barley, and kale – are a great way to lower cholesterol. (See these other healthy eating habits that will change your life.)
It should be noted that while some studies definitely say these foods are disease-fighting heroes, other researchers are not so sure. Either way, you won’t lose out by indulging in these delicious, healthful foods.
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