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The Secret to Fighting Disease: FOOD by Lisa Lombardi

There is centuries old compelling evidence that what we eat has to power to keep us well.

Foods affect us on a cellular level.  Special compounds in foods – phytochemicals, phytonutrients, and gut friendly fiber to name some – play a role in helping us fight off heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.  Eating certain foods can also play a role in turning on and off genes that put us at risk for health problems. 

The phytochemicals are the antioxidants.  When you are eating the rainbow you are getting the phytochemicals.  Vitamins and minerals are the phytonutrients in foods.  Of course, it is always better to get it from natural whole foods rather than supplements.  Finally, the gut friendly micronutrient is polyphenols. 

The healthiest disease-fighting menu looks 75% plant-based.  It is also important to limit overly processed foods, high in sugar, artificial ingredients, and refined grains.  Limiting alcohol because it is a carcinogen as well as processed meats.  Here are just 3 disease fighting foods. 

     ARUGULA – This ancient plant has cancer fighting glucosinolates and when we eat them we break these compounds down to compounds that curb an enzyme that lets cancer cells progress.  Try it straight up as your choice of lettuce in a salad or toss into soups or pasta or top your pizza with it.  Dark greens support healthy circulation, and a cup provides more than 27% of the USRDA’s recommendation (which is always lower than it should be) for Vitamin K.

     BUCKWHEAT SOBA NOODLES – A naturally gluten-free grain alternative, it is great for your heart, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels.  Eating these noodles will give you B Vitamin, Thiamine as well as the mineral manganese.  Buckwheat is a complete protein containing all the amino acids the body needs.  Check the label that it is 100% buckwheat.

     CELERY SEED – This spice can fight H. pylori bacteria, a bug that can do a number on your stomach.  It comes from a Mediterranean plant related to celery and provides polyphenols which like antioxidants fight free-radical damage.  Try it in spice rubs, salad dressings, marinades, soups and stews.  One tablespoon gives you 27% of manganese that is needed with Vitamin D and calcium for healthy bones.