Even if you can’t give up all the foods you know aren’t doing your health much good, incorporating these foods will at least help you fight some of the effects of processed foods you eat. There are so very many recipes you can find on this website, and online that make it easier than you think to create tasty dishes.
The New Year is around the corner, so let’s jump into a lasting healthy lifestyle.. even if it’s a step at a time!
- Sprouts / Leafy Greens—Sprouts and dark leafy greens have long been known to protect the cells from free radical damage and cancer.
- Pumpkin Seeds—These are the most nutritious part of the pumpkin, and the easiest way to get more magnesium into your body. That is important because men with the highest levels of magnesium in their blood have a 40 percent lower risk of early death than those with the lowest levels.
- Cabbage—One cup of chopped cabbage has less than 25 calories, and it is loaded with valuable nutrients. At the top of the list is sulforaphane, a chemical that increases your body’s production of enzymes that deactivate cell-damaging free radicals and reduce your risk of cancer.
- Beet Greens—Think of beets as red spinach. Just like Popeye’s power food, this crimson vegetable is one of the best sources of both folate and betaine. These two nutrients lower homocysteine, an inflammatory compound that can increase heart disease risk. The natural pigments that give beets their color are potent cancer fighters.
- Swiss Chard—A half cup of Swiss chard provides a huge amount of both lutein and zeaxanthin, known as carotenoids, which protect your retinas from the damage of aging.
- Spinach—If sexual enhancement, muscle growth, heart health, bone building, and enhanced eyesight weren’t enough, spinach is also packed with lutein, a compound that fights age-related macular degeneration.
- Tomatoes—Tomatoes fight cancer, promote heart health and boost immunity. Red tomatoesare the best, because of their abundance of the antioxidant lycopene, which can decrease the risk of many cancers, like prostate and breast, as well as the risk of coronary artery disease.
- Carrots—Most red, yellow, or orange vegetables and fruits are spiked with carotenoids — fat-soluble compounds that are associated with a reduction in a wide range of cancers, as well as reduced risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis—but none are as easy to prepare, or have as low a caloric density, as carrots. Carrots also fight cancer, boost immunity, and enhance eyesight.
- Blueberries—Host to more antioxidants than any other popular fruit, blueberries not only boost immunity but help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and age-related memory changes (hence the nickname “brain berry”).
- Walnuts—Walnuts are rich in heart-healthy omega-3s and are loaded with anti-inflammatory polyphenols and muscle-building protein.
Other nuts combine only one or two of these features, not all three. A serving of walnuts — about one ounce, or seven nuts — is good anytime, but especially as a post workout recovery snack. Walnuts also stimulate brain and immunity and fight cancer.
But What About Beloved Junk Food?
Coffee drinks, cigarettes, cocktails, pancakes, donuts, steak, sausages, milk, cheese, pizza, chocolate, a grilled cheese sandwich and all that stuff…
All junk foods make the body very acidic. These are Foods that FUEL Disease.
These foods that have gone through many processes and refinements (example: refined sugar) and are full of additives, chemicals, toxins, preservatives, pesticides, fillers and modifiers. They rapidly break down life function.
Most boxed, bottled, canned and preserved foods can be labeled ‘processed.’ These foods are life robbing, dead and expensive because they never contribute to health and actually rob you of your health!
The good news is, every day you get a chance to start over. No matter how unhealthy your lifestyle has been, how much junk food you have eaten, how much alcohol you have consumed, how many recreational drugs you have taken, or how much pollution you have been exposed to, you can protect your future health.
The human body has an amazing ability to return to optimal health. If you give it the materials it needs (whole, organic, plant-based), you can create a dramatically improved and healthier version of you!
Dr. Wayne “The Mango Man” Pickering, ND, ScM