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Can What You Eat Really Help You Fight Off Disease?

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Is there such a thing as the "magic bullet" to help fight disease? Absolutely -- however, prevention is the key. When we eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein we feel better, have increased energy and improve our immune system. After eating fast food and nutritionally poor food on a regular basis we damage our immune system making us more susceptible to chronic disease. Variety is the spice of life and there's a multitude of healthy, delicious and affordable foods available. Here are my favourite picks:

Berries
Blueberries are at the top of the list, but close behind are raspberries, strawberries, cranberries and blackberries. The antioxidants contained help to eliminate free radicals that may be responsible for fighting heart disease and certain cancers. They also help to stabilize blood sugar levels which works to fight Diabetes type 2.

Fatty fish
Omega 3 fatty acids, known to fight heart disease, are best to get from real food rather than a supplement. The best source comes from salmon, tuna, mackerel and eel.

Greens
You can never eat too many greens, but be sure to consume those with dark leaves. They contain an antioxidant called lutein. These greens may also reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious eye disease.

Dairy foods
A great source of calcium, vitamin D and protein, but be sure to consume those with lower fat. Dairy helps to prevent osteoporosis and may enhance weight loss since it is a filling source of protein. My number one product today is plain low fat Greek yogurt. I eat it with fruit, cereal and cook with it.

Whole grains
Anything that says 100% whole grains is what to look for. Not just the words whole grain or whole wheat that can be a combination of refined grains.The soluble fibre helps to lower blood pressure and high cholesterol and also contains folic acid which may prevent birth defects. Whole grains also include: quinoa, pot barley, millet and brown rice.

Nuts
Yes high in calories and fat, but a good source of fat. The calories are protein based, so they can be a substitute for animal or fish proteins. Nuts can lower blood cholesterol and prevent heart disease. But keep portion size to about one ounce per day. Walnuts and flax seed contain the most omega 3 fatty acids.

Eggs
Still an ongoing controversy, but today medical experts are giving a thumbs up to eggs! They are an economical source of protein and choline which is a key nutrient for pregnant women. They also may help prevent macular degeneration, a serious eye disease. Moderation again is the key. One egg per day.

This is just a mere sampling of those foods that can help fight chronic disease. Begin incorporating these into your daily diet. You'll look and feel better, have more energy and lose unwanted weight while strengthening your immune system. And the bonus is that nutrient dense food tastes great!

The formula goes like this:

Healthy Eating + Exercise = Healthy Longevity

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