One of the biggest culprits of disease is foods that are cheap and bad for you – full of sugar, salt and fats.
The key to eating healthy is to look past the processed food and reach for organic, disease-fighting foods instead. You may already have these foods hidden right in your kitchen.
Once you learn which foods actually fight disease as opposed to cause disease, you can combine them into nutritious meals.
1. Garlic and onions
Garlic and onions are from the same plant family and offer heart and immune system support. Garlic has more than 70 phytochemicals which can decrease high blood pressure as much as 30 points. Phytochemicals also prevent cancer. Garlic can help prevent colorectal, ovarian and other cancers.
Onions are high in quercetin, a flavonoid and an antioxidant that fights free radicals, prevents blood clots, and promotes blood health.
Furthermore, both garlic and onions can help reduce allergies.
Beans are one of the most affordable, nutritious foods that you can purchase. They are high in isoflavone, which improves prostate and bone health, prevents heart disease, and can ease the symptoms of menopause.
Beans also are high in protein and low in fat. It’s easy to add beans to soups, salads and pasta dishes. You can use pureed beans to make sauces and dips, and even substitute beans for red meat in certain dishes.
It’s best to use dried beans and not canned beans, which can have salt and harmful preservatives added.
Cinnamon can lower blood sugar and blood pressure, and boost the immune system. The high level of antioxidants found in cinnamon can activate insulin sensors in cells and fight free radicals. Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Additionally, cinnamon is shown to kill E. coli bacteria that grows in some foods.
It’s easy to add a teaspoon of cinnamon to a lot of your meals, your breakfast foods, and even your coffee or tea.
Ginger is a spice that is found in most spice cabinets. Gingerol is the compound found in ginger that has many medicinal properties. A lot of people don’t realize that ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and can help to ease aches and pains. Furthermore, ginger can contribute to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Studies have also shown that ginger can help boost the immune system and fight viruses, such as the flu.
You can use ginger bought as a spice, but a more potent form is fresh ginger root. You can buy ginger root and crush it yourself. Ginger can be added to many dishes, and ginger tea is a popular way to get the daily health benefits of this herb.
5. The mint family
There are hundreds of plants included in the mint family, and you probably already have some of these in your kitchen. Oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, and of course, peppermint are all classified as a mint.
These herbs have lots of health benefits. Some advantages include aiding in digestion and preventing indigestion and nausea, reducing aches and pains (especially headaches and pain from arthritis), combating respiratory disorders and helping to relieve coughs and congestion, fighting fatigue, and even reducing the feelings of depression.
It’s easy to add herbs from the mint family to your daily meals or steep them in a tea. Consider growing your own in a windowsill herb garden!
6. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are full of antioxidants and contain more than 200 cancer-fighting properties. They can prevent numerous diseases such as heart disease and even skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Citrus also contains cholesterol-lowering fibers and inflammation-reducing flavonoids.
Citrus fruits are not only high in antioxidants, but are high in fiber, vitamin C and A, calcium, folate and potassium.
It’s easy to buy organically grown citrus fruits or to grow your own. Either eat them as-is or include them in your daily meals. Fruits are a great addition to any breakfast food and also will give you much-needed energy for the day!
Turmeric is another common spice found in most kitchens. Unfortunately, many people only associate it with certain dishes. This habit should change, because turmeric has a multitude of health benefits.
Turmeric contains bioactive compounds called curcuminoids, with the most potent being curcumin. It is a very strong antioxidant which fights diseases and is an anti-inflammatory to reduce bodily aches and pains.
Furthermore, turmeric is shown to boost brain function and also can reduce your risk of heart disease and other cancers.
New studies show that turmeric even fights anxiety and depression.
It’s easy to get your daily dose of turmeric if you add it to your food or steep it in a tea. Buy fresh turmeric root for the best results.
You don’t have to go far to find disease-fighting foods! The key to unlocking the health benefits is to add them to your daily meals or steep them in a tea.