I have found and interesting article from AARP Magazine and thought I would share it with you today. The article is, “16 foods that will improve memory, lower blood pressure and boost the immune system”. Boosting your immune system is very important in cancer prevention. If your immune system is healthy, then it will automatically kill cancer cells. These foods are multitaskers when it comes to improving your health!
Blueberries: These little guys are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants work to rid the body of little electrically charged molecules, in our bloodstream, called free radicals. These free radicals can cause damage to cell DNA. This happens naturally in everyone, so it’s important to have these little babies in your diet. They not only fight cancer; they may cut the risk of heart attack in women, and fight memory loss. Not bad for such little berries.
Pomegranates: Another fruit just loaded with antioxidants. They can lower blood pressure, fight free radicals, and help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.
Avocados: Give me that Guac! This little guy has glutathione. That’s a fancy name for an antioxidant that helps to improve overall hormone function. I would like to add here; it may not be good for breast cancer survivors to eat a lot of avocados. They are rich in an enzyme that is involved in estrogen metabolism.
Dark Chocolate: Dark Chocolate is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. The highest level of antioxidants come from the cacao bean itself. These are cancer fighting and the flavonoids help in decreasing blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. Don’t overdo it, though. An ounce square has what you need; and be sure you check the sugar content on your label. Some dark chocolate bars can be loaded with sugar. Weigh your options, if you are a woman that is sensitive to caffeine.
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes have a large amount of vitamin B6 and potassium. These help protect your immune system. Plus, they can help regulate your blood pressure.
Garlic: Garlic contains sulfur compounds that make it antioxidant and antimicrobial. Antimicrobial means it can fight a host of infections. Yea! It can also help in preventing heart attacks and strokes. Crush it or mince it. It is a powerhouse.
Asparagus: Asparagus is a fantastic cell repair veggie. It is high in protein, potassium, and vitamin B12. A great meatless protein for cancer survivors.
Kale: Kale has several strong cancer fighting compounds fight free radicals, detoxifies the body and inhibits the growth of cancer cells; and if that’s not enough, it fights cataract formation in the eyes, with lutein. It does contain a large amount of vitamin K. This is not recommended for people on blood thinners. Vitamin K improves blood clotting.
Yogurt: Yogurt is a dairy product that has live cultures. It can help with blood pressure and balancing the gastrointestinal tract. There are mixed findings with dairy products and cancer. Whatever the findings, the benefits definitely outweigh the bad. The recommended daily allowance for and adult is 3-4 servings daily. And reduced fat is recommended.
Coffee: Coffee is loaded with antioxidants. It protect the body’s cells against damage, and reduces the risk against diabetes, heart attack and stroke. It does contain caffeine. There is about 90 mg. of caffeine per each 8 oz. cup of coffee. Women that are sensitive to caffeine (I am one) can experience soreness in the breast tissue. As of 2013, there has been no link to caffeine consumption and breast cancer or fibrocystic breast changes. The soreness alone, is enough for me to limit my caffeine consumption.
Green Tea: Green Tea is loaded with catechins. These are antioxidants that protect cells and may cut the risk of certain cancers; esophageal, stomach, prostate, and postmenopausal breast cancer, to name a few.
Walnuts: Walnuts have high levels of omega -3 fatty acids and vitamin E; which are good for building immunity and a healthy heart. These little guys have twice the antioxidants of any other nut.
Olive Oil: Olive oil can help in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and risk of stroke. Olive oil has been found to contain antioxidants and oleic acid that can lessen the production and development of tumors.
Wild Salmon: Wild Salmon is full of Omega-3 fatty acids. Eating a balanced diet with the required Omega-3 fatty acids can fight premature aging of cells and can cut the risks of breast, colon and prostate cancers. Provided, it is consumed in moderation.
Thyme: Thyme is an antimicrobial and antioxidant
Basil: Basil has anti inflammatory properties and is antimicrobial and antioxidant.
I hope this post has helped you understand the good qualities these foods have, and has inspired you to try them. They do offer great benefits for a healthy body and life. Stay tuned for some recipes, including some of these fantastic foods. This article may be found in AARP Magazine April -May 2013