Four Foods that Fight Disease

Written by Lauren Long

Eat for your health, not just for your tummy.

You can take supplements until you drop, but if you want to boost your nutrition, adopt the philosophy that food is medicine.

Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits for the phytochemical benefits, the biologically active substances in plant foods.

In addition, get your hands on the four "superfoods" that are recommended by nutritionists for treating or preventing health problems. Superfoods are readily available and affordable-and you won't have to spend your entire paycheck on organic supplements to ensure optimal health.

Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen, authors of More Chicken Soup and Other Folk Remedies, recommend the following:

  • Bee pollen. Often called nature's perfect food, bee pollen contains all of the necessary nutrients, some 18 of the 22 amino acids and more than a dozen vitamins, minerals, eleven enzymes and 14 fatty acids.
  • Yogurt. This is a good source of calcium and an easily digested food even for people with lactose intolerance. It aids digestion and, for that reason, is often eaten at the end of meals. A great source of protein, yogurt contains vitamin B12, riboflavin, potassium, magnesium and zinc.
  • Garlic. The pungent bulb is a natural antibiotic with antiviral, antifungal, anticoagulant and antiseptic properties. It is also believed to prevent certain cancers, especially stomach cancer.
  • Flax seed and flax oil. Flax oil contains a high concentration of essential omega-3 fatty acids. A lack of omega-3 is associated with illnesses including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, depression and high blood pressure. Flax seed also contains lignans, which have antitumor properties and antioxidant qualities.

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