Heart attack, cancer and stroke are the leading causes of death worldwide. While it is impossible to avoid risk factors such as age, sex and family history, there is plenty we can do to protect our bodies against these life-threatening diseases.
Science has shown that eating more fresh, plant-based foods and fewer processed or fast foods is the way to keep the body healthy and happy. Although all nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables deserve a place in the spotlight when it comes to maintaining proper health, some of them deserve extra attention, according to weight loss expert Dr. Sally Norton.
“We’re always hearing about the latest ‘superfoods’ – and how they could have a powerful effect on our health and wellbeing,” she told the Daily Mail. “And while the term ‘superfood’ might be thrown around a little too freely sometimes, there are some fruits and seeds that really are a power-house of nutritional value,” she added.
THE BEST FOODS TO HELP PREVENT HEART ATTACK, CANCER AND STROKE
Cherries, especially tart cherries, have a wide range of health benefits. Touted for their sleep-enhancing properties and their ability to cure inflammation and chronic joint pain, researchers from the University of Michigan Health System found they reduce the risk of stroke as well.
They found that anthocyanins, an antioxidant that gives the cherries their red color, may regulate fat and glucose levels and fight oxidation, which reduces the risk of high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and several types of cancer.
Multiple studies link avocado consumption with better cardiovascular health. Its superpowers have been attributed to its high amounts of a heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid known as oleic acid. It helps lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Some studies have found that certain compounds in avocados or their extract might be useful in helping prevent prostate or other types of cancer and reducing the side effects of chemotherapy.
These tiny little berries are the best natural way to treat urinary tract infections, but their power doesn’t stop there. They are antioxidant powerhouses that protect your body against several types of cancer and keep your heart healthy.
Cranberries have a sour taste, so watch out when buying cranberry juice because it often contains high amounts of added sugars.
Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They have been touted as a superfood for many years and for some good reasons. They have been linked to all sorts of health benefits ranging from improving eyesight and brain power to preventing heart disease and cancer.
A unique combination of powerful antioxidants gives pumpkin seeds their superpowers. While most studies focused on pumpkin seeds’ ability to prevent and treat diabetes, there is some evidence that they might reduce oxidative stress, which plays a major role in the development of cancer.
Although this seed has been around for ages, it has only recently experienced a steep rise in popularity. The Mayas and Aztecs used it to improve stamina and energy levels, but it can do so much more. These tiny seeds are packed with antioxidants, soluble fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and minerals that may prevent oxidative stress, lower LDL while raising “good” cholesterol or HDL, and reduce inflammation and insulin resistance.
While it is important to follow a healthy diet and add more of these foods to your diet to avoid life-threatening diseases, there are some other things you should take into consideration to maintain optimal health. Don’t smoke or use tobacco, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, get your beauty sleep, cut out processed foods, and keep an eye on how much alcohol you drink.