Super Foods Your Body Needs to Fight Disease

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

There are ordinary foods and then there are super foods. You know, the ones your body needs to fight diseases like cancer and diabetes. Super foods are foods jam-packed with nutrients and other agents that help combat disease and aging. We could all use a dose of super foods on occasion. Super foods also help boost your energy and help you feel great.

Super foods for Stress, Beauty and Aging
Life is stressful. Fortunately super foods are the perfect accompaniment to a stressful life. Certain foods can boost your energy and help you combat stress. They can also combat many of the side effects of stress, like fatigue, low energy and weight gain. Most of the super foods below will also help improve your skin, reduce your blood cholesterol and decrease your risk of disease in general. Super foods should be added to the daily nutrition of your whole family.

Here is a sample of some of the best foods for fighting illness, aging and stress:
  • Asparagus - Asparagus contains folic acid. B vitamins like folic acid help regulate our moods. Our body needs folic acid to help make serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps us feeling bright and alert.
  • Lean beef - Lean beef contains multiple vitamins including iron, B vitamins and zinc. Together these vitamins work together to improve your mood. Some people shy away from beef because of the fat content. Just remember to buy lean cuts of meat to reap the nutritional benefits without all the fat.
  • Milk - Milk contains B vitamins, calcium and protein to help stabilize your mood and fight stress.
  • Yogurt and Cottage Cheese - These two dairy foods contain a good amount of high quality protein and calcium. They help fight stress by maintaining your energy levels throughout the day. Yogurt also contains good bacteria that help promote the natural balance of flora in your colon and reproductive tract.
  • Blueberries and Raspberries - Berries are jam-packed full of antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber. These substance work tougher to keep you feeling great every day.
  • Broccoli - Broccoli contains valuable vitamins and nutrients including fiber, vitamins K and C, beta-carotene and calcium. Some studies support consumption of broccoli to reduce your risk of cancer.
  • Oats - Oats are high in fiber and other nutrients like potassium, zinc, copper and magnesium. Some studies suggest that oatmeal may reduce your risk of high cholesterol.
  • Oil fish - Oily fishes, including salmon and tuna, contain omega-3 fatty acids. These helpful substances help keep your cholesterol down and help support proper brain function.
  • Tomatoes - Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. This substance helps fight cancer.
  • Walnuts - Like fish, walnuts contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts also contain fiber, protein and vitamins B and E.
  • Barley - Barley is high in fiber and helps your body metabolize fats and cholesterol. You can use barley as a grain or as a breakfast cereal.
  • Chili peppers - Hot peppers contain loads of antioxidants and vitamin C. Not a fan of spicy foods? Bell peppers offer the same benefits!
  • Spinach - Popeye was right! This green vegetable is a powerhouse of vitamins including antioxidants, folate and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Soy - Is a natural disease fighter it will lower your cholesterol levels.
Of course, it is important that you eat a wide variety of foods in your diet. Apart from these 'super foods' there are dozens of other foods that are equally valuable for our bodies. In general our bodies need a diverse selection of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables to work optimally.