Friday, July 21, 2006

6 Foods that could save your life

The right diet can give you an instant health boost and even protect against deadly illnesses like cancer and heart disease. Make sure these superfoods are on your shopping list.

Chilli peppers
Claimed to strengthen the immune system and fight infection, chillies are good for the heart, circulation and can help loosen mucus on the chest. 'There's no cure for a cold, but eating a dish spiced with chillies is liable to clear your head and make you feel a little better,' says Lyndel Costain from the British
Dietetic Association.

warding off a cold by eating Onions has been a well known old wives tale for decades. These days they have become a kind of cure all---like garlic-and whether eaten cooked or raw, can help lower blood cholesterol levels and treat a huge range of minor illnesses. They're also great for providing you with a
quick shot of flu fighting vitamin C, and the compounds which give onions their distinctive smell and strong flavour may protect us against heart disease and cancer. Onions are also good for arthritis, rheumatism and gout and have a powerful antibiotic effect against infections of the stomach, chest and urinary tract.
Switching from meat to oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, trout and sardines is a good idea as these fish are known to contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids which are essential if the body's cells are to work properly. They help thin the blood, so lower your chance of a heart attack being brought on by a clot. Eating oily fish twice a week can reduce blood pressure and may help ease the symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism and eczema. It's also thought to help lower your stress levels and even improve your sex - life, too.
Packed with protein, iron, vitamins B and E, phosphorus and polyunsaturated fats, oats are good at lowering cholestreol Recent studies show that oats are
particularly effective in helping lower cholesterol levels in the over 40s-the group most at risk from heart disease. But they have health benefits for everyone and are ideal for treating digestive problems. A slow burn food, they're ideal for slimmers as they help you feel fuller for a longer time.
Lots of health problems begin in our digestive system, when the balance between good and bad bacteria in the intestine is upset. Yogurt helps re-store the balance and strengthens the body's natural resistance to the harmful bacteria. It can also boost your calcium levels and protect against osteoporosis. Choose a live yogurt that has been fermented or one of the new yogurt drinks such as Yakult. Research is still going on to find out if yogurt can reduce cholestrol and protect against cancer.
The greener the veg, the more iron and B vitamins it contains. Broccoli is rich in both and has twice the vitamin E as carrots and four times the vitamin C of courgettes. Even better, research now shows that broccoli also ~ins large quantities of a natural chemical that, in lab tests, inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Doctors know diet is a factor in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer, and it's thought su in b mimic the hormon which may slow down the growth of cancerous cells.'We can't claim that if you eat more broccoli you won't get cancer,' says Lyndel Costain.'But we can link low cancer rates in Mediterranean countries with the fact that they eat a lot more vegetables in general and more broccoli in particular.'