Tags: 5 esay changes | diet | increase | nutrients | adding nutrients to diet | phytonutrients

Fight Disease With 5 Easy Diet Swaps

Wednesday, 28 Jul 2010 07:58 AM


Fighting heart disease, cancer, and diabetes can be as easy as swapping out a few of your regular selections in the produce aisle.

A study supported by the Nutrilite Health Institute found that even though there is a wide range of foods containing the healthy chemical compounds called phytonutrients, many Americans basically eat the same foods over and over — and the foods they choose don't necessarily have the highest concentration of nutrients.

Phytonutrients occur naturally in fruits and vegetables and offer a wide range of health benefits. Produce that is more deeply and vibrantly colored contains higher amounts. The main source of phytonutrients that Americans consume are oranges, orange juice, tomatoes, garlic, carrots, grapes, strawberries, prepared mustard, and tea, according to the study.

"Americans could improve their phytonutrient intake by choosing to eat more concentrated sources of phytonutrients as well as a wider variety," Keith Randolph, Ph.D., Technology Strategist for Nutrilite, said in a statement. "For example, grapes are the top contributor of the phytonutrient family of anthocyanidins in most Americans' diets, but blueberries actually contain higher amounts of this phytonutrient."

You can power up your produce by making the following substitutions:


1. Sweet potatoes instead of carrots
Make this swap and get almost twice the amount of beta-carotene. Long known to be an immune booster, beta-carotene may increase the activity of natural killer cells linked to cancer prevention. A study at Harvard Medical School found that beta-carotene can lower a man's risk of developing prostate cancer by 36 percent. Dark green and orange-yellow vegetables are good sources of beta-carotene.
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2. Papaya over oranges
Papaya has about 15 times the amount of beta-cryptoxanthin than oranges. Studies have discovered that this phytonutrient, which is a powerful antioxidant that can prevent free radicals from damaging your cells and DNA, can reduce the risk of developing lung cancer by more than 30 percent and the odds of developing rheumatoid arthritis by 41 percent. Beta-cryptoxanthin is also found in yellow apples, lemons, grapefruit, and mangoes.
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3. Kale trumps spinach
Although both kale and spinach contain large amounts of leutin/zeaxanthin, eat kale instead of raw spinach and boost the amount of these antioxidants. They help protect eyes from damage caused by free radicals, and may also filter the damaging light rays that are linked to chronic eye disease such as age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). A study released by the North Chicago VA Medical Center found that lutein not only prevented, but actually reversed, damage related to ARMD. Green, leafy vegetables contain large amounts of lutein/zeaxanthin.
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4. A berry easy swap
Ditch strawberries for raspberries and get three times the ellagic acid. Laboratory and animal studies have found that ellagic acid, which is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage, can inhibit the growth of breast, skin, lung, pancreas, colon, and esophageal cancer cells. Italian studies found the nutrient reduces the side effects of chemotherapy in men with advanced prostate cancer. The Hollings Cancer Institute at the University of South Carolina found that one cup of red raspberries a day can prevent the development of cancer cells.
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5. A case for watercress
One cup of watercress in a salad provides the same amount of isothiocyanates as four teaspoons of prepared mustard. Studies have shown that isothiocyanates are especially effective in combating lung and esophageal cancers. According to The Cancer Project, they combat cancer in three ways: preventing the cancer from becoming activated; counteracting the effects of carcinogens that have been activated; and helping speed the elimination of carcinogens from the body.

"All Americans can improve their phytonutrient intake by varying the fruits and vegetables they consume and by focusing on foods that have a higher concentration of certain phytonutrients," Randolph said.

The United States government recommends that people get the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) each day, which is five servings of fruits and vegetables.



© HealthDay

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Diet-And-Fitness
Fighting heart disease, cancer, and diabetes can be as easy as making a few tasty changes in your diet. Tossing a handful of strawberries into a bowl of cereal can add healthy chemical compounds called phytonutrients to your diet, and simply swapping raspberries for strawberries could add even more
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