What Foods Can You Eat to Prevent Disease?

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If you plan on pursuing a career as a nutritionist, you will undoubtedly be asked about foods that can help prevent certain diseases. Research conducted by Loma Linda University suggests that there may be a link between certain common foods and the prevention of disease. Here are some of the conclusions they reached:

Coronary Heart Disease. Consuming more legumes (beans, peas, lentils, soybeans) can boost your levels of good cholesterol and drop your levels of bad cholesterol. Another recommendation is to switch to healthier oils like olive, peanut and canola, which are rich in monounsaturated fats. Eating garlic, which contains allicin has been shown to lower blood cholesterol. Tea, which contains antioxidants, can help prevent the build-up of fatty deposits in arteries and improve blood vessel dilation for better blood flow. Soy protein can lower LDL cholesterol levels, especially when blood cholesterol levels are high.

Breast Cancer. Fatty fish and shiitake mushrooms, which are high in Vitamin D, could help reduce the risk of this disease.

Prostate Cancer. Tomato-based foods can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 20-45 percent, depending on how many servings per week you have (the more servings, the higher the percentage). Researchers believe that the lycopene, a carotenoid and antioxidant found mostly in tomatoes and tomato products is the ingredient that reduces cancer risk. Also suggested would be eating apples and onions, and drinking black or green tea, and red wine, which contain the flavinoid quercetin, a possible protective agent against prostate cancer.

Urinary Tract Infections. Blueberries, cranberries, unsweetened cranberry juice and cherries all contain substances that reduce the tendency of bacteria to bind to bladder tissue.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Fruits, vegetables, flaxseed, dried plums, and drinking water can help with IBS. Barley, oats, brown rice, and small portions of unsweetened dried fruits can help as well.

Flu/Cold. Increasing vitamin C, most notably with oranges and persimmons can help. Colorful fruits and vegetables tend to be high in antioxidants, including beta-carotene, vitamin E, selenium and vitamin C—all combine to boost your immunity to colds and flu. Carrots, apricots and broccoli are rich in beta-carotene, which helps strengthen the skin and mucous linings in the lungs and nose (areas where cold germs first invade the body). Finally, low fat yogurt has immunity-boosting probiotics.

As a nutritionist, you job will be to advise clients on healthful diets that will help reduce the risk of disease.

For an added perspective, check out this video:

If you have any thoughts on disease preventing foods and careers in nutrition, feel free to share them in the comments section.

Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Please see more of his blogs and view additional job postings on Nexxt.


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